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I have a few rose plants, which we planted on the east side of my home, that are approximately 20 years old.They started out small and manageable and we put a trellis behind them, up close to the house for them to grow on…I didn’t think they were climbing roses but, the branches & canes now somewhat resemble a climbing rose plant…From a second story window frame, several years ago, I attached fishing line down to the longer canes to help support them because they were bending over, due to their weight, beyond the trellis.They always produce lots of roses when the first bloom occurs.The canes, have never been taken care of or pruned properly, because I was afraid to damage or kill the rose plants…we just let the canes grow and as a result, when the roses bloom, they seem to have more beautiful flowering every year. However, the canes are now extremely long and out of control…some, are approximately 10 to 12 feet long and have outgrown the trellis……(Also, usually every year, sometime after the middle of the summer, a good portion of the leaves seem to yellow and fall off….but, that, might be another issue…) I’ve been told that the best time to prune roses, is in the spring, before they start to grow and flower.I’m looking for some expert advice on how to prune my roses so they continue to be/or become healthy/healthier…I’m concerned that because the canes are so long, if I prune too much off, they will die…Can you offer any advice?Thank you.

Yikes…those are some large roses.  They are probably getting leggy since they get mostly morning sun but not a lot of the stronger afternoon sun.  I’d get out there now and do some aggressive pruning…like about 1/3 of the total branch structure…to get them back under control.  That way the new growth will be lower and branch sideways.  you can also do pruning in season to keep it under control.  Roses respond well to pruning.  Get to your initial pruning soon so the new growth goes where you want and it will set buds for flowering on the new growth…expect more flowers due to the pruning you’re about to do.

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