Exploring the Elegance of Tree Roses

Exploring the Elegance of Tree Roses

May 17, 2024

Tree roses, also known as "rose standards," are a sophisticated and captivating form of cultivated roses that have graced gardens for centuries.

This unique garden feature combines the allure of rose flowers with the grace of a small tree, offering a striking vertical element to any landscape. Let’s explore the rich history of tree roses, detail their creation, and provide practical advice on nurturing and incorporating them into various garden settings.

The History of Tree Roses

vibrant pink tree rose potted with english ivy

Tree roses date back to the Victorian era when they were popular in formal European gardens. They were originally developed to showcase the beauty of roses at a higher level, elevating their presence in the garden. Over time, these roses have evolved from garden novelties to modern landscape staples, appreciated for their classic beauty and versatility in various garden styles.

How Tree Roses Are Created

Creating a tree rose involves a precise grafting process. It starts with a strong, tall rootstock that provides the stem and roots. A flowering rose is then grafted onto the top of this stem. The result is a rose that combines the rootstock's hardiness and height with the top graft's flowering capabilities, creating a rose that “stands out” above the rest in the garden.

Sometimes, the creation of tree roses is a meticulous process that involves grafting three types of roses. The three different roses that contribute to this formation are the rootstock, the stem (or cane), and the flowering variety. The rootstock is chosen for its robustness and disease resistance, while the stem is selected for its strength and height. The flowering variety at the top is chosen for its aesthetic appeal. The stem's top is grafted with the flowering rose, and the junction is carefully wrapped and allowed to heal, eventually forming what looks like a small tree.

sweet sunblaze miniature rose trees

How to Grow Tree Roses in the Garden

  • Growing tree roses requires specific conditions to ensure they thrive and display their full beauty. Begin by selecting the right location: tree roses need a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Well-drained soil is essential to prevent root rot, and incorporating organic matter like compost can enhance soil fertility and structure, benefiting the roses' growth.
  • Watering is another key aspect; it should be done deeply and regularly, especially during the initial growing period and in dry spells, to establish a strong root system. Additionally, because of their unique form, tree roses often require staking to support their tall stems, particularly in windy areas, ensuring they grow upright and remain healthy.
  • Caring for tree roses involves meticulous attention to their soil and nutritional needs. It's advisable to prepare the planting site by ensuring the soil is loose and enriched with nutrients. Using a slow-release fertilizer at the start of the growing season will promote vigorous growth and abundant blooming.
  • Additional feeding with a balanced rose fertilizer every few weeks throughout the growing season can help maintain their lush, vibrant blooms. Regular monitoring for pests and diseases and implementing control measures as necessary will keep the tree roses in optimal health, allowing these stunning garden features to flourish and captivate all who see them.

Incorporating Our Rose Tree Varieties Into Your Landscape

Peach sunblaze rose tree potted in cottage garden

Tree roses are versatile and can enhance many areas of your garden. They can create an inviting entrance when placed on either side of a doorway or garden gate. Their height also makes them ideal backdrops in mixed flowerbeds and borders. You may also consider using tree roses as elegant focal points in garden beds or at the end of a pathway.

Our Tree roses add vertical interest to any outdoor space and can easily be incorporated into various design schemes! With a range of rose tree varieties available, coming in numerous colors, we pride ourselves in the ability to provide a rose tree for your landscape, no matter your style!

Rose Trees For Formal gardens

We offer a range of sophisticated rose trees that make perfect additions to formal gardens! From the bright white classic Iceberg Floribunda Rose Tree, to the classic red Petite Knock Out Rose Tree, their structured look is perfect for geometric garden layouts.

Rose Trees For Cottage gardens

Intermingle tree roses like the Sweet Sunblaze or the Julia Child Floribunda Rose Tree with informal plantings for a delightful and whimsical contrast!

Rose Trees For Urban spaces

Tree roses are ideal for adding greenery without occupying too much ground space in smaller, urban gardens. Consider incorporating some of our multicolor roses like the Rainbow Sorbet Floribunda or the Peach Sunblaze for a display that really captivates onlookers!

How to Grow Tree Roses in Pots or Containers

Growing tree roses in containers is an excellent option for those with limited space:

  • Container choice: Choose a large, stable container to prevent tipping and ensure good drainage.
  • Soil: Use a high-quality potting mix specifically formulated for roses.
  • Placement: Position the container in a sunny spot to encourage healthy growth and abundant blooms.

Fertilizer Suggestions

Proper fertilization is key to the vibrant blooms of tree roses:

  • Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the season as new growth appears.
  • During the growing season, supplement with a water-soluble or liquid rose fertilizer every four to six weeks. Be careful when choosing a fertilizer; be sure to select a low-nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen will cause more foliage growth at the expense of flower production.

Pruning Guidelines

The optimal time to prune tree roses is in late winter or early spring, just before new growth begins. This timing helps to invigorate the plants for the upcoming growing season, encouraging fresh, healthy growth and abundant blooms.

Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased branches when pruning to maintain plant health. Also, thin out crowded branches to enhance air circulation and light penetration, which are critical for reducing disease risk and promoting vigorous growth.

Focus on shaping the canopy to maintain a balanced, attractive appearance, ensuring that you make clean cuts just above outward-facing buds. This technique helps maintain the tree-like form of the rose and directs the new growth outward, improving the overall structure and aesthetics of the plant.


Tree roses are more than just plants; they are a historical and horticultural art form that brings structure, height, and a touch of elegance to any garden. With proper care, these beautiful roses can become the centerpiece of your outdoor space, attracting admiration and providing immense personal satisfaction. Whether showcased in pots or planted in the ground, tree roses are a testament to the timeless beauty and enduring appeal of roses in the landscape.