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Avid gardener offers pruning tips for roses
A rose bush from the Del Webb garden of Manteca Garden Club president Sandi Larson is used by award-winning Manteca landscape designer Eric Teberg to demonstrate how a rose should be pruned. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
Award-winning landscape designer and avid gardener Eric Teberg of Manteca gave a brief demonstration on how to prune roses at the monthly meeting of the Manteca Garden Club.

For the pruning demonstration held in the John McFall Room of the Manteca Public Library on Monday, Teberg brought a rose bush taken from the garden of club president and Del Webb resident Sandi Larson.

One of the important things to remember when pruning roses, he stated at the outset, is to make sure you use sharp pruning shears or loppers or even a saw so as not to tear the rose’s wood or bark. The aim is to make a clean cut, he said.

The first rule in pruning roses, he said, is to “take the dead canes out.” Cane is another word for rose stem.

He jokingly referred to one popular way of rose pruning as the “Joan Crawford method,” defining it as “Whack! get all that stuff out of the way!” with a laugh.

Here’s another important rule to keep in mind when you’re not sure if you need to remove more canes off your rose, Teberg offered. “When in doubt, thin it out.”

Here are other rose pruning tips he shared with the garden club members.

You have to constantly remove all the “old stuff” off your rose bush or climber, otherwise the plant will just keep on growing, Teberg said.

“That’s why you have 200-year-old roses,” he said.

“If you don’t top the branches, they’re going to keep growing,” he added.

Some roses have been known to go up to the second story of buildings, Teberg said.

Roses need constant pruning to control its prolific growth, he said. And if you don’t? Teberg answered his question with a smile, “the worst thing it’s going to do is overtake your entire yard.”

Monthly meetings of the garden club are held every third Monday of the month from September to June with social gathering starting at 12:30 p.m. followed by the general meeting and featured speakers from 1 to 2 p.m. New members are always welcome.

The meetings are held in the John McFall Room of the Manteca Public Library, 320 W. Center Street. For more information, visit the club’s web site at or call club president Sandi Larson, at (209) 824-2062.