Training a Rambling Rose up a Tree



This past spring, I planted a rambling rose next to a tree in my garden with the intention of training the rose up it. It is located on the southwest side of the tree.

I’ve been training three main branches: one toward a fence located near the tree, one up to the lowest branch, and one around the base of the trunk, to wind around it like a corkscrew.

One of the reasons for the manner in which I’ve trained these branches is to prevent them from crossing over each other. However, as I’ve noticed the branch intending to be wrapped around the trunk somewhat stall at the “front” of the tree (our view of it, as it is located in a corner), I am wondering if roses should be trained in this manner. That is, should rambling roses be trained to spiral around the trunk or branch of a tree like a corkscrew, or simply grow up and long the trunk/branch? What I refer to as stalling may simply be the natural course of growth for this plant, since we’ve had a rather wet summer and it does not receive as much sun when the tree fully leafs out during the summer.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your question on your rambling rose.

Congratulations on your recent planting of your rambling rose.  This is an interesting approach, and environment, in which to place your rose.  Without knowing how large your tree is or what the root competition might be like where you planted the rose, I will flag this as a potential problem. Having stated that, it is good that you planted on the southwest side of the tree to get sufficient light. Your quite right in trying to avoid crossing the canes, but I would avoid trying to spiral around the tree trunk. This is because when these canes reach the back side of the tree they will be on the “dark-side” so to speak, and that would be detrimental.

Another factor to be aware of is the amount of air circulation and moisture which may be present, if the branches your are twining your roses into are densely branched and leaved,  you may be inviting various diseases.

If possible another strategy for growing your rambler would be the addition of a trellis, or possible wiring system to allow proper spreading and splaying of the rose canes outwards.

I have attached a link below for additional information on pruning and managing rambling roses.

Enjoy your roses !