when do i prune my rose bush and how far down
the branches are about 8 feet tall
If the roses bloom only once, in spring, then you have rambler roses. If they have large blossoms throughout the growing season, then you may have grandiflora roses. It is important to know the type of rose as pruning technics vary with rose types. With their large canes, grandifloras can be whipped around by winter winds. This can cause the base to be rocked out of the ground. Many rosarians recommend cutting the large canes back by half once the rose is dormant. Some suggest loosely tying the canes together with twine to prevent breakage if they are exposed to strong winds and/or heavy snow. Spring prune before leaves appear to remove weak and thin canes and tips that suffered winter die-back. There should only be 5-7 major canes to prevent crowding. An open structure allows better air flow and sun penetration and leads to a healthier rose. Remove the oldest canes down to the plant base. In cold winter climates, cover the base and surrounding soil with 3-5 inches of mulch. This is best applied after the ground freezes. Mulch helps keep it frozen and thereby reduces the number of freeze and thaw cycles that are detrimental to winter survival.