Rambling/Climbing Roses

I have a rambling and a climbing rose which have run riot over a pergola. Can I just prune them right back and start again? I would be grateful for some advice.
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Backhouses

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On Sat, 7 Mar 2009 22:09:35 +0000, Backhouses

Yes, you can drastically prune well-established roses. I have only done this drastic cutback one time due to blackspot. I bought a pair of Felco pruning shears just for my Don Juan roses. Roses benefit by regular pruning, allowing better air circulation, shape, light, and bloom. Wear long sleeves and leather gloves.
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Backhouses wrote:

Climbing roses do tend to "take over" if you let them. Even though the so-called experts don't recommend pruning them I give some of mine a good pruning about every five years. It grows over an archway (there are actually two bushes, one on each side). To keep it "in check" I also prune it lightly in late winter (about this time of the year).
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Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

To see pictures from my garden visit http://members.iglou.com/brosen
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On 3/7/2009 2:09 PM, Backhouses wrote:

If you prune a climber low to the ground, you will eliminate most of this year's flowers.
Climbers should be pruned to keep 2-4 long main branches. It's best to keep an equal number of old and new branches. The old ones will flower better, but the new ones will grow better. Next year, remove this winter's old branches; this winter's new ones will be next year's old ones.
Although you keep long main branches, they headed (cut somewhat shorter). But the key is to shorten or remove all side branches. This is especially true where the long main branches are somewhat horizontal. If headed, the horizontal branches will send out new side branches which will have this year's flowers.
See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_rosepruning.html .
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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