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I planted several climbing roses last year and put a bit too much compost on top. Now I think there are a bunch of suckers coming out and I can barely tell which one is the main "body" of the plant.

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I read online in the past that the first 2 years I shouldn't trim or cut anything. I am in Pacific Northwest and it is April. So should I do something now? This is their 2nd year.

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Nothing obvious so far that looks like suckers rather than just new stems,but to check, you need to push the soil aside to expose the graft or union to check the point of origin of the new growth. If the stems arise below the graft/union, they are suckers and should be wrenched off,but if they arise above that point, they are just new stems and can be left.

Pruning of the topgrowth otherwise is just the usual rules - remove anything weak, dead, damaged or infected, remove any crossing branches which might or are rubbing against each other, always cutting back to an outward facing bud to try to keep the centre of the plant open for good airflow.

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  • But is it typical for climbing roses to be somewhat "bushy" in the bottom like that? Or is it more advisable to have a single strong body and branches are higher? – HP. Apr 20 at 16:52
  • Well as you said, you probably piled too much soil over the roots and base of the plants; roses can and do put out new stems from the base, and covering them with extra soil may have encouraged that. More often though, new canes arise from low down on above ground main stems. You still need to make sure they are not suckers though. – Bamboo Apr 20 at 20:20

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