Free classes teach you how to prune your roses and fruit trees

Tom Carruth's "Huntington's 100th" rose
Like all roses, hybridizer Tom Carruth’s fragrant multicolored rose, “Huntington’s 100th,” needs pruning in January. Learn how to prune roses and fruit trees during several classes this month.
(Weeks Roses)

January is prime pruning time for roses and fruit trees in Southern California. The plants are dormant now, but if you want lovely roses and fruit come spring and summer, now is the time to don some sturdy gloves, sharpen your hand clippers — a.k.a. secateurs — and get to work.

Not sure how to start? Check out these workshops and classes at local nurseries, arboretums and botanical gardens; nearly all are free. There are also a few opportunities to purchase new roses and trees.

The perfect rose: 62 years in the making >>>

Saturday, Jan. 4


Armstrong Nursery offers free classes in rose pruning from 9 to 10 a.m. and fruit-tree pruning from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at all its Southern California stores.

Sunday, Jan. 5

Rose-pruning demonstration by the South Coast Rose Society, for hybrid tea, floribundas, climbing, miniature and old garden roses, followed by a hands-on workshop with tips about proper pruning tools and preparing the rose garden for spring bloom. The Society will also sell its specially blended “rose cocktail” fertilizer for roses. 1 to 4 p.m. in Classroom A at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Thursday, Jan. 9

The Huntington Library, Art Museum & Botanical Gardens’ annual bare-root rose sale starts after a talk by rose hybridizer Tom Carruth, the E.L. and Ruth B. Shannon curator of rose collections at the Huntington, who will discuss how he developed his newest floribunda rose, ‘Huntington’s 100th.’ The free talk starts at 2:30 p.m. in Rothenberg Hall, with the sale immediately following.

Saturday, Jan. 11

Tree-fruit pruning demonstration by master gardener Liza Go at the South Coast Botanic Garden’s Rare Tree Fruit collection, which includes non-California natives such as cherimoya, citrus and fig trees. 10 a.m. to noon, $14 for members (ages 12 and up), $19 for nonmembers.

Armstrong Nursery offers free classes in rose pruning from 9 to 10 a.m. at all its Southern California stores.

Sunday, Jan. 12

Rose-pruning demonstration in the rose garden of UC Riverside’s Botanic Gardens, 1 Botanic Gardens Drive, Riverside (on the UCR campus), 1 to 3 p.m. Demonstration is free; suggested $5 donation to enter the gardens. (Event moves to Jan. 19 in case of rain.)

Saturday, Jan. 18

Rose-pruning class from 9 to 10 a.m. with rose experts Laura Weaver and Lynn Hillman at Roger’s Gardens nursery amphitheater, 2301 Joaquin Hills Road in Corona del Mar. The free class includes instructions on how and when to prune your roses, manage rose canes, maximize the blooms and reduce disease, and some hands-on training in the nursery’s rose garden.

Virginia Robinson Gardens Superintendent Tim Lindsay discusses the history of roses as well as correct pruning techniques from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the rose garden, 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills. Register online, $25 for members, $35 non members. Bring hand pruners and gloves for hands-on instruction.