When shall I prune my roses? If you have modern shrub roses or tea roses, prune them while still dormant. In this stage, you can see buds, but the buds have not yet opened. Remove canes that are broken, obviously dead, or which are poorly spaced. Cut back to roughly 18-24 inch varied lengths. The timing can range from February to early April in mid-Michigan. A good, easy-to-remember guide is to prune when your forsythia first begins blooming. Prune to open the shrub to light and air, and cut at a 45-degree angle a quarter inch above an outward facing
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