One early spring chore that shouldn’t be neglected is pruning your roses. Let me share some pruning tips to have your roses looking good this year. Today Southern Gardening is at the Veterans Memorial rose Garden on the campus of Mississippi State University. Before you make that first cut you’ve got to have the right tools. Sharp bypass pruners, not those anvil cutters….. Check! A sharp set of two handed loppers…..Check! Thick, heavy gloves because those thorns are sharp…..Check! Let’s get started. Most of the cutting roses we grow all bloom each year on new wood, so it’s important to remove a lot of the old wood. Finding the pruning locations on the canes is pretty easy, just look for the new buds. Prune above buds that are facing out away from the center of the plant. We’re going to want to remove any cane that are damaged or dead, along with any canes that are crossing back into the center of the bush. This will help to keep the center open, improve air circulation and help reduce disease. Now’s the perfect time to clean from around the base of the rose bush. Diseases and pests will over winter in the leaf clutter from the previous year. Removing this clutter will help prevent foliar diseases this year. A layer of fresh compost completes task. Following these tips will get your roses off to a good start for the upcoming summer season. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.