Stephen Scanniello, formerly of Brooklyn Botanic and certainly America’s best-known rosarian, is the one I look to for answers about roses. He is the author of several great books, but let’s assume you don’t have any…so here’s an interview he did on rose pruning with Newsday newspaper in Long Island, which is very similar to your climate. http://tinyurl.com/5bntmo As you can see, with climbers it’s a spring regimen and then the regimen is repeated after bloom, when you should also deadhead (probably about now). It’s all about the architecture, and the shape/size you wish them to attain, and keeping them in check so they can carry many blooms but not stick out into the adjacent space 8 feet or anything. Read the last section, on climbers, and how you need to both eliminate some wood and shorten other canes and see if this makes sense to you. Remember, we call them "climbers" but left without us to train them, they’d be shrubs. They don’t have holdfasts like a vine to make their way upward. We do the training. The American Rose Society also has a series of articles on pruning that you may find helpful: http://www.ars.org/About_Roses/pruning.html
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.