The pruning of standards is conducted on much the same lines as that of dwarfs. As more people bud standards than bud dwarfs, it will be well to show, in Fig. 21, he stages by which a good flowering head is developed from the bud inserted in summer. The reader will recollect that in the chapter on propagation he was advised to insert his buds as close to the main stem of the Brier as he could get them. If he will now glance at A B and C he will learn the subsequent stages.
(Note that only the head of the tree is shown; the stem of the Brier is omitted to economise space), a is the stem, and c is the young Rose growing from the bud; b is the remainder of the Brier shoot on to which the Rose was budded the previous summer; it is common to shorten this to a few inches in spring, the stump being left to tie the young Rose to as it develops until it is strong enough to stand alone; afterwards the stump is cut quite away.
If the young Rose, c, were left to itself, it would extend freely, and very likely show a bud. Premature flowering is not desirable, consequently the shoot is stopped at the fourth large leaf. If the side shoots (f) which push as a result of this stopping are again stopped at the fourth leaf, more growths push (g) and a good head is quickly formed; in fact, this is about the quickest way of forming a good standard. The following spring's pruning removes the shoots (g) and shortens the shoots (f) to two buds each. Eight or nine splendid flowering shoots follow. The result of this spring pruning leaves the head as shown at C. It looks bald and bare, but it will soon be full and green.
The same point as to hard pruning to get fine blooms holds good with the standards as with the dwarfs. D E and F show a set of heads which are hard pruned on the big-blooms principle. By pruning the head, F, to two buds (o), and rubbing out one of the buds on each shoot (n) the energies of the tree are concentrated on a very limited amount of growth, and a few very fine blooms are produced. The following year (F) the pruning is to two buds (q) and both are allowed to push shoots. G differs from E in that all the buds are left, instead of some being picked out (F, n). As a result, G has more wood than F, and develops more rapidly, but does not give quite such fine flowers. H is a natural development of G. It shows the limit to which the grower with a desire for a good head and a fair proportion of good flowers may go. It is perfectly safe as it is - safe to ripen its wood and give good blooms; but as the years pass it will have a tendency to become crowded, and must be thinned to ensure thorough ripening and prevent overcrowding.