I had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Tom Carruth at the Yankee Convention of Rose Societies in Rhode Island this past weekend. He also spoke about some of his new and past introductions.
For best germination - refrigeration of exactly 8 weeks
They use a blender to extract seeds from hips, as he put it: keep adding the hips until the motor sounds like it’s going to die. He doesn’t tape the blender blades because the scarification from the blades helps in germination.
After seeds are extracted they are directly planted, no soaking.
For sports, mark the stem and snap the flower off right beneath the flower because the mutation can happen anywhere along the stem. Bud wood is collected on the flowering stem only. A good way of telling a sport is it will have different foliage than the base plant. Sports are patented and owned by the discoverer of the sport.
New Dawn often reverts back to Dr. W. Van Fleet. If you notice your New Dawn blooming only once then it has reverted.
Amateur hybridizers are encouraged to submit their plants to Weeks roses. Only a very limited number are accepted and undergo a more rigourous testing procedure that the in house seedlings. Amateurs need to submit 10 plants of their hybrids along with photos and records of performance. Weeks will observe them for 2 years and will send back to the owners the notes taken. They will pick for production what they need - roses that they do not have a similar rose for in their production, or what is a popular trend for that year.
For fragrance he uses Rosa Californica.
For stripes, Peppermint Twist and Rosie Outlook. Check out his new Scentimental, white and red striped and fragrant, and his new Candy Land climber for 2008 (available this year from Edumunds)
For repeat flowering - Betty Boop (pollen parent)
Some popular parents - Top Notch and Raven
He had 3 purple sisters from the same cross - Ebb Tide, Route 66 and Wild Blue Yonder, a rare occurence.
For 2008 Weeks is introducing a Joseph’s Coat lookalike that is easier to propagate called Jacobs Robe (Autumn Sunset x Playboy)