“Rose trees” were popular in the West during the early 20th century, and every postcard vendor usually has a selection of photos from several cities. Santa Rosa had a couple of rose trees, one climbing to sixty feet, as seen to the right (CLICK on image to enlarge).
Obl Believe-it-or-Not factoid: The world’s oldest rose tree is the 125-year-old Lady Banksia in Tombstone Arizona, which covers almost 9,000 square feet.
ROSE TREE, SIXTY FEET
Splendid Attraction on Mendocino Avenue
In the yard of the old Claypool residence on Mendocino street, just off Fifth, there is a rose bush which has climbed a massive tree to a height of more than sixty feet. Just at the present time the bush is filled with thousands of white roses and makes an interesting appearance. Hundreds of people pass the scene daily and admire it.
To the north of the rose tree is a two story house, and the rose bush towers fifteen feet above this residence, which is about forty-five feet high. A photo of the rose bush showing its relative height in that of the two story structure would be interesting to use in advertising matter of the City of Roses.– Santa Rosa Republican, April 16, 1908
MONSTER BOUQUET GROWING ROSES
Over Sixty Feet in Circumference and Over Fifteen Feet in Height at Home of W. R. Smith
The beauty of the “City of Roses” at the present time with so many flowers in bloom is attracting much attention from visitors. While there are many attractive sights in a floral way to be found in all parts of the city, one of the most unique is a monster bouquet of roses at the home of W. R. Smith, the well known pioneer at E and Second streets.
An old locust tree was cut off about fifteen feet from the ground, and about the trunk ivy has been trained until nothing can be seen of the stump. Several climbing roses have grown into the ivy vines and thrown their branches out in all directions until the top is fully sixty feet in circumference, and this is now a mass of white, red and pink rose blooms. The effect is a perfect bouquet of immense size. A number of photographs have been taken and the pictures will be preserved.– Press Democrat, May 3, 1907
Photo courtesy Larry Lapeere Collection