The best time to prune roses is in the spring before new growth appears and after danger of killing frost. Be sure to remove dead stubs. Otherwise, canker fungi may invade stubs and progress into healthy tissue during the summer. Use sharp shears and make cuts at a 45-degree angle about a quarter-inch above healthy buds. How much to prune after dead wood removal depends on the type of rose.
For shrub roses, pruning usually consists of removing dead wood or light pruning for shaping. This article focuses on hybrid tea roses which require much more extensive pruning. With hybrid teas, there are three pruning styles, each with a specific purpose. Heavy or severe pruning is done on well-established, vigorous plants to produce large, showy flowers. Prune back to three to four healthy canes with three to six eyes per cane. Canes normally will be 6 to 12 inches long. Moderate pruning is done on well-established, healthy plants and is designed to increase the number of flowers produced rather than increase flower size. Leave five to six healthy canes with at least seven buds per cane. Prune stems to 12 to 18 inches long. Light pruning rejuvenates plants after years of neglect or may be performed on newly established plants. Leave five to seven canes of about 18 inches or more in length. This helps maximize leaf area for energy production and rejuvenates plants.
If your plants suffered a significant amount of winter damage, they may need to be cut back more severely than even the heavy-pruning style. This will result in a few large flowers but in this case is your only option. (Ward Upham)