Here is a picture of the base of my favorite hybrid tea rose “Double Delight”- I wanted to show you what garbage collectors they are! I might get brave and clean out these dead leaves, but for now, I am not going to prune the rose. I live in USDA hardiness zone 7A (go to http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/InteractiveMap.aspx to find your zone) and it is still too early for pruning. The general rule of thumb is when the forsythia is in bloom in your area, then it is okay to prune the roses. As of today, the forsythia is not in bloom! But, in a couple of weeks, I will tackle that thorny rose.
In case you don't know what forsythia looks like in bloom:
Note on Hardiness Zones: My first reaction when I went to check on my zone was: WHAT!!! I have always thought I was in zone 5 and borderline 6, but the map has been newly revised for 2012 and here we are cozy and warm in zone 7A. Well, that expands my plant horizons.