Tyler Texas Online Rose industry in Tyler Texas

Rose fields in Tyler, Texas
Fields of beautiful Tyler Roses

Rose Industry in Tyler, Texas

Rose Capital of America

In the late 1800s, cotton and corn were main crops in the Tyler area, and fruit orchards were becoming increasingly popular as well. In 1879 the first recorded sale of rose bushes took place.

By 1900 there were more than one million fruit trees, mainly peach, in Smith County.

When peach blight, drought and winter freezes wiped out much of the fruit industry, many farmers turned to growing roses, which proved ideally suited to the climate and soil of the Tyler area.

By the 1920s the rose industry had developed into a major business, and by the 1940s more than half the U.S. supply of rose bushes was grown within ten miles of Tyler.

A leading pioneer in field-grown rose research was Dr. Eldon Lyle, who moved to Tyler in 1937. The Texas Rose Research Foundation was established in 1946 by area rose growers, and Dr. Lyle became its leader for many years to follow.

Historic marker of the Smith County Rose Industry and the Tyler Rose Garden (click image to enlarge)
Historic marker of the Smith County Rose Industry and the Tyler Rose Garden

By 1945, there were 200 nurserymen, with 1,500 employees, growing roses commercially in East Texas, with Smith County producing 80% of the total crop.

In the late 1950s almost 300 rose growers produced over twenty million plants. In addition to rose growing, the rose-processing industry developed during this time. With the use of cold storage and plastic for packaging, businesses in Northeast Texas processed both local plants and roses imported from Arizona and California.

In the early 1970s more than fifteen million rosebushes continued to be shipped annually from Texas throughout the United States.

By the 1990s the rose industry had diminished in Texas. Out-of-state competition, along with unpredictable weather and some lost crops during the 1980s, contributed to the decrease in production. In the early 1990s the industry centered almost entirely in Smith County around the Tyler area.

Today, major players in the national rose growing and processing industry have significant facilities in the Tyler area, such as

  • Chamblee's Rose Nursery - Phone 903.882.5153
  • Tate Rose Nursery - 10306 FM 2767. Phone 903.593.1020
  • Lone Star Rose Nursery - 14714 Highway 64 West. Phone 903.592.8161
  • Certified Nurseries - Phone 800.527.8708
  • many others

Tyler-area companies process and distribute several million roses each year and about 75% of all roses in the country are handled in Tyler.

For more information, we recommend a visit to the Tyler Rose Garden web site operated by the City of Tyler, the Tyler Economic Development Commission, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Tyler Municipal Rose Garden

All-America Rose Selections at the Municipal Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas
All-America Rose selections in the Tyler Texas Rose Garden (TylerTexasOnline staff photo)

The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is the nation's largest rose garden, spanning 14 acres. The gardens include over 38,000 rose bushes and over 600 different varieties, as well as reflecting pools, walkways and fountains.

The gardens are a popular destination for both local residents and for visitors, and offer a diversity of photographic opportunities.

They are the location for numerous wedding photo shoots, school group photos, parties, reunions and professional photography as well.

It is one of 24 All American Rose Selection (AARS) test gardens in the country, and also includes a unique Idea Garden created and maintained by the Smith County Master Gardeners.

The Rose Garden is open from dawn until dark, seven days a week. Admission is free.

Tyler Municipal Rose Garden

Tyler Rose Garden, photos, map

Texas Rose Festival, Rose Parade, and Rose Museum

Molly Louise Berry, 2022 Texas Rose Festival QueenMolly Louise Berry, 2022 Texas Rose Festival Queen

Adjacent to the Tyler Rose Garden is the Tyler Rose Museum, which showcases the history of the annual Texas Rose Festival.

The 91st Texas Rose Festival had its kickoff event on January 4, 2024, at the Willow Brook Country Club. The Winter Gala included the announcement of the festival's 2024 theme and introduction of members of the court.

Miss Frances “Franny” Olivia Faulconer was announced as the 91st Texas Rose Festival Queen. She was born and raised in Tyler, and is currently a sophomore at Baylor University in Waco. The theme of the 2024 Texas Rose Festival will be "Fanfare of Festivals".

The Texas Rose Festival will next be held on October 17-20, 2024.

The rose parade assembles at Front Street and Glenwood Boulevard, and then follows a route west on Front Street, through the East Texas State Fairgrounds and ends inside Rose Stadium.

There is always free parade viewing along the route, and reserved seats can be purchased for the Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. The annual parade features more than 100 entries including custom floats for the Queen and her court.

It also includes marching bands, walking groups, drill teams, mounted horse clubs, and vintage cars.

Texas Rose Festival

The 2019 Texas Rose Festival Court at the Queen's Coronation at the Cowan Center in Tyler
The 2019 Texas Rose Festival Court at the Queen's Coronation at the Cowan Center in Tyler

The Elegance and Color of Roses

The YouTube video lasts only a couple minutes, and has some easy-listening music. So turn up your volume, and enjoy some beautiful roses!

Historic Postcards of the Tyler Rose Industry

Historic postcard "Entrance to the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas"
Historic postcard "Entrance to the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas"
Greetings from the Tyler, Texas rose fields
Greetings from the Tyler, Texas rose fields

Rose fields in Tyler, Texas
Rose fields in Tyler, Texas

Tyler Roses