Winter is no excuse to be less diligent in the garden. It would seem that gardening would be less demanding because there is less going on, and so many plants are dormant. However, dormancy is precisely why there is so much to do through winter. Bare root plants and bulbs are planted because they are dormant. Fruit trees get pruned because they are dormant. Now it is time for roses.
Just like fruit trees, modern roses were intensively bred for enhanced production. Their flowers are too big and abundant for overgrown plants to sustain. Consequently, aggressive specialized pruning is necessary to concentrate resources and promote vigorous growth. Rather than producing an abundance of inferior blooms, well pruned canes produce fewer blooms of superior quality.
Also like deciduous fruit trees, roses should be pruned while dormant, preferably after defoliated, and before new buds swell. This sounds easier than it really is. Some roses might still be trying to bloom on canes from last year. Others might be trying to generate new foliage for this year. Fortunately, they are tougher than they look. Besides, early or late pruning is better than no pruning.
Hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses need the same sort of pruning. They all should be pruned back to only a few canes that grew last year. Older canes should be pruned out completely, unless there are not enough new canes that grew last year. Hybrid tea and floribunda roses need only three to six canes, only about two feet tall. Floribunda roses might have a few more canes. Tree roses should be pruned just like shrub roses, as if the upper graft union is at ground level. The canes can be pruned shorter.
Suckers from below the swollen graft union (from where canes emerge) should be removed completely. If possible, they should be pulled or peeled off instead of cut. This seems harsh, but leaves less of a stub from which more suckers might develop later. Because fungal spores and bacterial diseases overwinter in decomposing foliage, fallen leaves should be raked from around roses.