Tom Carruth
Former Director of Research & Marketing, Weeks Roses
Tom Carruth is a self-described plant 'freak' whose obsession blossomed as a child, despite growing up in the Texas panhandle. His passion became a profession after he received a Bachelors in Horticulture (1974) and a Masters in Plant Breeding (1976) from Texas A & M University. 
Regardless of the advice given by his most inspiring professor, Dr. J.C. Raulston, Tom pursued his dream to become a rose breeder. Since 1975, he's worked in the rose industry in California with the late Bill Warriner of Jackson & Perkins Co. and Jack Christensen of the former Armstrong's Nursery.
From 1988 to 2012, he was in charge of the rose hybridizing effort as Director of Research & Marketing at Weeks Roses. The broad goal of Tom’s breeding was to make the rose a contender with all plants, rather than a fussy queen of the garden. His introductions stress disease resistance, fragrance, floriferousness, novelty & attractive habit. Julia Child serves as a prime example, achieving a very rare world-wide introduction. The velvety deep purple Ebb Tide™ was the first of a real color breakthrough. Tom is the inventor of over 75 plant patents and he has also accumulated 11 AARS Award Winners in just 14 years.
Weeks’ AARS Award Winners to emerge from Tom’s hybridizing work include:  the 2011 Winner, Dick Clark, which he co-hybridized with assistant Christian Bédard, Cinco de Mayo™ (2009), Strike It Rich® (2007); Julia Child (2006); Wild Blue Yonder (2006); About Face (2005); Memorial Day (2004); Hot Cocoa (2003); Betty Boop (1999); Fourth of July (1999) and Scentimental (1997).
Also included in Weeks’ AARS Winners is:  Easy Does It (2010) from Harkness New Roses, Dream Come True (2008) from amateur Dr. John Pottschmidt from Cincinnati; Sunset Celebration (1998) from Gareth Fryer of England; St. Patrick™ (1996) from amateur Frank Strickland & Livin' Easy (1996) also from the UK firm of Harkness.
Tom has over 100 introductions to his credit with numerous national & international awards. Some of the ‘stars’ from Tom’s work includes…Home Run®, Pink Home Run® (co-hybridized with Christian Bédard), Ebb Tide™, Ch-Ching!™ (co-hybridized with Christian Bédard), Marilyn Monroe, Moonstone, George Burns, Neptune, Chihuly®, Topsy Turvy™, Candy Land, Purple Splash™ & Ruby Ruby™.
Tom wore many hats at Weeks Roses. He wrote all the descriptive copy for the catalogs, directed the catalog design & printing and supervised the photography, marketing & website. In January 2012, Tom retired from Weeks Roses and handed the reins of research to Christian Bédard.