Caring for Your Dogwood Tree
Dogwood Tree Varieties
The flowering dogwood tree is a favorite ornamental among homeowners due to its year round appeal, unique branching structure and modest size. In the early spring, beautiful flowers bloom consisting of four white, pink or red bracts with clusters of small yellow flowers in the center. In fall, leaves and fruit are a stunning bright red/purple. Winter interest includes the presence of large flattened buds accented by a dark gray, brown or black alligator-skin like bark. Dogwood trees are certainly a lovely landscape specimen.
How to Grow: Dogwood trees prefer nutrient rich well-drained soil and grow best in partial sun.
Size of Tree:
Height: 20 to 30 feet
Spread: 25 to 30 feet.
Dogwood Tree Care
Dogwood trees do require some special care to help them thrive as they are fragile and susceptible to mechanical injuries and several insect and disease conditions.
Fungicide application can help prevent diseases and horticultural oils at the beginning of the season should be used to smother scale insects and reduce overwintering population of aphid and mite eggs.
They also require soil rich with organic matter to flourish. Providing the proper nutrients and care will help them succeed. Regular fertilization, watering and pruning helps keep trees healthy and better able to tolerate stress and insect and disease conditions.
Newly planted dogwoods benefit from ArborKelp®, SavATree’s exclusive seaweed biostimulant which aids in tree establishment, promotes root growth and heightens stress tolerance.
Mature and established trees benefit from fertilizer feedings of organic-based macro and micronutrients for the nutrition necessary to sustain their health.
Dogwood Tree Pruning
Pruning is recommended to preserve or improve tree structure, vigor and life-span. Pruning can reduce specific defects or structural problems in a tree to greatly lessen the risk of failure.
Broken, diseased, or dead branches are typically removed in order to prevent decay-producing fungi from infecting the wood in other areas of the tree.
Removal of live branches is occasionally necessary to allow increased exposure to sunlight and circulation of air within the canopy. This assists in reduction of certain diseases. We also advocate the removal of branch stubs to promote successful and proper healing over of wounds.
Your SavATree certified arborist is equipped with the latest techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to keep your dogwood trees healthy, beautiful and safe. Contact us today for information on pruning or any of our other tree care services.
Prevent Dogwood Tree Diseases & Pests
There are several damaging diseases and pests that affect dogwood trees. Some of the most common are:
Dogwood Anthracnose – This serious disease is difficult to control. Dogwood anthracnose causes stem cankers and large, purple-bordered leaf spots. Tan splotches may develop which will kill the whole leaf. Infected trees eventually die.
Septoria Leafspot – This infection usually occurs in July and causes small, purple lesions or spots on leaves. Berries can be blackened.
Spot Anthracnose – This dogwood disease attacks flower bracts (petals) eventually spreading to leaves, shoots and fruit. Look for reddish-purple spots in early spring. A severe infection will cause flower bracts to fall prematurely.
Other dogwood tree diseases and pests include:
- Basal trunk canker
- Root rot
- Powdery mildew
- Sooty mold
Many of these insect and disease conditions can weaken the tree and lead to tree death if not treated. If you suspect a problem with your trees, call a SavATree certified arborist right away for an evaluation and treatment options. Our dogwood tree care experts can help protect your trees and keep your landscape beautiful.
Photo by: Pat-Breen,Oregon-University
Diseased photo: Dogwood anthracnose 5334048 by Mary Ann Hansen, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org