How to care for a dogwood tree?

by Ajc43097020
  34 answers
  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Jun 22, 2019

    Dogwood trees are so beautiful. Most dogwoods require supplemental water during summer and fall, especially during hot, dry spells. For care of flowering dogwood trees, regular watering once a week to a depth of 6 inches should suffice. However, adding a generous layer of mulch will help retain moisture, minimizing watering chores.

    Dogwood Care - How To Grow Dogwood Trees - Gardening Know How

  • Annie Annie on Jun 24, 2019

    Hi AJC,

    Here's another resource for dogwoods....this is a great site with lots of info.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 24, 2013

    You should be extremely cautious pruning dogwoods because of the possibility of bark injury, which can provide an entry for dogwood borer larvae. Dogwoods are often full to the ground in nature, but if this bothers you, the best time to prune is in late winter or early spring, before signs of new growth.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jul 15, 2013

    The red twig dogwoods are shrub type dogwoods that do indeed benefit from pruning. (The usual recommendation is to remove one-third of the branches (the oldest ones) each spring because young branches have the best winter color.) Dogwood that is a tree type is a whole different matter when it comes to pruning.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 17, 2012

    Transplanting a dogwood that is 12-15' tall is a dicey proposition because of their very spreading root system. I would definitely not do it if the tree is in bud, and I strongly suggest consulting with a good arborist. He or she may recommend root-pruning now to help prepare the tree for a move in the winter.

  • Mona Blake Mona Blake on Sep 09, 2018

    I was told you prune Dogwood right after it finishes blooming. Fall is good since it's normally a lot cooler to work with.

  • Cindy Morgan Cindy Morgan on Oct 14, 2013

    Dogwood trees in nature grow where the woodline meets the meadow. Plant your dogwood trees so they get some sun and some shade. Morning sun is perfect.

  • Teresa Lack Teresa Lack on Aug 27, 2017

    Dogwoods need a very acidic soil.

  • Kenneth Paul Kenneth Paul on Mar 08, 2015

    Sunlight, nutrients, water, soil conditions and winter harsh net all affect blooming. Very briefly, a harsh winter can and may "kill" the buds rendering it disabled. Two, soil conditions may be problematic. Take a soil sample for testing. (Your county or state conservation office can give locations to you). Lastly, water and "feed". First, speak with your local hardware store. There are many fine products to use. (Expoma Brand, Holly-Tone is my favorite). Feed in spring and fall. (Your attendant at the store or the bag will give you help in facilitating this). And keep it watered - not soaked not bone dry. Then sit on the porch and enjoy your world!

    • Terri Lewis Lyons Terri Lewis Lyons on Mar 08, 2015
      @Kenneth Paul I will do a soil test and fertilize. Other people have them in this area so i don't think it is too cold here. Thank you for your suggestions.
  • Lynne Lynne on Jun 08, 2019

    They need dappled sun or the cover of larger trees that shade at times of direct sun

  • Julie Johnson Julie Johnson on Jun 10, 2019

    There are two kinds of dogwoods: Kousa and American. Kousa is sun tolerant, but American (or Florida as it is otherwise called) is an understory tree and prefers a little shade. The tree shouldn't be planted too deep. You should see the trunk flare at the base. Pull soil back until you can find the first root (it will be close to the diameter of your little finger). That first root should be at or just a little above soil level. If not, pull enough soil and mulch away to leave tree at proper depth. If that first root is several inches down, the tree will need to be replanted. For more information, go to and look for the tree owner's manual. It will tell you everything you need to know about trees from bringing it home from the nursery to watering and pruning after it is established.

  • Ellis Ellis on May 12, 2018

    You can prune them after they flower but before buds are developed for the next year. I would consult a pruning guide to make sure I didn't harm the tree. Also, make sure your pruning tools are "sterilized" so you don't introduce a disease to the tree.

  • Shoshana Shoshana on Mar 22, 2017

    Dogwood trees do well in soil with an acidity of 5.5-6.6. Any soil with a ph higher than 7 is no good. Organically rich, humusy soil offers acidity and excellent drainage, both important for good dogwood cultivation.

  • Sunny C Sunny C on Jun 24, 2017

    If your dogwood tree is not blooming, what I have found that works well is to scatter fertilizer about a foot from the base of the tree. I do this, when I know that it is going to rain and that way the tree gets a soaking, and fertilizer to boot!!

    I hope that this helps you!! Take Care!!

  • The best time to prune a dogwood tree is after it has finished blooming for the season, usually in late summer or early fall. Pruning a dogwood tree in spring or summer leaves it open to disease from insects and risks damage to the tree while it is actively growing.

  • Cindy Cindy on Dec 07, 2017

    If your dogwood tree isn't blooming, you could try making a solution of one tablespoon of Epson Salt and a gallon of water. Mix thoroughly. Sprinkle this solution on the soil at the base of the tree. Then water real good. The extra water will help the roots receive the Salt. This procedure will put enzymes back in to the soil. I use this method in the summer when weather is fair. I have never tried it in the winter.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on May 12, 2018

    Most dogwood trees take full sun or light shade. They are not recommended for planting near pavement. The soil needs to be moist, on the acid side and well drained (not clay). It is a shallow rooted tree and needs to be watered deeply during the summer. Mulch around the base of the tree to cool soil and conserve moisture, but keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk. I just planted two of them in my yard. they are so pretty. Mine will get light shade.

  • Shoshana Shoshana on Jun 18, 2018

    Even though Dogwood Trees often don't need to be pruned unless you would like to shape them, it's best to prune them in the fall about six weeks before they start dropping their leaves. That will give them plenty of time to heal before they enter dormancy.

  • Nonni Nonni on Mar 02, 2019

    Flowering trees need to be trimmed right after flowering. Do a search for how to trim a dogwood tree so you can see the cutting technique used and it will also tell you how much you can cut a year. I’ not sure of the amount. Normally you just cut dead branches and suckers. Then cut any branches that are rubbing against others. You don’t trim the outside to shape it like a bush.

  • Janice Janice on Feb 28, 2019

    It can take a dogwood tree five to seven years to start blooming. Once they do they will bloom for years to come if they are maintained well. They are so beautiful when they bloom! :)

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 28, 2019

    in spite of what is said "that they grow in shade", they need dappled sunlight to bloom and don't go into full bloom until 5-7yrs. of age Additional info. For several forms of Dogwoods any temperature fluctuations that have occurred right after bloom, we have found that night time cooling along with mid day bright sun has a dramatic impact on whether a Dogwood will set flower buds for next year or not. Many people tend to over fertilize Dogwoods but it is their timing of their

    application that messes up the plants biological system to set buds when the fertilizer is making the

    plant set out elongated shoots instead. If the shoots cannot stop growing in a critical one to two month

    span about six weeks after the plant has bloomed then the plant will not set buds. Dogwoods fail to set buds due to an imbalance of nutrients in the soil. Herein is why a bloom fertilizer becomes even more critical for Dogwoods as Dogwoods require available potassium and phosphorous to aid in their flower formation.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Mar 22, 2022

    Cover the area with a thick layer of natural tree leaf mulch to protect roots and "feed" the soil, and water deeply but not too often the first summer. Once established, dogwoods love a light feeding in the spring and a slow, deep soaking at least once a month during extremely dry summers.

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 20, 2022

    Most dogwoods require supplemental water during summer and fall, especially during hot, dry spells. For care of flowering dogwood trees, regular watering once a week to a depth of 6 inches (15 cm.) should suffice. However, adding a generous layer of mulch will help retain moisture, minimizing watering chores.

    Read more at Gardening Know How: Tips For Caring For Dogwood Trees

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 21, 2022

    Water, they don't like drying out!

  • Mogie Mogie on May 06, 2023

    How to plant and care for a dogwood tree

    Tips on having a dogwood tree in your yard

  • Prune!! We always pruned our trees in the fall, clearing away all the dead wood and we had tons of flowers in the spring!

  • Janice Janice on Aug 14, 2023

    Looks as though it needs a good pruning. Contact your County Extension Agent for instructions on trimming, watering, and other care.

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 22, 2023

    Flowering dogwood is a native forest understory tree. This species grows best in a partially shady location with moist, well-drained soil, and a soil pH range of 5.6-6.5. These trees are not tolerant of full sun, hot and dry conditions, air pollution, poorly drained sites, or over-saturated soil.

  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 11, 2023

    Hello Ajc: I have one and rely on this site for all of my questions:

    Hope it helps you :)

  • Helena Helena on Mar 17, 2024

    To care for a dogwood tree, plant it in well-drained soil with some shade. Water it regularly, especially during dry spells, and apply mulch to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Fertilize lightly in early spring, and prune any dead or broken branches. Monitor for pests and diseases.

  • DIM DIM on May 12, 2024

    Dogwood trees are delightful augmentations to any scene, known for their fragile blossoms in spring and bright foliage in the fall. Here are a few general ways to really focus on a dogwood tree:

    1. ** Planting:** Dogwood trees favor halfway shade and all around depleted, acidic soil. While planting, guarantee the root ball is level with the ground and water completely subsequent to planting.

    2. ** Watering:** Keep the dirt reliably sodden, particularly during the tree's foundation time frame. Dogwoods could do without to dry out totally, so standard watering, particularly during droughts, is significant.

    3. ** Mulching:** Apply a layer of mulch around the foundation of the tree, however be certain not to allow it to contact the storage compartment. Mulch holds dampness, manage soil temperature, and stifle weeds.

    4. ** Fertilizing:** Dogwoods by and large don't need a lot of treatment, however in the event that your dirt is poor, you can apply a decent, slow-discharge manure in late-winter.

    5. ** Pruning:** Prune your dogwood tree in pre-spring or late-winter while it's as yet torpid. Eliminate dead or harmed branches, as well as any intersection or scouring branches. Dogwoods have an effortless, regular shape, so try not to weighty prune that can twist their appearance.

    6. ** Bug and Sickness Control:** Look out for normal bugs like drills and scale bugs, as well as infections can imagine fine mold and anthracnose. Appropriate watering and great air course can assist with forestalling numerous illnesses. In the event that you notice any indications of irritations or illness, address them expeditiously with proper medicines.

    7. ** Insurance from Mechanical Damage:** Be aware of lawnmowers and clippers, as harm to the bark can make the tree more powerless to vermin and infections. Make a mulch ring around the tree to shield the root zone from harm.

    8. ** Winter Protection:** In colder environments, consider wrapping the storage compartment with burlap or utilizing tree watchmen to shield against ice breaks and harm from rodents.

    By giving appropriate consideration, your dogwood tree can flourish and give magnificence to your scene to years to come.