Dogwood

I have been having trouble for the first time with my pink Dogwood tree. I've always had no problem with planting in front of my homes, in fairly all day sun, during the summer, in well drained soil. They've always come out great.
Now, I've moved to Kansas lately and am having some problems, well one, only planted one tree, so far, as many ppl here say so many contradictory things about where to plant. Most have them growing in shadier areas. So I planted mine, right outside our back window, in full view of office window, to be able to look at all day while working. J
It did great for about four months, then suddenly started to lose it's leaves and is now just about dead; still green in some stalks. I've got it where it gets full afternoon sun, from about noon to 5-6, then shade. I'm going to move it, before I lose it completely, but thought I'd ask here for any good info.
Should I place it in more full sun? I did have the area tilled and had a small amt of sand added, as it's very thick clay here in my area. There are no other plants nearby, aside from my gorgeous lawn. J At the time it started to die out we had buckets of rain. I'm thinking it's a drainage problem. More sand needed? Or just closer to other trees, which is what ppl here keep saying. But I think they do so well there because of all the roots from the bigger trees, which will cause better draining soil. We'll be trimming a lot of trees in the fall/spring, so I don't want to plant too close to any of them, until we know what we're going to do.
That's one of the things I love about the area we get lots of rain usually during the night, with the thunder and lightening, (I love this!), then sunny hot and usually humid days.
So, is there anything I can do with the soil, (am planning today to take some to the extension office and have it checked, also the areas for Azaleas, and other parts.) Should I move it to an area that gets more sun, which is what I did before and they did wonderful, in NJ. Is it the clay soil? Should I add more sand to the mix, if I move it around to a different spot?
(To all who are bugged with all the questions, I have a full huge library of gardening books in the storage locker, but they just happen to be way at the back and under plenty of other things, like my new lawn mower, seeder, Weber, you know all the great *summer* stuff? (Gotta get someone to help rearrange, hub's in a wheelchair and I have really bad bone disease, especially in knees. So, I'm going to use ya'll for a bit, if that's not a huge problem. Of course ya'll don't have to help. <g>)
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. J
Thanks again,
MaryBeth,
Southeastern Kansas
On border of Oklahoma
Zone 7/8
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Dogwoods are an understory tree.
Mary Beth wrote:

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That pretty much says it all. I'm in upstate NY, and where I see it growing in the wild, it's at its best in the same places as rhododendrons that are the size of my garage. Dappled sunlight under bigger trees, with deep, fluffy leaf mulch. I think it'll take more sunlight in home plantings, but I've read in many sources that it will NOT tolerate "warm feet". This can result from something as simple as being planted too close to driveways & sidewalks.
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Clay + sand = cement. Try incorporating organic matter into your soil.
Midwest summers would necessitate some shade for your dogwood.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis
If the tree is established digging in the upper four inches (mixing in organic material) can greatly negatively affect the non-woody absorbing roots and the mycorrhizae. Placing composted wood chips and leaves on top (PROPERLY) can help improve soil health. I suggest that people take a look at what I mean by proper mulching here: http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html
It is also worth mentioning the long list of problems associated with improper pruning of trees. A great place to start for home owners and gardeners are the following two books. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/MARBOR.html for all around care.
And http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/TPRUNING.html for pruning. Both books are by Dr Alex L. Shigo and should or shall be available through your library. If you library needs to order them, they have a site: http://www.shigoandtrees.com /
Additional articles (some advanced MODERN ARBORICULTURE) can be found here free of charge (but they do not replace the books mentioned in the latter). http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/index.html
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr. Beware of so-called TREE EXPERTS who do not understand TREE BIOLOGY! www.treedictionary.com
http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman / Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss. Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that will give them understanding.

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tree is established digging in the upper four inches (mixing in

Thanks John! As I said in NJ, my dogwoods, (that I was told needed other tree shade), never grew there, but in full sun. Probably had more to do with the crawling juniper around the bottom, kept the water in along with draining too much out. Dunno, but when they were in the juniper they did great, in full sun, no other large trees around. Ppl around here all say under trees, but my Dad can't get his to grow that way, ere either. Will check out the links, thanks for takig the time :)
Don't care for the juniper but just might use it if I can't get the Dogwood to grow without it. :) I believe it was more the good drainage, as the roots of the juniper were all over that ground.
MaryBeth
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Mary
Cornus like the understory. They love shade. Most people make the mistake of placing them in full sun. This sets a predisposition (I believe) for anthracnose. For more on predisposition see: 10. Armillaria Root Rots, Predisposition and Poor Sorauer. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/index.html
Also proper planting is important. See information on planting here: http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman/sub1.html
As far as you question with the soil: See Proper mulching http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html
The problem with many extension services is that the recommendations for fertilizer are that for corn? No one really has optimum fertility levels for trees. Trees are not corn! I would start with proper mulching as stated above.
You could have the worlds largest library and not have some key books to help you understand, treatments of trees and their associates. I would suggest you contact your local library and request these two books for starters on trees!!!!!!!!!!! http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/MARBOR.html
and http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/TPRUNING.html
These are both books written by Alex L. Shigo, BTW he is one of the foremost authorities on trees and their associates world wide. Most normal thinking people who read his literature agree.
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr. Beware of so-called TREE EXPERTS who do not understand TREE BIOLOGY! www.treedictionary.com
http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman / Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss. Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that will give them understanding.

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Oh yes, BTW
Dr Shigo's Literature can be found here: http://www.shigoandtrees.com /
Samples of his writings are here: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/index.html
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr. Beware of so-called TREE EXPERTS who do not understand TREE BIOLOGY! www.treedictionary.com
http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman / Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss. Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that will give them understanding.

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Thanks John for taking the time to root out all that info. It is very much appreciated!
MaryBeth <off to the library>
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