Dogwood deathtrap

I bought a new townhouse in May 2005. A freshly planted dogwood flowered and died that summer. The builder replaced it with a new dogwood tree the following late spring.
It died within 2 months.
Mid-November of 2006, they planted ANOTHER dogwood. As of this writing, it has not even begun to sprout leaves, much less flower buds. I scraped a tiny piece of branch, and it is moist and green, so I assume it is alive. I have no idea why it has yet to begin to do its stuff.
All of the other plants in the immediate area are doing just fine. Can anyone think of what the tree thinks it is still winter?
Thanks in advance,
-Mike
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

What zone are you in? What is around the Dogwood? How much are you watering it? Did it come in a ball or a pot?
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wrote:
Here are a few things that will increase the survival rate about 10 fold of any newly planted tree.
After digging the hole and properly planting the tree:
1) Remove all grass/vegetation within a 3-4 foot circle of the trunk. 2) Then put down about a 3-inch layer of mulch in the circle, but being sure to leave about 4" gap around the trunk to keep the trunk from rotting. 3) Buy/use a small soaker hose to supplement when there are shortages of rain.
Patrick

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I'm near Washington DC (not sure what zone that is) and I basically left the tree alone. The nursery said it should be getting plenty of water due to the rains we have been getting.
The thing is, all the other trees are starting to flower. Mine haven't even started to show leaves yet!
wrote:

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Since this is an ongoing occurrence with your dogwoods you could have a fungus in the soil. You may just have to find another tree not affected by this for that spot and plant your dogwood some place else. Your builder might be getting those trees from an infected source and has now brought this fungus into your garden, just a possibility. If a lot of older trees that harbored the fungus were cleared from the area where your townhouse was built the fungus could be anywhere in the soil and you could possibly not be able to grow any dogwood in your garden. Talk to a good nursery person, not a building contractor, about what you can and can't use to replace your tree.
Dogwoods are susceptible to several root and crown rot fungi. These fungi may be present in the soil and attack the roots when the vigor of the tree is reduced by unfavorable soil conditions. Often the first symptom observed is the drying of the leaf margins followed by death of the plant during the summer months. This is the final stage of a disease that began with an infection of one or more of the lateral roots. After infecting a part of the root system, the fungus spreads along the roots to the basal portion of the tree, which is often girdled. As the fungus progresses, the tree may show symptoms of decline, such as yellowing of the foliage, dying of the leaf margins, branch dieback, and a general unthriftiness. One of the most common root rots on dogwood is caused by Armillaria sp. This disease is characterized by a relatively thick, white, fan-shaped mass of fungal tissue (mycelium) beneath the bark at the base of the tree or on large roots, and by black, shoestring-like structures (rhizomorphs) that can be found on or under the bark and in the adjacent soil. Another root rot, caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi, usually affects the smaller roots and occurs most commonly in poorly drained soils. This disease can be diagnosed only by laboratory tests. To prevent root rot, plant only in well-drained soils where root rot has not been known to occur, preferably away from areas where large trees have been removed. Fertilize and water during dry periods and control foliage diseases to maintain the vigor of the tree. By the time a general decline of the tree is observed, it is too late to save it. Remove the tree and all roots possible from the soil, since the fungi can persist in dead roots and infect nearby shrubs or other plants set in the same site.
Val

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In case you hadn't noticed the average builder plops a dogwood tree smack in the middle of a lawn in full sun, it doesn't die until the check clears , but it is an understory tree not suited for full sun.
After red mulch volcanoes making every lawn look like a wal-mart parking lot, it is my pet peeve.
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Dogwoods like shade and
--
Many tree problems are associated with the following:

Troubles in the Rhizosphere
  Click to see the full signature.
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