Health of Dogwood

I noticed that the Dogwood has several areas that are about six or seven inches long where the bark of the tree is missing, lengthwise along the vertical limbs.
I confess that I have not given this tree any attention; no fertilizer/food over the years. It does not bloom flowers for a very long time in springtime.
Is this a good time of year to put in fertilizer/food stakes around the base of the Dogwood? If not, when is best time to give it a feeding ?
Thanks.
Vince On Long Island, NY
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wrote:

Fertilize early spring when the tree starts to bud. Doing it now will force growth that the harsh winter will kill.
Thunder
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Please describe where your dogwood is planted, relative to things like sidewalks, blacktop driveway, and buildings. It's sometimes relevant to what's happening to the tree.
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The Dogwood is now about 31 years old; a house gift.
It is located in front yard, which measures approximately 30 feet from house to blacktop street pavement. Located about 12 feet from the house and about 15 feet from the street. No sidewalks/driveway nearby. Two small Azalia shrubs located about 8 feet to South side of property.
However, there is a septic system overflow pit very close to the tree. I recently had the overflow pit located, and know that it is approximately 5.5 feet below grade level. Some of the larger tree branches overhang the overflow pit by about 1 foot. No chemicals were put into this overflow pit, for fear of killing the tree.
I noticed that the (two) missing bark seems to be on the North face of the tree vertical trunk.
On Sat, 28 Oct 2006 13:44:11 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

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