Trimming a Mature Dogwood...

Howdy all. I have an old mature flowering Dogwood tree that could use a trimming. There are many long branches that have grown out from the center seeking light. A couple branches that rub each other. Also, many that are crowding each other.
My question: how much can I trim without harming the tree. It is an older tree and I'm afraid removing too much may deplete it's energy as it heals itself.
Also, is there any way to like rejuvenate a dogwood tree? Silly question, but figured I'd ask anyway. Anything I can do to perk this beauty up in her "golden" years or should I think about eventually retiring her with a chainsaw?
Thanks, Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In my area, aged dogwoods can slowly decline owing to anthracnose or other opportunistic diseases. I would prune only a bare minimum of branches (dead, crossing) from an older dogwood, in late winter/early spring.
These are trees that appreciate moist, acidic well-drained soil (MAWD!). A healthy sprinkling of compost under the dripline would be all that's needed without clear signs of nutritional deficiences in the leaves. Don't heap mulch thickly around the root zone, and never plant beneath them-- their roots are in the first few inches of soil.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'll second Dave's opinion to keep pruning to a minimum. IME, dogwoods do not take well to hard pruning - if anthracnose is a problem, pruning seems to aggravate the condition and even very health dogwoods will respond to pruning with many small suckering growths from the pruning cut. The results are not attractive.
pam - gardengal

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Dogwood trees are sensitive to pruning and prone to boring insects if wounded. Best to leave it be, but removal of dead branches is okay. Dogwoods heal very slowly. A compost mulch applied to the drip line is very beneficial, but keep it from touching the trunk. This is one of my favorite trees, and I have both wild dogwood trees and hybrids. There are hundreds of varieties.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.