I see on Google that Dogwoods are free-bleeders. OK.
I made several pruning cuts on a dogwood yesterday. I went by it this
morning and it is dripping from all of them. Most of all from the end of a
pruned branch less than 1" diameter.
The dogwood leaves have already turned red -- the temp is still running
lower 50s to lower 70s (zone 7a).
Should I wait until winter is here to continue pruning the dogwood or just
ignore the bleeding?
Wait until the tree is fully dormant - after complete leafdrop and couple of
hard frosts. FWIW, I'd avoid ANY excess pruning on a dogwood - they do not
appreciate it and generally respond with unattractive medusa-like growths of
multiple shoots at most pruning cuts. Limit pruning to removal of dead or
diseased wood or conflicting branches. And if the tree is infected with
anthracnose to any degree, pruning tends to exacerbate the development of
pam - gardengal
I did not plant the tree at it's present position 10 feet from the corner of
the house but it is in the yard of a house I have had 8 years and was
planted by the previous owner.
I have seen the medusa-like growths at the end of pruned dogwood branches.
Not aesthetically pleasing to be sure. :-)
However, since the tree has outgrown it's location, I am looking at removing
it entirely or bringing it into conformity with the yard-size. As an
experiment, i choose the latter.
Another dogwood in the neighborhood has been done the same way. I noticed
the other day that the leaves are growing directly off of the main branches.
I took note of your comments on the possibility of disease attacking it
after pruned. Literally most dogwoods in this area succumbed to a blight
some 18 or so years ago, so most are younger than that. This one is not near
other dogwoods and the closest possible infectee is a bradford pear some 25
feet away -- another that I gave $2 for before K-Mart threw it in the
dumpster. I know of the brittleness of that tree, besides it's
susceptibility to Southern Fire Blight, so i am not worried about it.
(I lost another Bradford pear ($40!) in another yard to Southern Fire Blight
as diagnosed by the now-effectively-defunct county extension service.)
My experiment with the dogwood (and others mentioned previously), like all
experiments, comes down to a binary situation -- it either works or it
doesn't. Besides, if it does not survive it will be much easier to take
Since it is too tall for it's position, I will be making a crown cut, what
shape should that be? Or should I cover the wound?
Thanks for your input, it is appreciated,
FACE <stubborn old git that I am....but loveable>
If you must prune it, shape to form a gently rounded or domed canopy. No
sealers - allow the tree to heal the wounds on its own. Make clean sharp
cuts at growth nodes or where smaller branches emerge from larger ones.
Don't leave stubs.
And just because there is no evidence of dogwood anthracnose in the
immediate vicinity does not mean your tree will not contract it. They are
not sure exactly what vectors the fungus but its presence is very
widespread. Stressed trees will be highly susceptible and yours will
certainly fit into that category if you embark on a major pruning project.
pam - gardengal
Has anyone heard the old advice that when pruning a tree or shrub, rub the
wound with your thumb and fingers; supposedly the natural oils from the hands
help the tree seal its wounds and discourage entry from predators or disease.
A dogwood has a pretty bad case of anthracnose starting at about 4 ft
up the trunk. I cut it down at ground level. New shoots sprout from
what's left of the stump. What's the chances the shoots will develop
into a healthy tree??
Not sure what you're going to get, as I have never seen this tried - cutting
back to a stump and allowing it to regrow from basal shoots. For one,
probably not a very attractive tree - shoot growths from stumps will not
grow into a true "tree form" - there is no single leader or primary growth
point. You will most likely get a more shrubby looking form. Anthracnose is
a foliar disease so while the new growth could appear clean for a period of
time, there is no guarantee it will remain so, specially if other dogwoods
in the area are infected.
Is there a reason you don't remove it entirely and replace with a more
disease resistant species or hybrid?
pam - gardengal
I hadn't realized dogwoods grow back from stumps or rootcrowns in any
permanent way, but if like suckering trees they do so, then my guess, akin
to yours, would be they'd behave much as broken-off maples which can grow
back as large upright bushes that after a couple decades still look like
bushes. This could be very attractive for a dogwood, though no longer
looking like a tree. It would obviously be just as susceptible to the
murderous ugly affects of anthracnose though. Also named cultivars are
nearly all grafted, & for those, what grows back from the root-crown might
not be the same species or flower color.
Our native western dogwood was always one of my sentimental favorites
because one of the very first trees I learned to recognize as a toddler
(that & monkey-puzzles which were seemingly designed by god to attract the
eyes of wee children). The only reason I don't have a western dogwood or
two is I won't plant anything so certain to get a disease. And what a
tragic disease. The newly developed eastern dogwoods that fight it off
with complete success won't benifit the western species, though there have
been some indications among British Columbia wild populations that the
western dogwood may also make a comeback someday.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
Do you mean Cornus nuttallii for the western dogwood? I bought one
from a UK nursery about 7 years ago and planted it in my Scottish
garden (as a nostalgic remembrance of time spent as a UK citizen
living for a while in the US). Every year it gets some brown areas on
the leaves soon after they emerge, and some leaves dry out and get
shed, but newer leaves emerge during the summer that survive until
normal leaf drop in the autumn (fall). The tree has put on sturdy
growth each year (now at about 7 ft high) and has produced a vey
small number of white bracts in the last couple of years, so I am
still wondering if it is healthy, or is dealing in its own way with a
possible anthracnose infection from its source supplier. I also have a
much smaller Cornus florida (about 4 ft high) that was bought more
recently (about 4 years ago) that shows somewhat similar behaviour,
although no bracts yet, but even so there is no sign of impending doom
at the moment. This was the colourful tree (white or pink bracts) in
spring that was prevalent in Knoxville, TN where I lived for a while
in the 70s. I am curious to know if the anthracnose infection is
likely to be prevalent in trees sold in the UK. I must admit that I
have not seen much evidence of these species being sold in nurseries
here in more recent years, after the time when I got my trees, but
mine are not showing signs of serious distress at the present time.
Geoff (Dundee, Scotland)
The house where I grew up (in Gainesville, FL) had two circles of
dogwoods just past the carport. It was obvious that they had been two
trees, cut, resprouted. I don't know whether the trees were cut when my
parents built the house or before or after. I was only 7 at the time,
and the lot was uninhabited prior to their acquisition of it. But my
earliest memories of those dogwoods are of their being large enough for
me to climb in, which makes it sound like the trees were cut earlier.
Or perhaps they died or were broken by wind and yet still managed to
sprout from the stump.
Now, from the above you get my drift: these did develop into full sized
dogwood trees. In fact, they have been, oh, I'd guess about 30' tall
for as long as I can remember. The house is now 48 years old. The
dogwoods are clearly senescent and have lost a few of the trunks, but
they keep on going. Just a month ago they escaped damage when a large
hickory, 2' diameter, fell on my mom's carport, destroying the carport
but damaging neither the two cars underneath nor the dogwoods.
So yes, they can sprout from the stump and grow into full sized trees,
even several on one stump. Whether this is typical, I can't say. Have
you seen second-growth redwoods that sprouted from the stumps of
first-growth cuts? It's similar on a much smaller and less vigorous
I had earlier mentioned that i had a vitex (chaste tree) to prune, I have
that particular tree/woody bush because of the reason you cite. The local
nursery (not K-Mart) said that it was resistant to most local diseases and
the vitex replaced the blighted bradford.
I have dozens more(all wild). This one just happened to be in a nice
location near the house. I was wondering if anthracnose would enter
via the cut stump, thus affecting new growth. If so, I'll just mow the
BTW, many warnings exist about transplanting wild dogwood from rural
to urban areas because of anthracnose. Ignoring the warning, I moved
one several years ago and so far it's healthy and thriving. Went from
3' to 15' in just a few years. But I'm sure this the exception rather
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