I had a very nice dogwood tree planted last fall. With the harsh winter here
in the NE it had a hard time doing anything this spring. Most of the branches
are obviously dead. Only few show tiny tiny leaves and the 8 ft high tree has
a hand full of blossoms. The whole tree looks rather pathetic compared to all
the powerful growth going on around it. My Landscaper does not want to
replace it as it just 'leafed'. Whatever that means. Will this tree make it
or is it actually dead and only shows a bit of a stress growth.
Any suggestions highly appreciated!
The non green thumbed garden owner
The same thing happed to me. I had a Cornus florida "Cherokee Princess"
planted several years ago by a landscaping firm. Most of the tree was dead
the next spring. They replace it. The replacement tree was fine for about
a year or two and then started a noticeable decline. I ended up cutting
off the dead branches, leaving little more than a stump and a few branches.
The tree has recovered and looked particularly good this fall. Had I known
that this tree was a very poor choice due to anthracnose, I wouldn't have
allowed them to place it initially or to replace it with exactly the same
plant. I have a sycamore that also suffers from anthracnose, but it only
causes minor cosmetic damage to the tree. In much of the NE, cornus florida
has a serious problem with anthracnose. I would discuss this possibility
with the landscaper and suggest that if this is the tree you have, that you
insist that he/she replace it with an alternative selection. Cornus kousa
is relatively resistant to anthracnose.
It is damaged but alive. Be careful not to let it go thirsty during
dry periods this summer -- young dogwoods are susceptible to drought.
Also, young-uns have many fewer flowers per branch(?) than mature
ones, so sparce flowering isn't a sign of damage. Hang in there.
Currrently everyting is rather exploding in the yard as it is warm, sunny and
rain every day because of thunderstorms. The dogwood also looks better every
Thanks for your advice. I'll have a close eye on the condition of the soil.
Congratulations. Dogwood is my absolutely favorite tree. The spring
tree with 'flowers' is beautiful; it provides cool (as cool as it can
get here) shade in summer. Fall is best, when the seed 'berries' turn
red while the leaves are still green. Then a flock of black birds
(blackbirds?) swoops through and takes every single seed in 10
minutes, so the leaves can turn red before falling. Even in winter,
the bare tree has a pleasing form, particularly with a dusting of
snow. A rare ice storm turns it into a sparkling sculpture (and makes
the camera with all the good pictures die with film stuck inside).
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