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?
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.
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
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.
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