Proper pruing of red twig dogwoods

cdt203March 30, 2011

I moved into a house with a landscaped front yard which includes 5 large variegated red twig dogwood shrubs. They are about 8 feet tall. I'd like to know how much I can prune them back-I've heard everything from pruning them back to the ground to promote new growth to pruning them down to 2/3rds of their present height. I'd like to keep the shape, just shorten them a few feet! I've already pruned the dead/some older brances to the ground. Any suggestions would be great!!

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Typically, these are left unpruned unless you want to encourage newer, more intensely colored stem growth. This can be achieved by a couple of methods: stooling or cutting back the entire plant to a predetermined - usually low to the ground - height. The second method involves removing the oldest stems each season to encourage new, replacement growth from the base. Obviously, the second method leaves most of the plant intact.

You can reduce overall size by performing a modified version of the first method - cutting back the entire plant to a predetermined height of your choice. Follow proper pruning techniques (i.e., no stubs). Regrowth is fairly rapid so if you want to keep the shrubs at less than the 8-10' they typically want to grow to, you will have to repeat this process each season.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 11:39AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

check out the link

a shrub is a shrub .... and part of the definition.. IN MY WORLD ... is that they are all pruned thru renovation pruning ... sooo .. as such it is not important to find an article specifically addressing RTD ....

as gal noted.. hack it to the ground if its bugging you ..

if you want to maintain some shape.. remove 1/3 for 3 years down at the ground ...

NEVER.. top it at height.. or in a few years.. you will HAVE TO cut it all to the ground ... imagine your same plant .. 6 feet taller at the height you cut it back to ... that sounds more like a recommendation of some guy who wants to come back in few years for his boat payment ...

whatever you decide to do.. i doubt you will harm it.. you can barely kill them if you want.. so just go for it ...

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 12:23PM
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