Pruning a Pitiful Dogwood

Jessica BrighamMay 13, 2014

Hey green thumbers !!

With the great help of Name That Plant forum peeps, I have confirmed what I have on our property is a Dogwood with lots of potential!

What I thought was the sprouting of some new tree, turned out to have these gorgeous 2.5 inch wide flowers. WOW!!! I was surprised considering this (somewhat unattractive) tree almost got chopped down.

Patience, grasshopper.

This tree is very twiggy and begging for a makeover. Does anyone have recommendations on how to bring this beautiful dogwood back to her rightful state?

Thanks for your help!!


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Jessica Brigham

Close-up of the pretty flowers!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me, it looks like a healthy young dogwood and should probably be left alone to grow and fill out on its own. Young specimens often look lopsided or lanky, and dogwoods appear to resent pruning. If you can live with it, try to limit your pruning to only the 3-D method (dead, damaged or diseased wood).

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:58PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I agree - give it a few years and it'll look just fine, IMHO.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:41PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

This tree is very twiggy and begging for a makeover.

==>>> what is the latin name ...

you might be confusing a native dogwood... with its cousins ... the more foo ones.. pruned to within an inch of their lives by some wholesale grower ...

i agree it appears to be doing just fine the way it is ... i dont know why you would spend a lifetime of forcing it into a form that s not natural to it ...

though hard to tell on these pix.. i might lift the canopy from the ground... depending whether you need the space under .. though it appears you have plenty of room ... and wont be needing to mow under it.. or garden under it.. and if so.. why even bother doing that???

more thoughts on your goals.. other than your need to prune ... once you can state your goals... then how to do it.. becomes rather easy ...


    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:59AM
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Jessica Brigham

All great info! Thanks so much everyone!

Ken �"àmy best guess is the tree is a native Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). Initially I inquired to another forum about the variety before I made any choices on pruning. I didn't realize this is what a young, healthy dogwood looked like, so I'm going to let nature run its course and see what comes of her! I was mainly curious to know if I pruned her any particular way, if it would encourage more growth, etc. Thanks for your detailed reply!


This post was edited by mrsbrigham on Wed, May 14, 14 at 7:46

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:37AM
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