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When to prune a dogwood tree?

Posted by Liz321 6 - Detroit Metro (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 10:48

My sister has a 12-13 ft dogwood in her yard. It was planted 5 years ago. The winter was incredibly harsh in Michigan this year and it did not bloom as prolifically, probably due to the long cold winter.

The tree has suddenly having a growth spurt and the lower limbs are growing out of control. Is this unusual for this time of year and when should it be trimmed?

The lower portion of the tree has started sprouting all over the place as well. Suckers, I assume that need to come off, but when can it be done safely? Thanks for any hints. I will end up doing the work, so I need the answers..lol


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RE: When to prune a dogwood tree?

Dogwood trees do not respond to pruning very well, so I'd keep any "trimming" to a minimum. You can of course remove any dead wood but random shortening of branches is discouraged - the tree responds by producing multiple new growth shoots at every pruning cut, resulting in a "medusa" effect. If you need to, you should take complete branches back to their point of origin. This should be done while the tree is dormant, in late winter. Sprouts from the trunk should be rubbed off while still small but can be removed any time. A lot of sprouting from the base or lower on the trunk might indicate a tree that is under stress.

Depending on type of dogwood, some grow quite bit wider than tall. Do you know what kind of dogwood tree she has? And is the tree in the middle of a lawn that gets fertilized? That can account for erratic growth.


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