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Dogwoods are native to many areas of America and come in more than one variety. These trees can be seen along Pacific routes and eastern Texas.
They grow in California, the Sierra Nevada, and can still be seen in small areas of Canada. The dogwood is known as the Missouri state tree and adds beauty to the surrounding hillsides there.
Dogwoods aren’t completely unique to North America though, and they are prevalent throughout parts of China and Japan also.
However, the dogwood tree seems to have found high popularity in the states. And many property owners enjoy the flowering dogwood in particular on their grounds.
Can you Prune Your Own Dogwood Tree?
Owning a tree means more than just sitting back and enjoying its beauty and the shade it provides. Although that is a big part of it, some work needs to be done to care for the tree also.
Pruning a tree takes some care, and with tall trees, a professional should be called in. Many experts will say that any tree that requires climbing should only be trimmed by a professional. However, if you have a small dogwood, and you feel comfortable, then you can prune it yourself.
When Should You Prune a Dogwood Tree?
According to the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK, dogwoods do not need regular pruning.
No doubt, you will want to work to enhance their shape and appeal when spring comes. And, you surely want to keep them healthy.
Therefore, trim away dead and decaying branches during fall or winter. There are good reasons for choosing this time of year, as you will read below.
If you are looking to promote flowering and regrowth, and you surely are, then prune old buds around late May to June. Don’t leave it until any further into the summer or you may not see your tree bloom next season.
While regular pruning is not necessary as the tree mostly holds its shape, judicious pruning can help with improved regrowth and flowering.
What are the Dangers When Trimming a Dogwood?
You may understand everything you need to know about tree trimming but do you know about dogwoods?
While decaying or diseased branches should be removed quickly, the tree should not be pruned until it is at least 1 year old. Some people will wait until two years before pruning a dogwood.
If you prune the dogwood later than winter or early spring you may open up the limbs to insect damage. If you are in an area that has issues with boring insects then do your pruning before spring.
Keeping pruning to late fall and winter will also prevent the mess from tree sap as dogwoods produce a lot when they are growing. Dormant trees are easier to prune in this instance.
How do You Prune a Dogwood?
There are some points to consider when pruning a dogwood.
Planting trees is of great importance and brings many benefits but there are many terms to learn. You have perhaps heard of tree suckers before, or maybe not.
This can occur when a tree is under stress or is trying to produce new branches. Tree suckers are small branches that grow at the base of the tree.
Prevention of these is the best option, and this can be done by careful pruning. Over pruning, a dogwood can produce suckers, and these should always be removed.
These need to be removed quickly. Where the branch meets the trunk, you will see a swollen area. This is known as the collar, and this is where you should remove the branch.
Damaged and decaying branches can quickly become infested with insects and will not only be unsightly but harm your tree’s health.
Remove Crossed Branches
When two branches become intertwined or crossed, they will rub together. Much like a damaged branch, they will expose the tree to insects and disease. Choose which branch to save, and remove the other.
Low Hanging Branches
Many dogwood owners like to keep a clear trunk to accentuate the shape of their tree. There are some practical reasons as well as aesthetic ones for removing the lower limbs.
Remember to remove these branches at the point they meet the trunk; the collar, just as you would with decaying limbs.
The flowering dogwood or Cornus florida is a beautiful example of one of America’s native trees. Missouri and its inhabitants are rightly proud of their emblem, and it can be seen all over the state.
One of the beauties of dogwoods is that they are fairly low maintenance. They need to be established and planted in the right area, and they like some sunlight. They also like to be well-watered.
But they only need a small amount of pruning to promote growth and those wonderful white flowers. Don’t over-prune your dogwood, and choose the right months to trim them, and you will enjoy a fruitful summer.