Snipping off old buds on the dogwood tree to promote new growth and flowering should take place during the summer, preferably in June. To prune dead limbs or make cuts to the dogwood tree, you will need a good pair of pruners, these tools will cut through the deadwood as well as make cuts in the piece that needs rejuvenating. Furthermore, remember to prune trunk sprouts as well during the fall season. There are 2 main reasons to only prune during the dormant period. However, to allow the maximum time to enjoy colourful stems, shrubby Cornus and willows are now typically pruned from late March to mid-April, just as the new growth is developing. Defining the right time to prune your dogwood will depend on factors such as pruning type and variety. … When to Prune a Dogwood Tree. They seldom need pruning, but when the need does arise, correct dogwood tree pruning is important. Before planting the tree, remove any damaged or dead branches, any branches whose angle with the trunk is less than 45º, and any crossed branches. Leaving a stump or large section of branch intact is more likely to invite disease and insects. Join the RHS today and support our charitable work, Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully, For the latest on RHS Shows in 2020 and 2021, read more, RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens, Free entry to RHS members at selected times », Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops, General enquiries Join If you are specifically looking to prune your dogwood tree to encourage colourful stems, you’ll need to wait until it’s at least a year, if not two years, old. Oftentimes, anvil pruners are big enough for the job. You should make this cut about one foot away from the trunk of the tree, and the cut should go about halfway through. Doing this will decrease the number of insects that can invade the tree if it were pruned in this manner during the spring and summer months. You do not need to cut flush with the trunk. In addition, a limb that has been severed incorrectly at the collar can cause disease and pests to invade and damage the tree permanently. Once the dead limb is off, you can then cut the stub off at the collar. Avoid cutting the leader, or the vertical stem at the very top of the trunk, on a young tree. Prune the Cornus down to - or near ground level. Click through to watch this video on gardenersworld.com. However, when it comes to dogwood trees—as with many flowering trees—the best time to prune them is during the late fall or the winter. Lower branches need to be pruned to raise the tree and to keep the tree from encroaching on the sidewalk. Last Updated on December 19, 2020 by Grow with Bovees. Is it too late to prune a dogwood tree? Shrubby Cornus alba , C. sericea and C. sanguinea are grown for their vivid winter stem colour, while shrubby C.mas (the cornelian cherry) is grown for its winter flowers and summer fruits. The wounds created by pruning cuts provide an entry point for these devastating insects. Making cuts will help the branch weaken before it is removed from the tree. To prune dead limbs or make cuts to the dogwood tree, you will need a good pair of pruners, these tools will cut through the deadwood as well as make cuts in the piece that needs rejuvenating. However, it is not uncommon for a dogwood tree to need a little TLC to grow bigger and fuller than before. First, you will take your pruning tool and make a cut on the underside of the branch you want to help regrow. You will likely get tired quickly when trying to make several cuts on many large branches of your specimen, causing you to rush the job or finish the job too quickly. To develop this post more clearly, we have divided it into two parts. Their tiny, star-shaped blossoms come later than other dogwoods. As we mentioned in our introduction, pruning a dogwood tree often includes making cuts to the branches as opposed to cutting them off completely, depending on the type of pruning you need to do. When trimming the dogwood tree to remove dead or diseased parts, you will want to prune in late fall or winter. These stems are using energy from the tree to produce lackluster flowers when the energy could be going to other parts of the tree. It is also the best time to prune a dogwood tree when disease or insect infestation is apparent. This varied group of plants give great garden value. Prune one of the heavier canes of the shrub down to ground level. Think of the kousa dogwood in thirds. 020 3176 5800 Use pruners or a hand saw that has been sharpened. The attractive C. kousa is native to Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan.. It is sometimes referred to as the Chinese dogwood. This will promote new growth and direct the energy of the dogwood to make fuller and brighter blooms. Dogwood trees typically stay small, only growing between 15 and 40 total feet, with small branches and a small trunk. If so how does one prune so as not to have a flat open cut? For example, remove all but one stem from a young tree to give it a single-trunk shape, pruning away any new, low side branches until the main trunk is a few feet tall. Asked April 21, 2016, 10:59 AM EDT . The first reason is probably the most important one. As you can imagine there are big differences between pruning if it is a tree or a hedge, in addition, pruning is a key point in the latter. You can keep the tree a bit shorter by heading upright branches back by one-third each year, but this may produce a tree that … Tearing the stub at the branch collar will cause the branch to compartmentalize the wound and likely not mesh with the remainder of the tree, which is the opposite effect you want your pruning to have. Do not prune when the tree is flowering in the spring, or you will make it vulnerable to dogwood borers, one of the very few pests that seriously affect it. Last, you will need to look at the dogwood tree and find swelled areas on the branches you plan to cut. Dogwood; American smoke tree; Hawthorn; Japanese tree lilac; Tree Pruning Methods. All branch pruning should cut back to the branch collar, or the base of the branch nearest the tree trunk. Removing a flower bud will redirect energy that would otherwise be going to the bud. Dogwood suckers can be pruned off any time after flowering. Clean cuts made by sharp pruners or a saw will help you safely remove the large and sometimes heavy branches from the dogwood without causing damage by tearing. Dogwood shrubs do not require yearly pruning, but occasional trimming should take place. Step 1. You should also look for limbs that are rubbing together. This hard pruning of the Dogwood removes all of the stems that were the attraction through the previous winter, but do not worry, for where you have carried out the pruning, many more stems will grow from the stumps left behind. Trimming Dogwood Trees: Tips On How To Prune A Flowering Dogwood Tree Since they grow only 15 to 30 feet tall, there is room for a dogwood tree in almost any landscape. Do not cut through the collar. Prune when the kousa dogwood is dormant, in late fall or early winter. Insects and oozing sap. Cutting through the collar will cause the dogwood to become infected and can permanently damage the tree. Like many flowering trees and shrubs, the best time to prune a dogwood tree is when the tree is dormant. This causes the energy to go into other surrounding buds to create fuller and more colorful flowers. Pruning a willow can produce vibrant stems that look good in winter. How to prune for colourful stems or large foliage. It is important to prune in the dormant season as the plant resources are largely in the roots and can be used for the required vigorous regrowth. When routinely pruning dogwood branches, you should choose the branches that have pale and discolored stems. Next, you will switch to the top side of the branch and make another cut about 3 to 5 inches out from the cut you made on the bottom side. You can follow the same cutting method if you feel like the limb may still be alive. The four most popular tree pruning methods for general pruning are crown thinning, crown raising, crown reduction and crown … Dogwoods should be pruned from late fall until late winter. However, dogwoods are an adaptable plant and can still grow well in full, direct sunlight. Prune them off where they attach to the base of the trunk with caution. This page may contain affiliate links. Be careful not to damage the bark while you are pruning or doing lawn maintenance. You can count on them to bloom every year with several hundred flowers. The goal of each is to create a tree with good light and air circulation, attractive qualities and strength. While both shrubs and the trees belong to the same genus: Cornus, the shrubs will never become trees.There are two species of dogwood shrubs: Cornus alba, which is the Tatarian dogwood, and Cornus sericea, which is the Redosier dogwood.Both species are much alike in their cultural needs. If pruned in summer, plant resources - which, by this time, are predominantly found in the leaves - will be removed, and regrowth will be less strong. times, How to prune for colourful stems or large foliage, RHS Registered Charity no. Dogwood trees are a flowering tree that blooms in springtime, often coinciding with Easter. The C. kousa is grown for its flowers in addition to its hardy, dependable nature. Plant roots and shoots are in balance and, after hard pruning, plants will regrow to re-establish this balance. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. 3.1 How to prune Dogwood shrubs, such as red twig dogwoods, are not to be confused with dogwood trees. Pruning dogwood trees will produce more flowering blooms in the following year, giving you a fuller and healthier tree in good shape. However, as we mentioned, there are two types of pruning: completely removing dead or diseased limbs to keep the tree healthy or trimming old blooms to promote new growth and flowering. Dull pruners or saws can create tears in the branches even as you follow each step of the pruning method. Pruning them about six weeks before the leaves drop from the tree also tends to be best practice. This is when the dogwood is completely dormant. Because the tree is entering dormancy at this time. Shrubby dogwoods grow quickly and easily with little guidance. Trimming back the branches of diseased or infested sections of the dogwood tree will help get rid of the limbs that have become sick or infested with insects. Thanks! The first occasion for pruning is when you plant the tree, and you will usually do this in spring in most regions. For the dogwood tree, this is in the late fall and winter. Branch collars are located at the joint between the primary branch you are cutting and the trunk of the dogwood. These swelled areas are known as the branch collars. Cut through so that you have made a complete and clean cut to remove the stub. How to Prune Kousa Dogwood Trees. Part of proper dogwood pruning involves knowing when to trim a dogwood tree. One for trees and one for hedges. To do this, you will need to locate these dead branches and remove them completely from the tree. If you don’t have a pair of pruning shears or the tools you do have are not big enough to work their way through bigger limbs, you can use a hand saw to carry out the cutting. Prune back any crossing branches or branches that grow in toward the middle of a young tree, and cut off lower branches on the trunk as the tree grows to raise the crown. Once you reach the second or third spring, you can cut back to 60-90cm from the ground if you are pollarding. Essentially, you could be doing everything right and still end up with tears simply because the pruners or hand saw you used was too dull for the job. While a flowering dogwood tree is reliable in producing blooms each year, it should still be pruned. 2. You should also remove any low-lying limbs that make it difficult to walk or mow underneath. These methods, when applied to trees, are often called coppicing and pollarding, but when applied to small shrubs the term ‘stooling’ is commonly used. Once its larvae hatch, they burrow under the bark of the limbs and trunk by working their way into the trees’ open wounds or broken bark. This will reduce the ornamental effect, but it will also increase the wildlife value of the bushes. For the dogwood tree, this is in the late fall and … Hard pruning is not suitable for younger dogwood trees. Choose strong shoots of the current season’s growth and push them into gritty, moist compost. Always completely remove dead or diseased limbs. How to take dogwood cuttings Take dogwood cuttings in summer so they can root outside in a cold frame and put on enough growth to be planted the following autumn. When some shrubs are pruned hard, they regrow vigorously producing more colourful stems that brighten up the garden in winter. There are many ways to improve both the health and the shape of a tree. The result of the shears and the hand saw will be the same. Pruning a dogwood tree is not something that needs to happen each year. Trim these in the same manner and the same time of year as you would remove old or dead wood. Want to master Microsoft Excel and take your work-from-home job prospects to the next level? Flowering dogwood is native to the U.S. but not hardy in the north. Once you have located the collars, you will need to make your cut. You can prune dogwoods with pruning shears that have a wide enough head to cut through the diameter of larger limbs. … If it is completely dead, and not so large, using an anvil pruner, you can make one solid cut right after the collar. Dogwood only flowers on wood that is a year old - the flowers aren't very special to look at, but the bees will be happy. After that you can prune as follows: In the second or third spring, cut back to 60-90cm (2-3ft) from the ground for pollards or 5-7.5cm (2-3in) … For these reasons, you will need to make sure the pruners or hand saw is sharp enough to make clean cuts and keep you from tiring. These are the months when your dogwood tree is “sleeping” or “dormant”. Best Time to Prune a Dogwood Tree. Dogwood trees can be either pink or white, with both adding a beautiful display of color to any architectural landscape. These plants are hard pruned for the following effects; Late winter (February) or early spring (March), before the leaves begin to appear on the stems, is traditionally considered the best time to prune. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. Snip off branches on the lower third of the remaining trunk with pruning shears and the tree will grow taller, faster. However, pruning a dogwood tree will help the flowers of the tree bloom more abundantly the following season, it will also help to improve air circulation. Waiting any later than June, especially during the dormant months, will likely keep the dogwood tree from blooming the following year. If you were to cut the entire limb off above the collar without making cuts, it would be so heavy that it would cause the stub of the branch to tear. Prune and propogate dogwood trees. Dogwood Borer Insect. Copyright © 2020. Make sure that the location you choose for your dogwood tree is well-drained and surrounded by fertile soil. Making cuts and snipping off buds in June will promote the most regrowth and rejuvenation for the following season. If snipping off old blooms, you should do this in late spring or early summer, no later than June. Late winter and prior to new growth in early spring are ideal times to prune your pink dogwood. During the winter months when the dogwood tree has become dormant is when you should cut off dead or diseased branches. Pagoda dogwood is … This cut should be made completely through, and you should pull off the branch as soon as it begins to separate from the base. As an affiliate and an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Dogwood pruning will not be required every year, but you should look at your dogwood tree every third or fourth year to see if there is any area that you can prune to make next year’s appearance of blossoms better than before. People ask if they can trim a dogwood in the summer or cut back a dogwood in the fall, but the best time to prune a dogwood tree is in late fall until late winter. the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. Make this final cut about an inch or two from where the swelling on the branch begins. Flowering Cornus (dogwood) trees are grown for their showy coloured bracts in late spring and early summer. Instead, move out on the branch you are cutting about 1 or 2 inches from the collar of the branch to make your final cut. Let’s talk about each type of pruning and when it should be done. Young plants need to establish for a year or two before you start hard-pruning. Dogwood trees do best when planted in a spot that allows them to have some shade during the hottest parts of the day. RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team. After that you can prune as follows: In dry summers, water the plants to ensure good growth, otherwise the display of stems will be affected in winter. If the limb is larger than 2″ diameter, you will need to make the first cut on the underside, around 6″ from the trunk to approximately a third of the way through, your next cut should be on the top, about an inch further along than the first, and cut all the way through. It initiates new growth and produces a denser shrub. If you wait until the buds start to swell, it will be too late, and you’ll end up pruning the buds which means that you will have fewer flowers on your tree next season. Yet another threat to your blossoming dogwood tree is the dogwood borer. These are called suckers, and they require removal as they are taking away energy from the tree that could be going to other parts of the tree. For hard or rejuvenating pruning, prune the older stems or canes in the late winter while the dogwood shrub is dormant. This should occur every third or fourth year. In addition, if pruned while the tree is actively growing in spring and summer, the wounds bleed copious amounts of … Insects that favor dogwood will have retreated for the season. Cut back most, not all of the stems each year. In areas where boring insects are a problem, never prune a dogwood tree in spring. Others can also be hard-pruned to create a large-leaved effect. pruning dogwood tree. When you prune will depend entirely on what type of pruning you are doing. Pruning a young dogwood helps determine its mature shape. When to Trim a Dogwood Tree. Pagoda dogwoods are large shrubs to small trees. Dogwood trees are dependable. You shouldn’t snip every flower bud that is present on the dogwood; however, snipping just one flower bud on each stem will cause the surrounding buds to become fuller and more colorful for the following season. Besides, using a dull pruner or saw will make the pruning job more difficult. Pruning dead branches on your dogwood should be done when the tree is dormant, in late fall or winter. Oftentimes, new growth can be seen near the base of the tree. These sections may also sprout growth in odd directions, distorting the shape of your tree. Young plants need to establish for a year or two before you start hard-pruning. This can weaken both the branch and the tree, which can require the tree to need severe pruning. Both have the potential to cause the bark of the branches where the cuts are made to tear, so you will want to ensure you avoid this by following our pruning method. Make this cut in early spring or any time in the dormant season. Should one of these be pruned away? The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. Avoiding pruning to close to the trunk, you don’t want to cut or wound the dogwood trunk. If trimming the dogwood tree for rejuvenation and regrowth, you will take your shears to remove the flower buds and make cuts to certain branches of the tree. When to prune a dogwood tree depends on why you are pruning it. The Cornus kousa (Korean Dogwood or just Kousa) tree is more resistant to diseases that plague other dogwoods.It thrives in zones 5-9. The mature silky dogwood shrub generally has 4 to 6 heavy canes, and you can prune any one of these canes without damaging its appearance. Like many flowering trees and shrubs, the best time to prune a dogwood tree is when the tree is dormant. In general we can distinguish the following: In cornus trees, pruning of green branches should be carried out at times when the development of the plant is latent (autumn / winter). They are a delicate vision at twilight in late spring. Why is this? A dogwood grows 1 or 2 feet each year until it's about 25 feet tall. Crossing branches that rub together can cause insects, like the dogwood borer, to bore inside them. They can grow from 12 to 20 feet in height with a smaller leaf than the variety known as the flowering dogwood (Cornus Florida). Small and late-flowering kousa dogwoods (Cornus kousa) are slow growers, but the results they produce are worth your efforts to grow them. Prune every stem down to this level - as can be seen in the image above right. 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