Prune the Cornus down to - or near ground level. Waiting any later than June, especially during the dormant months, will likely keep the dogwood tree from blooming the following year. It is also the best time to prune a dogwood tree when disease or insect infestation is apparent. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. … Their tiny, star-shaped blossoms come later than other dogwoods. 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. 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. Avoid cutting the leader, or the vertical stem at the very top of the trunk, on a young tree. They are a delicate vision at twilight in late spring. 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. If snipping off old blooms, you should do this in late spring or early summer, no later than June. 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. For the dogwood tree, this is in the late fall and … The Cornus kousa (Korean Dogwood or just Kousa) tree is more resistant to diseases that plague other dogwoods.It thrives in zones 5-9. For hard or rejuvenating pruning, prune the older stems or canes in the late winter while the dogwood shrub is dormant. 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. 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. This page may contain affiliate links. You should also look for limbs that are rubbing together. For the dogwood tree, this is in the late fall and winter. Why is this? Pruning a willow can produce vibrant stems that look good in winter. 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. If it is completely dead, and not so large, using an anvil pruner, you can make one solid cut right after the collar. Shrubby dogwoods grow quickly and easily with little guidance. In areas where boring insects are a problem, never prune a dogwood tree in spring. 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. Trim these in the same manner and the same time of year as you would remove old or dead wood. These stems are using energy from the tree to produce lackluster flowers when the energy could be going to other parts of the tree. 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. Two good times to prune a Kousa dogwood are right after its finished blooming in June or toward the end of winter (if you don't mind giving up some of the flowers that year). Cut back the dogwood every other year. 2. Best Time to Prune a Dogwood Tree. Let’s start by seeing how and when to prune beech trees. Pruning them about six weeks before the leaves drop from the tree also tends to be best practice. The result of the shears and the hand saw will be the same. Dogwood trees are dependable. Insects that favor dogwood will have retreated for the season. 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 … Make this cut in early spring or any time in the dormant season. pruning dogwood tree. Make sure that the location you choose for your dogwood tree is well-drained and surrounded by fertile soil. Choose strong shoots of the current season’s growth and push them into gritty, moist compost. Be careful not to damage the bark while you are pruning or doing lawn maintenance. Young plants need to establish for a year or two before you start hard-pruning. Let’s talk about each type of pruning and when it should be done. Besides, using a dull pruner or saw will make the pruning job more difficult. During the winter months when the dogwood tree has become dormant is when you should cut off dead or diseased branches. Pagoda dogwoods are large shrubs to small trees. This is when the dogwood is completely dormant. 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. To develop this post more clearly, we have divided it into two parts. 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. You can follow the same cutting method if you feel like the limb may still be alive. This cut should be made completely through, and you should pull off the branch as soon as it begins to separate from the base. 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. This causes the energy to go into other surrounding buds to create fuller and more colorful flowers. 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 Making cuts and snipping off buds in June will promote the most regrowth and rejuvenation for the following season. It initiates new growth and produces a denser shrub. Insects and oozing sap. Think of the kousa dogwood in thirds. When you prune will depend entirely on what type of pruning you are doing. Snipping off old buds on the dogwood tree to promote new growth and flowering should take place during the summer, preferably in June. Pagoda dogwood is … Prune and propogate dogwood trees. Dogwood; American smoke tree; Hawthorn; Japanese tree lilac; Tree Pruning Methods. You can prune dogwoods with pruning shears that have a wide enough head to cut through the diameter of larger limbs. 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. 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. This will reduce the ornamental effect, but it will also increase the wildlife value of the bushes. The first reason is probably the most important one. Dogwood suckers can be pruned off any time after flowering. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. When routinely pruning dogwood branches, you should choose the branches that have pale and discolored stems. Like many flowering trees and shrubs, the best time to prune a dogwood tree is when the tree is dormant. To do this, you will need to locate these dead branches and remove them completely from the tree. 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) … Dogwood shrubs, such as red twig dogwoods, are not to be confused with dogwood trees. The goal of each is to create a tree with good light and air circulation, attractive qualities and strength. You do not want this. Prune every stem down to this level - as can be seen in the image above right. 020 3176 5800 Make this final cut about an inch or two from where the swelling on the branch begins. It is sometimes referred to as the Chinese dogwood. 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. 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. These sections may also sprout growth in odd directions, distorting the shape of your tree. 222879/SC038262, In the second or third spring, cut back to 60-90cm (2-3ft) from the ground for, Pinch or thin out sideshoots to encourage further branching, In subsequent years, cut back annually or every few years to the previous stubs, Apply a balanced general-purpose fertiliser at 70g per square metre (2 oz per square yard) each spring to support stem and flower growth. Once you have located the collars, you will need to make your cut. How to Prune Kousa Dogwood Trees. The four most popular tree pruning methods for general pruning are crown thinning, crown raising, crown reduction and crown … 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. Branch collars are located at the joint between the primary branch you are cutting and the trunk of the dogwood. This will promote new growth and direct the energy of the dogwood to make fuller and brighter blooms. Prune when the kousa dogwood is dormant, in late fall or early winter. 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. 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. These swelled areas are known as the branch collars. 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. Cut through so that you have made a complete and clean cut to remove the stub. Defining the right time to prune your dogwood will depend on factors such as pruning type and variety. 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. 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. Dogwood trees rarely get leggy or overgrown, and their shape is usually well-kempt. 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. 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. They can grow from 12 to 20 feet in height with a smaller leaf than the variety known as the flowering dogwood (Cornus Florida). RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team. Part of proper dogwood pruning involves knowing when to trim a dogwood tree. Dogwoods should be pruned from late fall until late winter. The C. kousa is grown for its flowers in addition to its hardy, dependable nature. Others can also be hard-pruned to create a large-leaved effect. 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. Pruning dogwood trees will produce more flowering blooms in the following year, giving you a fuller and healthier tree in good shape. 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. When to prune a dogwood tree depends on why you are pruning it. Last, you will need to look at the dogwood tree and find swelled areas on the branches you plan to cut. You should also remove any low-lying limbs that make it difficult to walk or mow underneath. 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). Like many flowering trees and shrubs, the best time to prune a dogwood tree is when the tree is dormant. times, How to prune for colourful stems or large foliage, RHS Registered Charity no. 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. Prune when the kousa dogwood is dormant, in late fall or early winter. Flowering Cornus (dogwood) trees are grown for their showy coloured bracts in late spring and early summer. Always completely remove dead or diseased limbs. Yet another threat to your blossoming dogwood tree is the dogwood borer. One for trees and one for hedges. Leaving a stump or large section of branch intact is more likely to invite disease and insects. Prune one of the heavier canes of the shrub down to ground level. The attractive C. kousa is native to Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan.. This should occur every third or fourth year. Additionally, if you cut back in late fall or winter while the tree is dormant will reduce the amount of sap that is produced when the tree is cut. 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. Dogwood trees typically stay small, only growing between 15 and 40 total feet, with small branches and a small trunk. There are many ways to improve both the health and the shape of a tree. There are 2 main reasons to only prune during the dormant period. As an affiliate and an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Prune them off where they attach to the base of the trunk with caution. Avoiding pruning to close to the trunk, you don’t want to cut or wound the dogwood trunk. 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. While a flowering dogwood tree is reliable in producing blooms each year, it should still be pruned. Removing a flower bud will redirect energy that would otherwise be going to the bud. Plant roots and shoots are in balance and, after hard pruning, plants will regrow to re-establish this balance. Dogwood shrubs do not require yearly pruning, but occasional trimming should take place. When to Trim a Dogwood Tree. In addition, if pruned while the tree is actively growing in spring and summer, the wounds bleed copious amounts of … Use pruners or a hand saw that has been sharpened. 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. Do not cut through the collar. Cut back most, not all of the stems each year. Snip off branches on the lower third of the remaining trunk with pruning shears and the tree will grow taller, faster. 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. Hard pruning is not suitable for younger dogwood trees. Pruning a dogwood tree is not something that needs to happen each year. All branch pruning should cut back to the branch collar, or the base of the branch nearest the tree trunk. Is it too late to prune a dogwood tree? Such plants fall into RHS Pruning group 7. This varied group of plants give great garden value. When you see new growth on your tree, that means that energy from the tree has been directed to those areas with the new growth. Cutting through the collar will cause the dogwood to become infected and can permanently damage the tree. Asked April 21, 2016, 10:59 AM EDT . 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