10 Keys to Dogwood Planting Success

10 Keys to Dogwood Planting Success

1) Dogwood Planting Location

All dogwood trees prefer full sun, but they can tolerate shade as well. Discover the ideal dogwood planting locations in [your region] for optimal growth. The best spots provide 8 hours of morning to early afternoon sun, followed by shade from around 3 PM through the evening. Dogwoods thrive in the morning sun, growing rapidly during the heat and warmth of summer.

In all my years of growing dogwood, I've found that full sun in the morning to early afternoon, followed by afternoon shade, works perfectly.

Understanding different shades is crucial. Dark shade, seen deep in the woods, is undesirable for most plants. Shade includes a range from bright to mottled, indirect, light, and filtered shade, often experienced in forests with tall trees.

Dogwood Shade

Dogwoods are happiest in direct sun in the morning to early afternoon, followed by partial shade to shade from about 3 PM to dusk. Excessive shade, especially dark shade, affects tree growth, making them thinner and softer with reduced flower bud set.

2) Dogwood Watering

Discover essential tips for proper dogwood tree watering to ensure healthy growth. Dogwoods prefer moist soils but not overly wet. They dislike "wet feet." Proper watering is critical, especially for young trees. Water deeply, saturating the soil around the tree. Don't be afraid to water until it puddles at the base.

Remember, it's impossible to overwater; overwatering comes from watering too often. Observe the weather and understand when you last watered to determine the next watering, especially when watering dogwoods in [your region].

Drying Down

Occasionally letting your dogwood dry down is a useful tool. This interrupts overwatering cycles, pest life cycles, and disease development, contributing to overall tree health.

3) Dogwood Soil Health

Healthy soil is vital for healthy plants. Learn how to improve soil health for dogwood trees with compost and specific products like Organic Plant Magic (OPM). Apply OPM 2-4 times a year for optimal soil health.

4) Dogwood Fertilizing

Discover the best fertilizer for dogwood trees with Bower & Branch Elements Fertilizer. Follow seasonal dogwood fertilizing guides and optimize for consistent nutrient availability. Composted manure is an alternative to Elements Fertilizer.

Practical Summary for Fertilizing

Use Bower & Branch Elements in Spring and Fall, following recommended rates. Mix it into the soil for optimal results. OPM concentrate is useful when leaves are present and applied to foliage and soil twice a year for soil health.

5) Dogwood Pruning

Avoid pruning dogwoods; pruning is best done in the nursery. If pruning is necessary, learn proper dogwood tree pruning techniques for shape and form. Optimize for phrases like "pruning tips for healthy dogwood trees."

6) Planting Container-Grown Dogwood

Discover essential tips for planting container-grown dogwoods, including firm packing of soil around the root ball. Water more frequently, especially in the first year of planting.

7) Planting Field Grown B&B Dogwoods

Remove wire baskets and twine carefully at planting time. Be patient with field-grown dogwoods, as they may show slow growth in the first year. Recovery and growth take time.

8) Dogwood Bugs & Disease

Be aware of pests and diseases that are often naturally occurring. Begin with quality trees from trusted growers like Bower & Branch. I will identify several pests below that can and will impact your Dogwoods. Read here for our Dogwood Disease Guide.)

Powdery Mildew on Dogwood Trees

Powdery Mildew on Leaf

Dogwood Borers
Dogwood Canker (sometimes called Collar Rot or Crown Canker)
Scale Insects on Dogwoods
Ambrosia Beetle on Dogwoods
Dogwood Leaf Spots

9) Dogwood Mulching

Protect dogwoods from "Tractor Disease" caused by mowers and trimmers. Use care beds with mulch and compost, avoiding hardwood mulches. Clean and edge care beds regularly, preventing overmulching near the trunk.

10) Dogwood Partner Trees

Consider planting partner trees like redbuds, magnolias, paperbark maple, birch trees, fringe trees, slender silhouette sweetgum, parkland pillar birch, and tricolor beech alongside your dogwood for added landscape value. Optimize for phrases like "companion trees for dogwoods" and "ideal tree pairings with dogwood for landscaping.”

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