Planting Flowering Dogwoods

 • Mature Height: 15-20 feet •             • Flowering Time: Late April-Early May •

Flowers: White or Pink or Red •                 • Fruit: Red, in the Fall  •

The Dogwood is most commonly found growing under the canopy of larger trees of the forest, in a well drained and fertile soil.  Following are some tips for planting that will help you create a favorable atmosphere for your Dogwood tree.




1. Plant the tree in a site that will be shaded from the hot afternoon sun.       


2. Never plant in a wet area.


3. Dig the hole 1½ to 2 times wider than the root ball.


4. Use a loose organic soil...

-50% organic material (½ sphagnum peat moss and ½ well rotted manure or compost)

-50% existing soil


5. When placing the tree in the hole be sure the top of the ball is approximately 1 to 3 inches higher than the existing lawn surface.


6. Add a couple inches of soil to the hole and straighten the tree.  Leave the burlap on the ball: it will decompose.  Cut and remove any twine that is wrapped around the trunk.  Continue to fill with prepared soil  (cover the top of the ball with no more than 1 inch of soil - see diagram).  Form a "saucer-like" basin around the perimeter of the hole - this will hold water.


7. Water the plant slowly and thoroughly!!  (Rule-of-Thumb:  for every foot of plant height, allow the water to trickle on the root ball for 6 minutes).  Water every 7 to 10 days the first growing season.  Use "Fertilome" Root Stimulator at the time of planting and then every other watering.  The root stimulator contains a rooting hormone, fertilizer and a soil penetrant, all of which aid in reducing transplant shock.  Remember, dogwoods like a moist well-drained soil, but cannot tolerate soggy wet soil.


8. Mulch the soil with pine needles, or oak bark, or leaves.  Apply mulch 2 to 3 inches deep.  Mulching keeps the soil moist near the surface, where dogwood roots are most active. 


9. The dogwood borer is the most destructive pest of the dogwoods.  Damage is done under the bark of the trunk and at the base of older branches by a white-to-cream colored larvae with reddish-brown head.  The full grown larvae is about 1 inch long.  Larvae find an opening in the bark in which they can enter.  Once inside they are well protected and begin feeding.  The tree will die whenever one or more of the larvae eats its way completely around the trunk and blocks the flow of food from the tree top to the roots.  Insecticides can be used on the lower branches and the trunk to kill the newly - hatched larvae.  Use the insecticide Permethrin for control.  Spray once in mid-May and again in mid-June

Herrin, Illinois


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