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4 Do's and Don'ts When Growing Residential Dogwood Trees

A dogwood tree
Dogwood trees are a popular choice for most residential back or front yards. With proper care, the dogwood will enhance your landscape with its natural beauty and charm. With its white or pink blooms, the dogwood offers plenty of curb appeal to a home.

Although the dogwood tree is considered to be hearty and adaptable, you'd do best to familiarize yourself with a few essential maintenance and care tips. Here are a few smart do's and don'ts to help your dogwoods thrive for years to come.

1. DO Plant Your Dogwood in Partial Sunlight

Although there are a few varieties of dogwood that tolerate full sunlight well, most species do best in partial sunlight. For this reason, you should plant your dogwood tree in a partially shaded spot. Doing so will help protect your understory dogwood tree, especially if it is situated adjacent to taller trees.

It may also help to plant a group of dogwoods together, as this may also help provide partial shade. If you do decide to plant your trees in a group, be sure each tree is still adequately spaced apart. Young trees will need some room to grow, so you shouldn't overcrowd the group. Standard-sized dogwoods may be spaced around 18 feet apart, although dwarf-sized dogwoods can be spaced closer together.

2. DON'T Overlook Your Surroundings

Before you go full speed ahead and plant a dogwood tree or group of trees, consider your surroundings and your best placement. While your young sapling may seem small right now, imagine how it will grow over time. During full maturity, a dogwood may reach anywhere from 10-25 feet.

Be sure no overhead wires or poles might interfere with your tree's growth. Also, when fully grown, consider if the tree will obstruct your view of important backdrops or settings. Keep the above aspects in mind, as transplanting a mature tree can be a painstaking task.

3. DO Be Sure Your Tree Does Not Dry Out

If you live in a dry climate, you will need to provide some extra water in order to help keep your dogwood tree healthy and strong. Conversely, if your region receives plenty of annual rainfall, watering may not be necessary, although doing so twice weekly may be fine. You should particularly pay attention to watering during the hot days of summer.

When you do water your tree, water to approximately six inches. Also, pay attention to the shallow roots, ensuring they do not dry out. Although the soil surrounding the dogwood should be moist at all times, do not over-water the ground.

A dogwood that is well hydrated will produce fleshy berries, which many species of birds thrive on.

4. DON'T Be Concerned About Fertilizing (Although Mulching Is Smart)

Unlike other tree species, the dogwood typically does not require fertilizer. However, while your dogwood is quite young and growing, you might choose to fertilize. If you do so, be sure to choose a slow-release fertilizer.

Using a good quality mulch may be beneficial for your tree. Apply only one layer, and keep it slightly away from the tree trunk. Mulching will help the tree roots retain their moisture.

When choosing a mulch for your dogwood trees, consider using organic materials. Pine needles and shredded leaves make a decent mulch, but you may also use straw or even compost if you prefer.

In conclusion, read up on dogwoods to learn all you can and familiarize yourself with the varieties that are available. Learn which varieties are best suited for your area. If you have further concerns or questions, contact our tree service team of professionals at T's Trees.