Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to grow and care for Dogwood trees

White Dogwood

If you have been bitten by spring fever, you have probably made a trip to your local nursery and or hardware store that sells gardening supplies and flowers. One tree you may have wondered about is the ever present southern bloomer, the Dogwood trees. Lining many streets, and prominently blooming in yards all over the south, the Dogwood tree is a favorite for many homeowner.

Dogwoods can be found throughout the south eastern portion of the United States growing under a thick canopy of taller trees in forests. Dogwoods can be a fickle tree if it isn't happy with its growing conditions so there are a few things that need to do to insure that this tree will thrive in your landscape.

Soil
The soil should be acidic and when planting be sure to plant the root ball slightly above ground level. Replace the soil from the hole dug with a prepared garden soil specifically for acid loving plants,shrubs and trees.

Light
Remember many flowering Dogwoods can be found growing in shady forest locations, so they like a shady environment in your yard too. Try to find a spot that has dappled sunlight, and if you plant them among other trees, try to make sure these trees produce natural mulch on the ground since this will keep the soil moist and provide lots of leaf mold for the Dogwood tree.

Watering
Newly planted Dogwoods should be watered on a weekly basis and during dry periods water regularly.
When first planted be sure to water, wait until absorbed, and water again. Repeat this.

Fertilizing
Dogwoods need a good start in order to thrive in your landscape. Be sure to give new plants a slow release fertilizer to ensure the best possible start.

Pruning
Dogwoods require very little pruning. You can prune them after they have flowered using good quality pruners if you want to manage their overall shape, but too much pruning can invite disease to your new plant and if its not necessary avoid doing any pruning until your Dogwood is well established, one or two years after planting. Be sure to prune damaged and dead branches on your Dogwood. Keep an eye out for disease and pests and be sure to remove any of these beforehand.



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