Our Top 10 Tips for Caring for Dogwood Trees
The flowering dogwood is Virginia's state tree, and there’s no better option when searching for a tree that looks beautiful and that will thrive in regions throughout our state.
But, like any tree, a dogwood tree needs care in Northern VA. To help you get started, here’s a look at how to grow dogwood trees and dogwood tree care tips:
- Grow From Seed: You'll get the best possible results when growing dogwoods from seed. That said, know that your flowers are almost always going to be white when growing from seed, even if the seeds are marketed as pink. Once you have one dogwood, you can use its seeds to plant many more.
- Find Strong Specimens: It’s not always feasible to start by growing from seed. If you’re going to buy a grafted dogwood, look for the best possible specimen. What are you looking for? Straight, undamaged trunks that have zero spotting (brown or yellow spots) and healthy leaves.
- Use the Right Soil: Dogwoods grow best in slightly acidic humus soil that is well-drained. You can find a pH testing kit when you visit a nursery or just get one online.
- Plant Properly: When planting a dogwood, you want the root ball to sit about 2/3 under the ground. Make sure the soil around your dogwood is slightly loose to encourage draining and root growth.
- Don’t Forget to Mulch: Mulch helps fight against one of the dogwood’s great enemies: weeds. Mulch offers nutrients and helps absorb water for use during times of little rain.
- Water Regularly: Your dogwood can easily dry out when first planted, so be sure to water regularly. Once it gets a little more mature, you should be able to count on rainfall to take care of any watering the tree might need.
- Prune Carefully: There’s not a lot of pruning that comes with growing a dogwood tree. Many prune only for appearance, but make sure you don’t go too far — too much pruning can hurt your dogwood.
- Stake for Strength: Many immature trees are susceptible to strong winds and other powerful elements. Consider staking your tree so it’s strong enough to endure these elements.
- Fertilize Sparingly: Be patient. Many growers over-fertilize their dogwoods because they believe they aren’t growing fast enough. But this is not necessary. Consider using a little bit of all-purpose fertilizer if it sits in poor soil, but otherwise let it grow naturally.
- Guard Against Pests: The best way to prevent pests from attacking your dogwood is to protect the bark. Keep it free from blemishes, scrapes and other nicks.
Are you wondering how to grow dogwoods in VA? If so, count on Richard’s Tree Service. Since 1996, we’ve been helping homeowners in caring for dogwood trees and other species throughout the area. Make sure you’re getting the best results when you tap into our knowledge and experience.
Contact us today about caring for dogwood trees in Northern Virginia.
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