Dogwood -- Planting

By The Old House Web
Flowering Dogwood trees provide colorful spring flowers and a burning red fall color. Both characteristics make the tree a prized landscape plant.

In order to ensure successful growth, flowering dogwood trees should be planted in the shade of a building or another tree. Dogwoods are classified as understory trees - trees growing under the canopy of other trees, generally in forests. It's impossible to find wild dogwood trees growing in forest by themselves.

Trees planted in direct sun may grow for several years before developing canker diseases. Growth may be limited and flower production small.

Locate the trees on the north or east side of the house, or beneath the shade of other trees. Dogwoods prefer a well drained soil rich in organic matter. Mix in compost to increase the soil's quality.

Some growers, arborist and landscape professionals recommend planting trees slightly above ground level, with the soil slopping away from the trees. Make sure that no more than one third (1/3) of the root system is planted above ground. Cover with at least eight (8) inches of soil. Extend the mound or slop well beyond the planting area. This planting method may be successfully used in newer subdivisions or areas with a high clay content in the soil.

It's essential to keep the soil cool during the summer. Mulch trees with at least four inches of wood chips, shredded leaves, leaf mold or compost. Make sure to avoid placing mulching material in direct contact with the trunk.

Water trees during hot, dry periods. Trees should receive an inch of water per week when temperatures are above 90 degrees fahrenheit.

Too much water or a continually wet soil will cause root rot and death of the trees.

Avoid planting trees too deeply. Plant the tree so the soil line is at the trunk/root flare.


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