Dogwood trees are a beautiful addition to any residential landscaping. Dogwoods provide shade in the summer and an abundance of fragrant white flowers in the spring. To promote healthy growth and yearly flowering, dogwood trees require annual pruning. However, it's vital you use the proper tools and techniques or hire a professional tree service.
If you decide to tackle dogwood tree trimming as a DIY project, here are some tips to ensure success:
Tip: Prune Dogwoods at the Right Time of the Year
The best time to trim dogwood trees is during their dormant period, from late fall to early spring. You can tell when the tree is dormant because it will not have any leaves or new growth. Pruning during the dormant period reduces the risk of disease or pest infestation while giving you a clear view of the tree's branch structure.
Tip: Use the Right Pruning Tools
Use high-quality, sharp hand pruners, lopping shears, or a pruning saw to make clean cuts at the dogwood tree's branch collars. Using dull tools will damage the tree and leave jagged cuts that will attract pests and diseases.
Tip: Use Proper Cutting Techniques
When trimming a dogwood tree, make your cuts either at a lateral branch or the branch collar. Never leave branch stubs because they encourage new growth in the wrong place.
When removing larger branches, make the cut in three stages:
This technique ensures a clear cut and prevents bark tearing and jagged edges.
Tip: Maintain the Tree's Shape
When pruning a dogwood tree, the overarching goal is to maintain its natural shape and form. This means removing crossing or rubbing branches and those that grow inward, as well as branches that grow vertically instead of horizontally. Avoid removing more than a quarter of the tree's canopy in one season, as this will stress the tree and make it more vulnerable to disease.
Tip: Proactively Prevent Disease
Sanitize your pruning tools between cuts to prevent the spread of disease from one part of the tree to another. You can do this by wiping the blades with rubbing alcohol or dipping them in a solution of bleach and water.
In conclusion, following these dogwood tree trimming tips will help your tree thrive for years. If you're unsure how to trim your dogwood tree, consider consulting a professional tree landscaping service company.