Propagating Dogwoods

Asked April 24, 2013, 8:57 AM EDT

Our house lot backs up to a forested area. We've lived here for 30 years. The tree line at the back of the yard has a half dozen dogwood trees. They do very well with lots of morning sun. There were more originally, but some have died off, seemingly of old age. The remaining dogwoods probably will go in the coming years. I'd like to plant some new dogwoods. I've tried the dogwoods from nurseries but they are not the same. Is there a way to propagate the existing trees or somewhere to purchase new ones similar to the "wild" variety?

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Propagating the dogwood from your woods is possible but it is a long process and they would not be resistant to diseases like the newer cultivars that are being sold in the nursery. They can be started from seed collected in the fall when the seeds are ripened. They need about a 3 month cold period and can be stored in the crisper draw of your refrigerator for the winter before the seeds are planted. They can also be started from cuttings taken in late spring after flowering.
The following is a link to the native plant society's list of native plant suppliers. You may want to contact some of them to ask about their supply of dogwoods,
But again, we recommend the disease resistant cultivars that are available at the nursery. In addition to being more disease resistant, the larger size makes it easier to protect them against deer and rabbits. Look on page 4-5 under dogwood anthracnose and powdery mildew of the following publication for a list of recommended cultivars,