How to save a pink Dogwood

Asked April 9, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

I have a pink Dogwood in my front yard. 4 years ago it was lush and full and in the fall had beautiful red leaves that lasted most of a month. In the last three years it has gone downhill to the point where this year the blooms are sparse and it's dropping dead twigs. I have contacted 6 or 8 tree services and no one wants to deal with it. I contracted with TruGreen and they sprayed it twice last summer. It sill has blotches of gray/green on the trunk and limbs. I really want to save this tree. What do you recommend?


Thanks for your help.

Virginia Beach Virginia trees and shrubs horticulture

3 Responses

The patches of gray and green on the trunk and branches are lichens and do not harm the tree. The dead branches could be caused by borers, fungus, soil pH or nutrient issues. Look on the trunk for holes and/or sawdust at the branch crotches. If you can bring a sample of a branch that is failing at the end with good green leaves on it they can send it to VA Tech for disease analysis. You should probably also do a soil test. You can find kits at the Virginia Beach Extension office which is on the 2nd floor of Building 14 in the Municipal Complex on Princess Anne Road.

I'm sorry it's taken so long to respond. I appreciate your input. I have been looking for a failing branch with leaves. Can't find one. Most every limb has dead branches. I'll have my son do a soil test. I've been told that dogwoods have a limited lifespan. Is this correct?

.Thank you for your help.

Can you send photos of the tree to me at mikeand@vt.edu. Close ups of bark and/or leaves that are showing odd symptoms would be helpful if you can't bring a failing branch in to the VB Office. Dogwoods are not very long -lived trees but should live several decades.