Dogwood doesn't look good

Asked June 17, 2017, 8:12 PM EDT

Two years ago we transplanted a 12 foot dogwood at our new house. It is 10 years old and was planted in memory of my Mother in law so it is very special. Last year it looked great, flowers and than healthy leaves. This years however, after flowering, the leaves don't look well and there were suckers (I think), both at the base of the tree (which I pruned), and about 5 feet up. A picture is attached. Should I leave it be or is there something that I can do to help it? Thanks for any advice

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

We viewed your photo. The tree looks like it may have been planted too deeply and there is excessive mulch around the base of the trunk. Also, there is a possible canker (crack in the trunk). As cankers enlarge they kill the living woody tissue within the branch or trunk. This can be caused by poor maintenance or site problems. Symptoms include branch dieback. There is no chemical control.

At this point, remove the excessive mulch from the base of the trunk. Mulch should be no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the trunk. You should be able to see the flare at the base of the trunk where it joins the root system. If not visible, then the tree may be planted too deeply. If so, you can carefully remove the soil from the circumference of the trunk to the point where the trunk flares out into root growth. See our publication on this

Hee is our publication on dogwoods for more information on care
All you can do is keep the tree well watered during dry periods.