Dying Dogwood?

Asked June 20, 2017, 10:08 PM EDT

I have a dogwood that bloomed profusely last year. Then in late summer, it was dig up by construction crews and I had them set it back down about 10 feet over in my yard. I tried to replant it. Half of the tree has healthy green leaves, the other half (or 60%) has no leaves this spring/summer. The branches seem to be dead, but I can't be sure if they are dead, or dormant. Is there anything I can do besides continue to water and fertilize and hope that it comes back better next year? Or is it a lost cause? (It's hard to see in the photo as its evening now) Thanks, john

Ramsey County Minnesota

3 Responses

To test for live wood scratch the bark with finger nail and the layer underneath should be green if it is alive. Dogwoods can be kept as multi stemmed trees and if a stem is lost the rest will still live. Thankfully so in your case. Give it an inch of water a week but do not fertilize. It needs to increase its root system and not the number of leaves. Fertilization stimulates growth and this is not recommended after transplanting or stress.

Ok, thanks! So just watering. No pruning either? Just leave the lifeless branches as they are until next year?

Do the scratch test and prune off the dead ones. The dead ones should be brittle too. You could do an additional check to see if the small branches bend or snap off.