Slow growing American dogwoods

Asked September 27, 2017, 4:00 PM EDT

I live in a homeowners association neighborhood with some green space for planting. We have 4 or 5 dogwoods in various locations that have not done particularly well although they are still alive. They get partial sun and are in fairly well drained soil. Their growth has been very slow. We have installed deer guards to keep the deer and bunnies away as we saw some bark damage. Any other suggestions for helping our dogwoods thrive? Many thanks!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Dogwoods are not fast growing trees, which is good because that means stronger branches and less mess. They are forest understory trees and want an organic soil. Mulching with an organic mulch will add organic matter when it decomposes. Be certain that mulch is never more than 2-3" and never piled on or touching the trunk or flare of the trunk. A wide apron of mulch around a dogwood also keep mowers off that may compact soil over their root zone.

Water is often the biggest determiner. Be sure they get watered during droughty periods, including those in spring and fall. (Winter is usually not an issue, but don't let them go into the winter in dry soil.)