Dying Dogwood Tree

Asked July 20, 2019, 9:33 PM EDT

I have 3 Dogwood Trees on the back of my property against a fence. These trees are 18-22 feet talln so they are pretty established. After a normal Spring, where all three trees bloomed nicely with a bright white flower, ww have noticed the middle tree now appears to be dying. We dont know why and are concerned the other two may die as well.

Washington County Oregon tree

3 Responses

Dogwoods are an understory tree so they do better when given some shade in the afternoon.

I'm not sure if it's dying, but it does seem to be stressed. I think the leaves start turning red in the fall from the margins. the dieback that I am seeing in the first picture simply looks like flowers that were not pollinated.

Even established plants may need some supplemental water and fertilization. However, it's too late in the season to fertilize, and I wouldn't start flooding it with water. However, next spring just as the leaves are coming out, that would be the best time to fertilize. You may want to consider a soil test to understand if there is a deficiency in both macro- (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) and/or micro-nutrients (calcium, iron, sulfur, magnesium.)

It may also be worthwhile to consult with a certified arborist. They can do a more in-depth evaluation. It does look like you tree might benefit from some pruning to improve the airflow and manage the growth.

Thank you for responding. What is confusing is that this is only occurring for one of the three trees. The other two Dogwoods that are on either side look fine. You would think all three would be in similar condition. Do you know anything about Voles? Is it possible a Vole got to this tree's root system and damaged enough to kill it? I am attaching pictures of the Dogwood trees that appear to be fine.

I think with the dogwoods on either side may be part of the key. It's hard to get perspective, but it looks like the middle tree is more exposed than the other two. The other thing that you can take a look at is what is planted (or not) underneath all of the trees. Is it possible the root system of the middle tree has more "traffic" on the root system than the other two? Competition with other plants can cause this type of stress.