How deep do dogwood tree roots go

How Deep Do They Grow? Are They Invasive? – LeafyJournal

Dogwood trees are majestic and ornamental. With plenty of water and sunshine, they thrive. There are over 50 species that vary wildly from shrubs to temperate trees and evergreens. One of the main features is the root system. 

It allows us to know how and where to plant and ways to take care of them.  

We are focusing on the Dogwood plant today. More specifically, the root system. If you are interested in learning, the insights on dogwood roots could help you understand how to care for this plant accurately. 

What kind of root system does a dogwood have?

Dogwood plant has shallow roots. They tend to dry rapidly, even with shade. When watering, one needs to water it to a depth of three feet. One can tell whether it is under-watered or over-watered by observing the leaves. 

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When the leaves are light green the tree will need more water. Even if the leaves are crispy or prickly it will need more water than you are providing.

One major issue of shallow roots is they could damage sidewalks or driveways over a decade. 

Dogwoods roots grow up to 10 to 11 inches deep in light potting mix. One needs to tear the deepest roots apart to avoid rotting roots. 

Again, one should plant medium-sized dogwoods 15 feet away from a house. And they should keep a distance of 35 feet or more from each other. This is to ensure that that trees roots doesn’t invade each other.

However, you can plant small dogwood such as the flowering dogwood a bit closer to the house.  6 feet from the house and 20 feet apart from each other will be enough for this case. 

Does a dogwood tree have deep roots?

Dogwood trees do not have deep roots. Their roots are shallow and spread horizontally. The root requires a lot of water since they dry very quickly, even when there is shade. 

The deepest roots of dogwood are often less than 3 and 1/2 inches deep into the soil. Roots deeper than that may rot off easily. In fact in heavy soils, the possibility is much higher. 

Dogwoods are once again understory trees. They grow under large trees. Also, the roots grow over the top of the roots of big trees. 

According to standards, the root system of a tree should be four to seven times the area of the crown. One should plant the young dogwood trees 18 feet apart. Again, keep the dwarf-sized dogwoods more closely.

How deep do dogwood tree roots grow?

Dogwood trees have shallow roots. The deepest roots observed are less than 3 and 1/2 inches deep in the soil. If they are deeper they may rot off, mostly in heavy soil settings. The roots also need a lot of water as they dry faster. The plantation differs according to the size of the Dogwoods.  

Shallow roots are fibrous and do not penetrate as deeply as taproots. The dogwoods have shallow roots.  

There are numerous dogwood species. They differ in length and canopy size.  

The roots of the dogwood plant go deep into the soil three and ½ inches at most. In standard, the root of a plant extends four to seven times of a canopy. Hence, whatever the crown we see of a dogwood tree, the roots should be four to seven times. 

Dogwood tree roots also need more water as their roots get drier faster. They only flourish with enough water and sunlight. Since the plants need sun rays to grow, the watering should be pretty frequent or daily. 

Dogwood trees are dependent on surface moisture. The root system does not penetrate very deep in the ground to water reserves beneath the soil for their shallow root system. The trees also prefer slightly acidic and well-drained soil. 

Plant a medium to matured plant 15 feet away from the house or infrastructure. However, one can grow the dwarfed ones without worrying about keeping too much distance between them. You can plant them 3 feet away from a house.

How far away from the house should you plant a dogwood tree? How big is a dogwood root system?

A big-sized dogwood plant whether a common or a Kousa, plant it at least 15 feet away from a house or other infrastructure. It will allow the tree to grow at full width. Also, it won’t affect the pavement or pipelines beneath. 

For smaller plants, you need to grow them, keeping a space of 6 feet away from a house. And plant each dogwood 20 feet apart.  

Again grow the full or medium trees at least 15 feet from a house and 35 feet or more feet from each other. 

The root system of the dogwood is shallow. It doesn’t go deep down but spreads horizontally. We already know tree roots grow four to seven times more compared to the crown of the tree. 

So with that, we can infer the roots of the dogwood tree will also be four to seven times of its canopy

Do dogwood trees have a tap root?

Dogwood trees do not have taproots. Taproots are linear and go deep down into the soil to get food, nutrients, and water. In contrast, the roots of a dogwood tree are shallow and shaped like a vase. They are fibrous and spread horizontally more compared to a taproot.

If the root of a dogwood plant is too long, the chances of root rotting increase. Mostly in dense clay settings. Two to three inches of dogwood root may get vulnerable to decay.

Though dogwood has shallow roots that don’t make them invasive. It is because the plants are not huge. You can grow the largest dogwood tree 15 feet away from human-made structures.

An invasive rooted plant needed to plant 20 to 30 feet away from home. Again, the roots of dogwood resemble a vase structure which also means the roots do not extend widely.

Do dogwood trees have invasive roots?

Dogwood trees do not have invasive roots. However, we may infer it for the shallow roots and the spreading crown.  One grows an invasive rooted plant 20 to 30 feet away from infrastructure. Nevertheless, medium and matured dogwood trees need to be 15 feet away. The root is again vase-like. 

Here we have listed some common dogwood trees. Along with their characteristics, we gave insights into if their roots are invasive or not.   

White dogwood: 

It is one of the excellent landscape breeds which can be grown in all four seasons. People adore them for the beautiful white bloom. 

Again since it is small in size with 25’ in length and 25’ spread, it does not contain a root that could be invasive. A full-grown white dogwood needs to be 15 feet away from a house or other infrastructure. It is suitable to plant near utility lines, buildings, and patios. 

Flowering dogwood:

Flowering dogwood is the most common. Unlike others, it can grow even in partial sun exposure. Again, the soil should be well-drained and acidic. 

The plant grows 20 to 40 feet tall with a 15 to 30 feet spread. You are allowed to plant a medium-sized plant 15 feet away from your house. It means their roots are not invasive. 

Kousa dogwood: 

Kousa dogwood is another breed that is mainly native to Japan. The blooming time is also different.

This species also has a shallow root system. It grows well in clay, loamy, acidic, moist, and well-drained soils. However, the root system may be vulnerable to planted clay soil. 

You can plant a full-grown Kosua 15 feet away from your house. It also implies the root system of the plant is not invasive. We can plant them in a cluster as well. 

How far do dogwood roots spread?

The root structure of a regular tree is four to seven times the area covered by the crown. Dogwood trees also follow the same rules. For instance, a Chinese dogwood tree has a 15 to 30-foot crown. 

It implies that the root underneath will cover an area of approximately 185 to 660 square feet.  

Expect to observe a vase-like structure of the roots of a well-developed, mature dogwood tree. In addition, the dogwood tree has a shallow root. It means the roots do not penetrate deeply into the soil but spread horizontally. 

How far dogwood roots extend depends on the size of the plants. You should plant the medium-sized plant 15 feet away from the infrastructure. Also, keep a distance of 35 feet or more between each plant. 

Again, for small dogwood trees, such as the flowering dogwood, you should plant them 6 feet far from a house and 20 feet apart from each other. 

Final Thoughts:

Dogwood plants have shallow roots. It may make us think that they are invasive. The roots again shape like a vase. You do not need to plant them more than 15 feet away from any man-build infrastructure. They can be grown maintaining the standard distance and will not create any hassle.

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Spruce root system - advice from Greensad

When planning which plants to plant on our site, we must take into account their maximum sizes. After all, trees and shrubs tend to increase in size. Also, over time, the "underground" part of plants, their root system, also increases. Because under the ground there are, as it were, inverted branched crowns. Some are pyramidal (tap root system), while others are almost spherical (fibrous). In terms of the shape of the root system, it is not at all necessary to mirror the outlines of the crown. It happens that the crown is columnar, and the root system is superficial. This is the picture we see in spruce.
Spruce studies have revealed the following characteristic features of its root system. Spruce has a pronounced superficial root system. It can be seen from the given data that 85.5% of the spruce roots are concentrated in a layer 1–9 cm deep. The roots mostly spread horizontally, densely intertwined with each other, and form a powerful network. The number of roots at a depth of 9-30 cm compared with the upper layer is reduced by almost six times, and the number of large roots by 10 times. At a depth of 30-50 cm, the roots contain only about 2%. There are even fewer of them in compacted horizons. The roots here spread mainly along the tubes of rotten roots and along the ready-made passages of animals living in the ground. Although the roots of spruce penetrate 165 cm into the depth. Obviously, in the uppermost soil layer, the conditions for the development of spruce roots are most favorable. In the uppermost soil layer, 5-7 cm deep, the roots, densely intertwined in all directions, are firmly attached to the soil and organic residues. This layer of horizontal roots with a felt bedding is easily separated from the mineral soil layer. The vertical root system of spruce is poorly developed; its roots develop most strongly in the upper, loose soil layer, in conditions of good aeration. Small spruce roots are short, without hairs, dark brown in color, and thin roots are always darker than thick ones. The surface of spruce roots is covered with thin - lamellar scales, which are easily peeled off.
A strong wind brings down mighty forest spruces, with their sailing crown and superficial root system, relatively easily - there are many such defeated giants in any forest. yourself. Such fusion of the roots of tree species, apparently, increases the vitality of each tree individually.

The root system of spruce is very intricate and branched, it is about 2 times larger in volume than the crown. Due to such a feeding area of ​​the spruce root system, practically nothing can grow around. That is, if you want to plant a spruce on your site, then nothing can be planted within a radius of 3-4 meters! Since spruce has a branched root system, it must be transplanted very carefully, while maintaining as many roots as possible.
The best places for growing spruce are shady areas, they can be safely called not only shade-tolerant, but even shade-loving. Clay and even sandy soils are well suited for the growth and development of the spruce root system, but if necessary, they can adapt to almost any soil.

The planting site should be chosen according to the type of its root system and according to the individual "relationship" to the groundwater level. The general rule is simple: plants with a shallow root system are relatively tolerant of high standing water, with a rod system they are intolerant. If the water is near the surface, then almost all plants will suffer from wetting of the roots and will soon die (except for especially water-loving species). In the case of spruce and its superficial root system, only constantly flooded areas where water stagnates for a long time will not work. Although, for fidelity in the landing pit, it is better to make drainage from broken bricks, crushed stone and sand 15-20 cm thick.
Another problem is how to plant plants in developed areas next to structures and buildings. Root systems should not strongly overlap each other, intertwine and grow together. It is unacceptable that they compete for water and food, or that they run into obstacles in their growth - foundations and communications. If the root system is superficial, then it can run into the foundation wall, and not only suffer itself, but also harm the buildings. There are well-known rules that help to avoid this. The tree should be planted at least 5 m from the wall of the building and at least 1.5 m from the sewer pipe, shrubs - at least 1.5 m from the wall and at least 1.0 m from the pipe.
It has been established that the average depth of possible winter freezing of the soil in our climatic conditions is up to 1.5 m. In fact, this figure is extreme and very conditional. Such freezing is possible only in severe snowless winters in areas where there is no vegetation cover. Usually in winter, only a frozen crust forms on the surface of the earth. And the root systems of woody plants in the ground do not freeze through so much - otherwise there would be no forests left for a long time. After all, common spruce can withstand freezing of the root system only down to -23 ° C, and at -24 ° C, the root tissues liquefy and the tree dies.
If the plant is spared from all kinds of interference, then its root system develops normally and reaches the size that is needed to feed the crown. For an adult spruce, this is a circle with a diameter of about 4 meters. Accordingly, it is better not to plant anything within these limits, so as not to create competition for plant nutrition, and also within this circle, very carefully and not deeply loosen.

Spruce - just an incredible plant, in addition to its beauty and power, has phytoncidal properties, which allows you to purify the air. No wonder it is extremely easy to breathe in a coniferous forest, and coniferous essential oils are used in aromatherapy. You can plant such a wonderful tree on your site. But for its successful growth, remember not only about the "tops", but also about the "roots".

agricultural technology, planting and care, photo

Dogwood, of course, is a southern plant, but it turned out that it grows well in the middle zone of our country. Summer residents near Moscow are afraid to plant dogwood in the plots, but this is temporary: after all, those who took a chance and got good results can already begin to envy. This cold-resistant tree lives for a long time, is not picky about the conditions, and with the right variety selection it gives good yields of vitamin berries.


  • 1 How to grow dogwood in the Moscow region

    • 1.1 What is dogwood?

      • 1.1.1 Video: Blooming Kizil in the Moscow Region

    • 1.2 Planting

  • 2 Dogwood varieties for cultivation in the Moscow region

    • 2.1 Video: Berries of Kizil varieties Svetlyachok

  • 3 tips for beginners to grow jig

How to grow kizil in the Moscow Region

In the wild, Kizil grows in the mountains Southern Europe, on the American continent, is also found in Southeast Asia. Looking at the State Register of the Russian Federation, we will be a little surprised: it contains only 6 varieties of this plant (of which 5 have appeared in recent years), and all of them are recommended for any climatic regions. Indeed, it turned out that dogwood can grow almost anywhere.

What is dogwood?

Dogwood can be either a tree or a shrub that sheds its leaves for the winter. In the wild, it can grow to a height of up to seven meters; ten-meter giants have also been recorded. They do not grow like this right away: dogwood grows for a very long time, more than a dozen years, there are also centuries-old trees. The main branches are horizontal, the crowns are very spreading. The bark is gray-green to dark gray, the leaves are bright green above, slightly lighter on the back.

The flowers are collected in large inflorescences resembling umbrellas. The flowers are bisexual, but dogwood is a cross-pollinated culture, pollination is poor inside one tree, more often dogwood is planted in pairs. The option of grafting the second grade into the crown of a single tree also helps. Dogwood blossoms very early, much earlier than leafing out and earlier than most other crops. Already in April, when the temperature reaches 8–10 about C, the trees become completely yellow or white from flowers. Flowering lasts about two weeks.

Most wild dogwood trees are very large; however, it is also found in the form of a shrub

The fruits are drupes: there are oval, round, pear-shaped. Fruit weight is from 2 to 6 g, in new varieties - up to 10 g. In most varieties, the fruits are bright red, but there are also yellow, purple and almost black. The bone is elongated. The pulp, which is from 2/3 or more of the mass of the fruit, tastes like rose hips and combines sourness and sweetness, moderately tart. Plants grown from seeds bear fruit in the 6th or 7th year. Up to 100 kg of fruit can be collected from an adult tree, and more from a half-century old tree.

Despite its southern origin, dogwood can withstand air temperatures down to -30 o C, and some varieties even lower. More than frost, he is afraid of winter thaws and subsequent frosts. It is this kind of weather that is typical for the Moscow region, so growing this crop in the Moscow region cannot be called a simple matter, although the dogwood itself is very unpretentious. He is not afraid of drought, because the roots go deep. Practically does not get sick with anything, dogwood and pests are not afraid.

Video: flowering dogwood in the Moscow region

Planting dogwood

In the botanical garden of the Academy of Sciences there is a whole dogwood grove that has been growing for almost 70 years. Probably, this is a good confirmation that gardeners near Moscow can plant dogwood. This is not difficult to do, but you must immediately correctly determine the place and timing of landing. It is most reliable to plant dogwood at the end of September or a little later: after leaf fall on poplars. Before stable frosts should remain at least three weeks. Spring planting in the Moscow region is extremely difficult: dogwood must be planted in warm ground, but before the buds awaken, which is almost unrealistic.

For planting, choose a lighted area, but a slight dimming, for several hours a day, is not only possible, but also desirable. Better - on the south or southwest side of the garden. Since dogwood can grow into a large tree, it is planted no closer than 3 meters from the fence, preferably on the leeward side. Slight slope is acceptable. Neighborhood with any trees is possible, with the exception of the walnut. The soil is suitable for any, except for marshy. The tree will also grow on clays, but fruiting will be weak.

Even if you grow dogwood in the form of a bush, it occupies a considerable area. The only important thing is the absence of damage to both the bark and the root system. Planting a tree is no more difficult than, for example, apple or pear trees, but you need to take it seriously, realizing that this tree will outlive the owner.

If a mistake is made in choosing a place, this can be corrected in the first years: dogwood normally tolerates transplantation at any age, as long as it is technically possible.

Since the tree will eventually require fertile soil over a large area, they dig up the site in advance, introducing humus or compost at a dose of 1 bucket per 1 m 2 . In summer, they dig a hole measuring 80 x 80 x 80 cm, lay drainage on its bottom (gravel or broken brick). The topsoil is returned to the pit, thoroughly mixed with 1-2 buckets of humus, 200 g of superphosphate and 0.5 l of wood ash.

There is an opinion that dogwood can be planted without fertilizers at all, but in fertile soil, of course, it will be much more comfortable for it.

Drive a landing stake about a meter high in advance, pour 2 buckets of water into the pit. The course of the actual autumn planting is traditional:

  1. The roots of the seedling are soaked in water and dipped in a clay mash. If there are leaves on it, carefully cut them off.

    Chatterbox made of clay is a great helper for quick rooting of seedlings

  2. After removing part of the soil from the hole, put the seedling, straighten the roots and cover with soil so that the root neck is 3-5 cm above ground level.

    In order not to deepen the root neck, you can put a board or a pole on the edges of the pit

  3. Tie the seedling to a stake. Watered with 3-4 buckets of water.

    Despite the drought resistance of mature trees, when planting a seedling, the soil must be wetted deeply

  4. Make a watering circle, mulch it with peat or humus with a layer of 6–8 cm.

    In the first year after planting, the tree will winter under a thick layer of mulch autumn is not too dry, nothing else needs to be done, otherwise watering is repeated after 1-2 weeks.

    Basic care

    Dogwood is extremely unpretentious, but elementary care is required. In the first few years, the tree is watered 2-3 times a month, but when the roots grow, they do it only in dry weather. In a thirsty dogwood, the leaves are folded in a boat. You should not water the southern guest with ice water, it is better to take settled and heated in the sun. In rainy weather, watering is completely useless.

    Dogwood can grow even without top dressing, but fertilization will significantly increase its yield. Humus (spring or autumn, 2-3 kg / m 2 ) can be applied both with digging and as mulch. Closer to autumn, wood ash is shallowly buried, a few handfuls per tree. If the soil in the area is too acidic, from time to time sprinkle the trunk circle with lime or chalk. In the early years they fight weeds; for an adult tree, they do not pose a danger.

    Young trees, up to 2–3 years old, in the Moscow region should be prepared for winter. This preparation consists of clearing up fallen leaves and updating the mulch layer. For the winter, they arrange a humus pillow over the roots, pouring a layer of 15–20 cm. With the fall of snow, they throw it into the trunk circle. Since winter thaws are frequent in the Moscow region, you can throw a lot of snow so that it does not have time to melt all, and then grab the trees with ice from frozen water.

    While the tree is small, it is better to cover it carefully for the winter


    In the first years, the tree crown is formed. Pruning has to be done in early spring: dogwood wakes up before many trees. The stem is made 50–70 cm high, above this level 5–7 skeletal branches are formed, evenly spaced around the trunk. The crown can be given any shape, but for ease of maintenance it is made pyramidal or oval.

    The tying of the branches in the desired position to the pegs driven in the right places also helps in the formation of the crown.

    Only sanitary pruning is shown for fruit-bearing trees: broken and dried branches are cut out, as well as those growing in inconvenient directions. After 20 years, the dogwood requires rejuvenating pruning: the oldest branches are greatly shortened or cut out altogether. Dogwood tolerates pruning easily, but the tool must be clean, and the wounds must be covered with garden pitch.


    Dogwood blossoms very early, but the harvest ripens, on the contrary, late, in most varieties not earlier than September, and in late-ripening - until early November. Ripe fruits do not hang on the branches for a long time and fall off, so periodic collection is necessary. You can pick fruits that are not quite ripe: during storage, they have the property of "reaching". After ripening, dogwood is stored at a temperature close to 0 o C.

    I managed to taste the first few berries the very next year after planting the tree. But then, according to the classics, I had to wait a long time.

    However, fresh fruits have a short shelf life, no more than two weeks. Therefore, to preserve the taste, they are frozen. There are many recipes for processing dogwood: jam, compotes, marmalade are cooked from it, juice is prepared, etc.

    Ripe berries do not crumple very much, but still they need to be collected in low boxes. It is also propagated by seeds in gardens. In particular, this method is often used in the Moscow region; in the south they do it easier, they use reproduction by layering and cuttings. However, it has been shown that it is with seed propagation that the most cold-resistant plants are obtained.

    To do this, seeds are removed from ripe fruits, washed and sent for a whole year for stratification. This procedure is carried out in wet sawdust or moss at a temperature close to 0 to C. This is time consuming, the whole year you need to monitor the humidity of the substrate, but there is no other way. Only after stratification, the seeds are planted in pots to a depth of about 3 cm, and then the seedlings are carefully looked after. At first they grow very slowly: only after two years the seedlings, which have reached a height of about 15 cm, are transplanted into open ground.

    Cornelian cultivars for cultivation in the Moscow region

    In a cold climate, and in the case of dogwood this can also be called the climate of the Moscow region, it is most reliable to grow early varieties, in extreme cases - the average ripening period. More than other criteria, when choosing a variety, you have to pay attention to winter hardiness. It is better not to plant seedlings brought from the southern regions in the Moscow region.

    One of the best varieties today is the new variety Nastya, included in the State Register in 2017. An early variety, a tree of medium height with a not very thickened oval crown. The shoots are straight, without pubescence, the leaves are large. The fruits are teardrop-shaped, red, weighing about 5 g. The pulp is sweet and sour, juicy. The bone is small, easily separated. The taste was rated 5.0 by tasters. Productivity is high, fruits are suitable both for fresh consumption and for processing. The variety is frost-resistant, disease-resistant.

    In addition to Nastya, several older varieties are also known in the Moscow region, although they were all bred not so long ago. For example, the Firefly variety is convenient for harvesting, since the tree grows to no more than 2.5 m. Fruits annually and abundantly. Fruits weighing up to 7.5 g, bottle-shaped, black-red, good taste. Ripening by the very beginning of September, they are firmly attached to the branches, and when collected, they can be stored for more than three weeks. Mainly used for processing.

    Approximately the same size and shape of the fruit of the dogwood cv. Eugenia. Their color is dark red, up to almost black. The pulp is tender, tasty, well separated from the bone. Ripening is friendly, and the fruits ripen well during storage, they tolerate freezing well. The yield is high, the variety is drought and frost resistant.

    Variety Elegant has larger fruits, weighing up to 9 g, cherry-colored. Taste with a predominance of sugar content over acidity, the stone is easily separated. The fruits tolerate transportation well. Productivity is average, which is due to the small dimensions of the tree: its height is a little over 2 meters.

    Elegant - one of the most large-fruited varieties

    The weather near Moscow is well tolerated by the dogwood of the Elena variety, which bears fruit at the end of summer. The yield is slightly below average, in addition, the fruits quickly crumble. But they are well transported and have a universal purpose. The mass of fruits is about 7 g, the color is dark red, they are distinguished by high sugar content. Similar characteristics in the Nikolka variety.

    Video: firefly dogwood berries

    Dogwood growing tips for beginners

    Since few people grow dogwood, it would be interesting to outline the main points that need to be known when deciding to plant this crop by beginners.