How to save a dogwood tree

How to Save a Dying Dogwood Tree?

The dogwood tree is an aesthetic tree to have in the compound. It is America’s favorite landscaping tree, usually grown during autumn and blossoms in spring.

Watching it die after all the hard work can be very devastating.

Besides, this type of tree is known to be cold resilient even in snow. They can bear temperatures as low as -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 – -35 degrees Celsius).

Thus, the tree does well in temperatures below 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Usually, the mature tree grows to about 15 and 30 feet tall depending on the species but can go up to 70 feet high.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the dogwood tree can be found in zone 4 t0 9.

Zone four dogwood tree is the hardest and can withstand cold weather of below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Thus, this is an all-weather tree and can be planted at any time of the year as long as the right conditions are maintained.


How to Save A Dying Dogwood Tree?

If a dogwood tree is dying, the first step to saving it is establishing the course and deciding on the strategy to use. Saving can entail using pesticides, applying mulch, changing the soil PH, and improving drainage, all depending on the root cause.


Tips On How To Save A Dying Dogwood Tree


Apply mulch

During summer, there is a lot of evaporation taking place, which can cause the soil to dry and develop cracks.

Such a type of dryness can result in the death of the dogwood tree. Thus, to preserve moisture, apply several inches of mulching material around the base but not touching the tree trunk.

Mulching plays a significant role in cooling the soil and maintaining the desired soil moisture for the healthy growth of the dogwood plant.

Keep a regular check, especially during summer, and if you notice wilting, water the tree thoroughly and apply mulch.


Improve soil drainage

If the soil is draining water quickly, resulting in excessive dryness that can lead to the wilting and ultimate death of the tree, consider mixing with clay soil or loam soils to promote water retention.

Likewise, if the soil maintains lots of water during heavy rain, it will lead to waterlogging. In this case, try mixing the soil with sandy soil which has high drainage.

Alternatively, you can transplant it to another location where the soil has the right pH and proper drainage.

Suppose the soils in the area have high water retention and are not possible to source for other types of soils, improve drainage by planting the tree on a slope.

Try planting in a high area as opposed to low areas.



Suppose the dogwood tree is infected by a spot anthracnose fungal disease, its mortality rate increases.

The disease spreads through water splashing from one leaf to another. While it is common among indoor plants, it can also affect those in the field if planted closely.

To address this issue, prune the diseased branches and remove them from the field.

Also, use daconil to spay the pruned parts as per the directions and regularly check and prune as soon as you detect the symptom.

Also, if you have other plants close to the infected one, consider transplanting them to a healthier location.


Use pesticides

If you notice holes in the stem or branches, it is best to use pesticides to kill the dogwood borers before they spread.

If the plant is beyond saving, uproot and burn it to eliminate all possible pests from spreading to others.

Since some might hide in the soil, it is best to transplant the remaining healthy plants to another location.

Avoid planting the trees back in the same space for the next one or two seasons. This will allow those pests to die from hunger and extreme climate.


Improve the soil pH

Dogwood trees grow well in slightly acidic to neutral soil ranging between 5.5 to 7.0 PH.

While most garden soil falls between 6.0 and 7.0, this can be the right type of soil to grow the dogwood tree.

However, if the soil is alkaline, the plant’s leaves will turn yellow, indicating they are not making food through photosynthesis necessary for plant growth, leading to its death.

Have you noticed signs that the dogwood plant is dying? There is a possibility the problem lies with the soil pH.

Test it and if it is alkaline, try to improve it by using fertilizers to help revive the plant.

You can even transplant the plant to a location where the soil has the recommended PH for the healthy growth of the dogwood plant.


Consider moving it under the shade

Dogwood plants thrive in cool or cold weather. A lot of sun can be detrimental to the plants.

If your plant is exposed to too much, especially during summer, consider moving it to an area with shade.

This will also reduce the evaporation rate, promoting moisture retention necessary for healthy growth.


Why Is The Dogwood Tree Dying



Numerous diseases can affect the dogwood resulting in its death. Fungal infection called dogwood anthracnose is one of the devastating diseases that infect dogwood during the flowering stage.

It affects the tree throughout the eastern and northwestern U.S, resulting in high mortality among the infected trees.



Pests are another potential course for the dying dogwood tree.

The dogwood borer makes holes in the main stem and branches, resulting in significant structural damage.

The tree eventually develops seeping cracks in the trunk and is filled with sawdust. Too many of these holes prevent the free flow of nutrients up a tree, resulting in death.


Poor soil drainage

Dogwood tree requires proper drainage. Poor drainage can cause waterlogging or dryness, resulting in death.

For instance, clay soils are known to maintain a lot of water and are therefore not suitable for planting dogwood trees.

Consider mixing the soil with sand soil to facilitate proper drainage.

Similarly, sandy soils have poor water retention, and during summer, your tree will require frequent watering; otherwise, it will die due to lack of water.


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Save a Dying Dogwood Tree


What are the signs your dogwood tree is dying?

There are numerous indicators when a dogwood tree’s dying. The most common ones are peeling barks which are always an indication of diseases. Another sign is leaf discoloration; it can turn brown or white.


Why are the leaves of the dogwood tree dying?

Leaf scorching is usually a sign of dry soil. When the plant is water-starved, the leaves turn brown and die. Other courses could be fungal disease or pest attack.



In this article, there are several causes of death among dogwood trees. It’s vital to determine the cause of dying dogwood to develop the appropriate solution.

Every cause has a unique solution. Hopefully, this article will save your dying dogwood tree.

How To Save a Dying Dogwood Tree: The Complete Troubleshooting Guide

Save a dying dogwood tree by identifying the root cause of its decaying health. There can be more than one reason, and the secret of reducing it depends on how fast you catch them.

Our expert troubleshooting guide will help you identify the problem and assist you in resolving it. To learn the secrets of rescuing your dying Dogwood tree, just continue reading.


  • How To Save a Dying Dogwood Tree
    • – Use Mulch 
    • – Provide Soil Drainage
    • – Prune Your Plant
    • – Use Pesticides
    • – Check Your Soil pH
    • – Provide Shade
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • – What Is a Dogwood Tree?
    • – What Are the Signs of a Dying Dogwood Tree?
    • – Why Are the Leaves of the Dogwood Tree Burning?
    • – What Should I Do With the Dead Branches on the Dogwood Tree?
    • – Why Does My Dogwood Tree Look Dead?
    • – Why Is the Dogwood Tree Dying Top Down?
  • Conclusion

How To Save a Dying Dogwood Tree

Saving a dying Dogwood tree begins with the identification of the problem and then setting a plan of action to rescue it.

The solution could be with the use of pesticides, improving soil acidity, checking the drainage, or even mulching. Let us discuss all options one by one.

– Use Mulch 

Mulching helps the plant retain moisture and regulate temperatures. Many natural materials can be used for mulching, such as bark, leaves, straw and coir. Dogwood trees also appreciate the use of mulch around them.

Summer heat takes away moisture from the soil fast, which can damage the soil and leave it dry. As a result of this, the trunk of the Dogwood tree begins to crack, which leads to plant death. The secret is hidden in mulching if you want to avoid this problem. Spread mulch around the tree, making sure it doesn’t touch the trunk.

Mulching will revive a Dogwood tree by maintaining the soil temperature and having a cooling effect. It will also retain moisture and promote the healthy growth of the tree. To avoid stem cracking, check your tree during summer and as soon as there are signs of cracking, apply mulch immediately.

– Provide Soil Drainage

Dogwood trees need good drainage. It will not grow in clay-based soil because they retain too much water, and it will not like sandy soil because it drains too quickly. Try to find a balance between both, because in summer it will need plenty of water and both extremes will not be good for it.

Soil drainage affects the health of all plants. Poor drainage causes root rot and leads to plant death. On the other hand, if the soil drains too fast, there will be excessive dryness in the soil that will cause wilting of the trees. Wilting will result in the death of the Dogwood tree.

– What To Do

The problem can be solved if caught early. Soil texture and water retention can be improved if the soil is too dry. Mixing clay or loam soil can significantly improve water retention and plant health.

Wilting can also be caused by excess water. It happens after a spell of rain that causes water logging sometimes. In such cases, mix sandy soil to the surrounding area to assist in good drainage. If the plant can be moved, transplant it to another location that has the right pH, soil texture, and drainage. 

– Prune Your Plant

Pruning can help a Dogwood tree in case it is infested with fungal disease. Once a fungal disease such as spot anthracnose spreads, the mortality rate increases. This disease spreads through water that splashes on the foliage and multiplies the problem. It affects indoor and outdoor plants equally.

Although many diseases can affect the growth and health of Dogwood trees, Dogwood anthracnose is one of the most deadly diseases that can cause death too. It attacks during the flowering stage and is most easily spread in the eastern and northwestern U.S. Each year, it causes many trees to die.

Pruning is a lifesaving practice in such a case. Trim the infected branches and remove them from the garden. Use a fungicide on the plant and follow the directions on its pack before applying it. The best way to prevent and slow down this problem is to keep a close eye on any changes in plant health and signs of disease. 

– Use Pesticides

Some pests attack the Dogwood tree and feast on its wood. The signs are visible holes on the stems or branches. These borers spread quickly and cause the death of the plant by damaging the core structure of the tree and leaving it weak.

The tree eventually develops seeping cracks in the trunk and is filled with sawdust. Too many of these holes prevent the free flow of nutrients up a tree, resulting in death.

Treat it with pesticides as soon as you notice the holes. If the problem is severe, you will have to uproot the plant and torch it. Unfortunately, this is the only way to prevent the spread of this pest and to save other trees. Borers can also be inside the soil and affect other plants.

Do not plant the tree back in the same spot for the next few seasons. Doing this will starve the pests in the ground and the extreme weather will kill them.

– Check Your Soil pH

If all of the above reasons are taken care of and your Dogwood tree is still dying, then it could be because of the soil pH. It will be best to test the soil pH levels. If the soil is too alkaline, then improve it with natural fertilizers. You can also use synthetic fertilizers and both will improve the plant’s health.

If you have an option, transplant the plant to a better location with improved pH levels.

– Provide Shade

Dogwood plants like to grow in shade. If you plant it growing under full sun, your plant may not like it. Consider moving it in a shady location to assist it in thriving. 

Here is a handy table of the different symptoms, reasons and solutions to your Dogwood tree problems.

Symptom  Reason Solution
Wilting Poor Drainage The Dogwood tree is either getting too little or too much water. Drainage depends on the kind of soil. Sandy soil will drain fast while clay-based soil will drain slowly.

Improve soil by adding clay or loam soil. Add soil if the drainage is poor.

Cracked stems Dry soil Add mulch around the tree.
Holes in stems of dead branches on dogwood tree Pests Use pesticides or uproot and burn the plant in the worst case.
Unhealthy plant Incorrect Soil pH Improve soil pH using fertilizers.
Fungal disease Poor Health Prune the infected foliage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of your questions about a dying Dogwood tree.

– What Is a Dogwood Tree?

A Dogwood tree is a very attractive and famous American landscape tree that is planted in autumn and begins to bloom in spring. It is popular because of its aesthetic nature and for being cold resistant. The Dogwood tree lifespan is over 80 years.

The tree can survive snow and temperatures lower than -30 degrees Fahrenheit. A mature Dogwood tree grows to about 30 feet in height, and some can even grow up to 70 feet high.

USDA suggests zones 4 to 9 as being ideal for growing Dogwood trees. Gardeners adore it for all these qualities, and that is why it is hard to see it dying.

– What Are the Signs of a Dying Dogwood Tree?

Some signs of a dying Dogwood tree include wilting foliage, cracking or peeling barks, holes in stems and branches, infected leaves, and discolored foliage.

Once you notice any of these happening, immediately take action and use the guide above to fix it. 

– Why Are the Leaves of the Dogwood Tree Burning?

The leaves of the Dogwood tree burn when the soil is dry. A thirsty plant begins to lose its leaves that first turn brown. Sometimes, a fungal disease will also do this to the plant, and pest attacks can be a cause too.

Look at the symptom checker above to identify the exact problem.

– What Should I Do With the Dead Branches on the Dogwood Tree?

Remove the dead branches on the Dogwood tree because these are the entry points of diseases. Cut them at the base where they connect to the stem.

– Why Does My Dogwood Tree Look Dead?

The Dogwood tree looks dead because it has lost its canopy after the trunk has rotted away. Unfortunately, there is no chance of rescuing such a tree.

– Why Is the Dogwood Tree Dying Top Down?

The dogwood tree dying from top down might be because of a serious problem that is known as crown decline caused by many factors such as root stress, drought and poor soil.

Amend the soil, make sure it is not rocky and that there is enough water paired with good drainage to avoid this problem.


Save a dying Dogwood tree by taking care of its health and looking at possible signs of trouble. Our guide above highlighted possible symptoms and their solutions, and here is a review:

  • The Dogwood tree can be attacked by pests and diseases, and it will show signs of illnesses that can be treated.
  • Poor soil chemistry and drainage also affect its health.
  • Mulching and planting in shade will greatly help this tree.
  • A serious disease that affects the Dogwood tree is crown deline disease, which is caused by poor soil, stressed roots or drought.
  • It is possible to save the tree if the problem is caught and treated immediately.

In short, the beautiful Dogwood tree is an asset of any gardener, and taking little steps can save even a dying tree. We hope that by reading the guide above, you can now be confident in saving your Dogwood tree.

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Dogwood from early spring to late autumn

Dogwood is most often planted as an ornamental plant because of its very early flowering. Only five degrees of heat is needed to open bright yellow flowers, and for about two weeks dogwood branches, still without leaves, are literally covered with them.

Dogwood blossoms very early: from the end of March to the middle of April. Unfortunately, prolonged spring frosts can ruin the crop. Photo: Kenpel/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0.

There is still snow, and the dogwood is already in bloom.

Early varieties of dogwood Nastya.

Early varieties of dogwood Sunny.

Dogwood of medium maturity. Variety Prikubansky.

Dogwood of medium maturity. Variety Samokhvalovsky.

Late grade dogwood Artemy.

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Dogwood has long been used as a hedge. To do this, seedlings are planted often, after one meter, and soon they close up, and their height is adjusted by pruning.

But many, for sure, have tried delicious dogwood jam; You can cook such jam from the fruits of your garden. Harvesting is easy: just spread the burlap and shake off all the fruits. Dogwood ripens in late summer (early varieties) or early autumn (late varieties). The shape and color determines the variety. Everyone is accustomed to dark red dogwood, but it can be pink and even yellow.

It is known that dogwood is a southern culture, but you can get a good harvest in the central part of Russia, and even in its more northern latitudes, although the berries will not be as sweet as in the south. In the Tambov region, where I live, this plant bears fruit well and winters even without shelter - unlike other rare crops: mulberry, gumi, blackberry.

We list the dogwood varieties included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements of the Russian Federation. All of them are winter-hardy, not affected by pests and diseases.

Variety Prikubansky. Received in 2004 at the Kuban Agrarian University. Average term of maturing, universal appointment. Fruits up to 5.4 g, elongated pear-shaped and dark red in color. The pulp is scarlet, tender, juicy, sweet and sour taste. The stone is large, but does not separate from the pulp. The fruits contain more than 8.5% sugars, up to 1.6% acids and over 25.6 mg% ascorbic acid. Tasters rate the taste of the fruit at 4.6 points (out of five possible).

Tree of medium height, spherical shape, with slightly drooping branches.

Variety Artemy. Included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements of the Russian Federation in 2017. Late, universal purpose. The average weight of the fruits is just over 6.1 g, they are shaped like small bottles and dark red in color. The pulp is scarlet, quite dense, juicy, pleasant to the taste. The stone is very small and easily separated from the pulp. Each fruit contains 9.0% sugars, more than 1.7% acids and up to 118 mg% ascorbic acid. Tasters are unanimous in their assessment of this variety - five points.

The tree grows slowly, takes a spherical shape with a fairly dense crown. A distinctive feature is the gray, flaky bark on the trunk and the leaf blades, concave in the shape of a boat.

Variety Nastya. Received in 2017. Ripening period - early, universal purpose. The average fruit weight barely exceeds 5.1 g, they are drop-shaped and bright red in color. The pulp is scarlet, rough, but very juicy and pleasant taste. The stone is small, easily separated from the pulp. Each fruit contains more than 11.1% sugars, about 0.9% acids and up to 124 mg% ascorbic acid. The highest score of fruits is five points.

The tree grows slowly, takes a medium thickened oval crown.

Variety Samokhvalovsky. Included in the State Register of the Russian Federation in 2017. The ripening period is medium, the fruits are universal, weighing up to 7.6 g, they are almost black and can have a different shape, but more often pear-shaped. The pulp is also black, very juicy, but cartilaginous. The stone is quite large and is poorly separated from the pulp. Each fruit has a little more than 11.3% sugars, over 1.9% acids and up to 143 mg% ascorbic acid. The rating of the tasters is five points.

Medium-sized tree, dense oval shape.

Variety Sunny. Included in the State Register of the Russian Federation in 2017. Early variety, universal purpose. The fruits are small, their weight barely exceeds 4.1 g, they are oval in shape and yellow in color. The pulp is also yellow, very tender, juicy, literally melting in the mouth, according to the tasters it deservedly has five points. The stone in the fruit is small, easily separated from the pulp. The fruits contain more than 13% sugars, slightly more than 1.5% acids and up to 122 mg% ascorbic acid.

The tree does not grow very tall, has a medium thickened pyramidal crown.

In the northern regions of the country, it is necessary to choose varieties with an early ripening period for planting.

How to grow dogwood

In the garden, it is better to take an open place for the dogwood, where the shadow does not fall, and provide reliable protection from the north wind by planting it near the wall of a house, fence or any other building.

You can plant seedlings on a south-facing slope, making grooves 0.5 m deep along it to retain moisture. In the future, the dogwood will gain a foothold on the slope and will even contribute to its strengthening.

The main thing is not to plant dogwood on swampy soil or in periodically flooded areas where melt or rain water accumulates for a long time.

To get a harvest, it is better to plant two different varieties in the garden that bloom at the same time. If there is no place in the garden for a second seedling, plant early blooming plants nearby: snowdrops, lilies of the valley, tulips, which will attract pollinating insects.

Keep the seedling in a bucket of water until planting. If you intend to plant only in a day, it is better to dig the plant and water it lightly.

When choosing a seedling, I advise you to stop at a two-year-old, the branches and bark should not have significant damage, creases and sagging. Be sure to inspect the root system of the seedling, it should have several branches and a length of up to 40 cm. It is bad if the roots are dry or excessively wet. This indicates that the plant was dried out, and then kept in water for a long time.

Dogwood grows well in any soil, but its favorite soils are light, fertile and well-drained.

You can plant seedlings in the garden both in autumn (end of September-October) and in spring (after the soil has thawed). Seedlings with a closed root system are planted at any time.

It is better to dig landing holes based on the volume of the root system, that is, they should be 2 cm wider and deeper than the root ball. Be sure to pour drainage (1-2 cm) into the base of the landing hole. It can be broken brick, expanded clay, pebbles; they do not allow moisture to stagnate at the roots. Next, make a "nutritional pillow" from a mixture of equal parts of river sand, humus and ordinary garden soil. Sprinkle it with mineral fertilizers - 25-30 g of ammonium nitrate, 35-40 g of superphosphate, 250-300 g of wood ash and water it. Set the seedling on damp soil and gently straighten the roots. The root neck of the seedling (the place where the roots go into the trunk) should be 2 cm below the soil level. Sprinkle with nutrient soil on top, compact, pour a bucket of water and mulch with humus with a layer of 5 cm if it is autumn, and 1.5-2.0 cm if planting is carried out in spring.

All shoots on a seedling can be shortened by a third of the length, but if the root system is undamaged, it is quite possible not to do this.

Remove the weeds next spring and loosen the soil well. In early June, water the plantings and mulch the surface with humus (2 cm). In mid-June, on nutritious, chernozem soil, apply 5-7 g of nitroammophoska under the plant. On poorer gray forest soil, additional feeding is needed: at the very beginning of the growing season, it is good to add a solution of ammonium nitrate (15–20 g) for each plant, and potassium sulfate (10–12 g) in the fall. Particular attention has to be paid to dogwood growing on sandy soil: in the spring, a bucket of compost and 20-25 g of ammonium nitrate should be added under each plant. Distribute the entire mixture over the top layer of soil, bury it in it and pour a bucket of water.

In summer, it is good to add a bucket of mullein and compost for seedlings. You can water the plant with infusion of wood ash (600 g per bucket of water).

In autumn, after harvesting, it is recommended to pour 450-550 g of wood ash and 70-90 g of superphosphate under each plant.

Dogwood is quite drought-resistant, however, if there has been no rain for a long time, water the seedlings. The main thing is to prevent a strong drying of the dogwood root system. Pour a bucket of water under the plant every week. Before watering, loosen the soil, and after watering, mulch with a layer of peat or humus 1 cm thick.

Dogwood needs the most moisture at the very beginning of the growing season, that is, in spring, and about 2 weeks before harvesting, that is, in August, and also after another 2-3 weeks. These are the so-called moisture-charging irrigations, when you need to pour 5-6 buckets of water under each plant.

As for the formation, by cutting off the central conductor 2 years after planting, you can turn the dogwood into a bush. If you want the dogwood to grow as a tree, form a trunk at a height of 20-30 cm and periodically clear it of the resulting shoots.

For winter, young plants, especially in regions where the temperate climate prevails, mulch with a layer of peat or humus (15 cm), and in late autumn cover with cardboard boxes stuffed with shavings, straw or sawdust. For older plants, tie and wrap the branches with several layers of air-permeable covering material.

Despite the fact that dogwood is a southern culture, it easily tolerates frost down to -30 ° C, and even if it suffers from cold, it recovers well.

Photo of the author.


Note to the hostess

Everything from dogwood

Shechamandy (Georgian vegetarian soup with dogwood). 250 g dogwood, 500 ml water, 2 garlic cloves, 1 mint sprig, 1 onion, 1 tbsp. l. flour.

Mash the dogwood and rub through a colander. Pour the extracted juice into a separate bowl. Pour pomace and bones with water and boil for 6 minutes. Then strain and add finely chopped onion and flour diluted with water to the boiling broth. Boil for 10 minutes, add juice, crushed garlic and finely chopped mint. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Fish with dogwood sauce. 1 kg fish, 80 g butter, 250 g dogwood, 2 garlic cloves, dill, salt to taste.

Brush the fish with oil and bake in the oven. Boil dogwood in a small amount of water and wipe through a colander. Add the garlic and puree in a blender until smooth. Sprinkle with dill and salt. You can add pepper to the sauce if you like. Pour prepared sauce over fish.

Fake olives. 500 g greenish dogwood, 250 ml wine vinegar, 250 ml water, 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp. l. mustard seeds, 1 tsp. salt, 5 black peppercorns, 2-3 cloves of garlic, a piece of red hot pepper.

Mix all the ingredients and pour the pure dogwood fruits with the mixture. Boil for 5 minutes and immediately pour into sterile jars, cork with lids, turn over and leave for 2-3 days.

Dogwood Vinegar. 1.5 kg of dogwood, 1.5 l of water, 200 g of sugar, 1-2 sprigs of mint.

Mash dogwood, add water, mint, sugar and transfer to a jar. Tie with gauze in two layers and leave for 2-3 months in a dark place. Drain the finished vinegar from the sediment.

Dogwood jam. 1 kg dogwood, 1.5 kg sugar, 300 ml water.

Blanch dogwood for 1 minute in boiling water. Boil the syrup: for this, pour the sugar with water and heat until completely dissolved. Transfer the berries to the boiling syrup. Cook over low heat for 5-8 minutes, skimming off the foam from time to time, but do not stir. Then remove from heat and cool. Boil the jam 2 more times for 5-8 minutes with intervals for cooling.

Dogwood, mashed with sugar. 1 kg dogwood, 2 kg sugar.

Rinse ripe fruits in running water and rub through a sieve. Add sugar to the resulting mass, mix well and put into clean, dry jars. Keep refrigerated.

Infusion of fresh dogwood. 1 st. l. fruits, 1 cup boiling water.

Drink the infusion throughout the day, divided into several servings. Useful for strengthening immunity.

Infusion of dried cornelian fruit. 1 tsp fruits, 1 cup boiling water.

Pour the fruits with boiling water, cover, wrap and insist for 15 minutes. Recommended for colds.

Natalia Zamyatina.

Cultivation of dogwood in the Moscow region, features of planting and care, as well as varieties for this region

Dogwood is a rare plant for gardens near Moscow. Gardeners do not trust the southern tree too much, but this attitude is erroneous. Dogwood copes with frosty winters, is unpretentious in care and is not very susceptible to diseases. But in order for this tree to become a decoration of the site, you need to choose the right variety.


  • 1 Description and characteristics of dogwood

    • 1. 1 Characteristics of dogwood

  • 2 Cultivation of dogwood in the suburbs of Moscow

    • 2.1 Video: rules for growing dogwood

  • 3 Dogwood planting features

    • 3.1 Timing of planting dogwood

    • 3.2 Selection of soil and site for planting

    • 3.3 Seedling selection

    • 3.4 Preparing the pit for planting

      • 3.4.1 Creating a planting hole step by step

    • 3.5 Planting dogwood

      • 3.5.1 Video: planting dogwood

  • 4 dogwood care

    • 4.1 Watering

    • 4.2 Top dressing dogwood

    • 4.3 Tree pruning

    • 4.4 Tree ring care

    • 4.5 Winterizing dogwood

  • 5 Diseases and pests

    • 5.1 Table: Disease and insect control measures

      • 5. 1.1 Photo gallery: dogwood diseases and pests

  • 6 Popular dogwood varieties for the Moscow region

    • 6.1 Photo gallery: varieties zoned for the Moscow region

  • 7 Winter-hardy varieties of dogwood

    • 7.1 Photo gallery: Frost resistant varieties

  • 8 Dogwood Growing Reviews

Description and characteristics of dogwood

Wild-growing dogwood is found in the mountain forests of the Caucasus and the Crimea, in the bright sunny forests of Central and Southern Europe and North America. In the Asian part of the globe, the plant is common in Japan, China, and Asia Minor.

In the Turkic language, the name sounds like "kyzyl" and literally means "red", which coincides with the color of ripe berries.

Dogwood is associated with many legends and signs. In the East, the plant is called "devil's berry", and Christians believe that the Holy Cross is made from dogwood wood.

According to a sign, the more dogwood berries on a branch, the colder the winter will be

Dogwood characteristics

Common dogwood is a deciduous tree or multi-stemmed shrub. Under natural conditions, tree-like specimens grow 5–7 m in height. In a favorable environment there are trees up to 10 m high. The branches are spreading, horizontally arranged. The bark is dark grey. The leaves grow opposite each other, within 8 cm long. The surface of the leaf is decorated with 3-5 pairs of arcuate veins. The top of the leaf plate is shiny, bright green in color, the underside is lighter. The flowers are bisexual, collected in inflorescences-umbrellas of 15–20 pcs. Flowering occurs in April at a temperature of 8–12 to C, before the leaves appear.

Dogwood in the Moscow region blooms in early April for 10-15 days

Dogwood fruit is a drupe differing in size and shape. Berries are long or short oval, pear-shaped or rounded. On average, the fruit weighs 2–6 g. The surface of the fruit is often smooth, sometimes bumpy. The color is represented by all shades of red, but there is yellow, dark purple or black. The bone is oval-elongated.

In modern varieties of dogwood, the coloring is not limited to the traditional red color

The fleshy, juicy pulp makes up 68-88% of the fruit's weight. The taste is sweet and sour, reminiscent of wild rose, and after the berries in the mouth there is a slight astringency. Kizil lives in one place for more than 100 years. The plant is fast-growing, but if grown from a stone, the appearance of fruits is expected in 7 years. Productivity increases with age. Twelve-year-old trees bring 25-30 kg of red berries, 25-year-old trees - up to 100 kg. And at the age of 50, a crop of 150 kg ripens on dogwood. Of the southern fruit plants, dogwood is the most frost-resistant. Cases have been recorded when trees withstood cold below 35 o S. It is not frost that is dangerous for dogwood, but winter thaws and spring return frosts. The plant does not have time to restore the level of winter hardiness. In addition, rains and fogs during flowering reduce the yield.

Returning spring frosts turn into crop failure for a tree

Dogwood is self-fertile, so you need to purchase a couple of seedlings. If there is not enough space for the normal placement of plants, a sprig of another variety is grafted into the crown of the planted one. The plant easily tolerates dry periods due to developed roots. The vertical root goes 1 m deep into the ground, and the fibrous part is located higher, 20–60 cm below the soil surface. Dogwood is highly immune; no specific diseases have been identified for it.

Growing dogwood in the Moscow region

Despite the thermophilicity, dogwood has been growing and bearing fruit in the Moscow region for many years. In the Main Botanical Garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the plant appeared back in 1950, so the dogwood grove has 50 trees up to 3 m high. But incredulous gardeners do not risk planting dogwood in gardens, doubting their ability to survive the difficult conditions of winter. And in vain, because dogwood is a picky plant that can survive in thirty-degree frosts. Even if the plant suffers in the winter, it will easily recover in the spring, as it gives a lot of root shoots.

Dogwood is easy to care for, which will allow even a novice gardener to try his hand at growing a southern berry.

Video: rules for growing dogwood

Dogwood planting features

In order for the dogwood to be able to quickly adapt, they keep planting dates and carefully choose a place for the plant.

Dogwood planting dates

It is preferable to plant dogwood in late September - early October. If the dates are determined according to folk signs, then the procedure should be started as soon as the leaves fall from the poplar. It is impossible to delay planting, the seedling takes root for 3 weeks, and frosts are fatal. Autumn planting will allow:

  • purchase strong planting stock at a reasonable price;
  • make it easier for the tree to take root in a new location in moist soil. By spring, the dogwood will acquire a mass of roots that will help the plant grow quickly;
  • save time and effort. The tree is watered 1 time, the rest will be done by rains and the relatively mild climate of the Moscow region.

In the spring, planting dogwood should be hurried, because the growing season begins rapidly. It is necessary to plant a plant before the appearance of the first flowers and only in warm soil.

Selection of soil and planting site

For dogwood, a lighted area in the southern or southwestern part of the garden with little shading is suitable, since in nature the plant lives in light sparse forests. Light partial shade is important for young plantings. Over time, the dogwood grows and becomes sprawling, so the tree is located at a distance of 3–5 m from the boundaries of the site. In addition, dogwood is planted on the leeward side of buildings or fences. Flat areas are suitable for planting, but a slight slope of 5-10 degrees is also allowed. Neighborhood with fruit trees will not hurt the dogwood, but you cannot plant a plant under a walnut - it will not take root. Dogwood is undemanding in terms of soil, it will grow even in heavy clay areas with high acidity. But the quality of the crop and the development of the tree in such conditions will suffer. Dogwood is suitable for light soils with aeration and nutrients, moderately moisture-intensive. Clay fraction and lime should be added to the ground to retain water.

Dogwood will not grow in wetlands where the water table is above 1m to the surface.

As a rule, dogwood is planted along the boundaries of the plot so that the shadow from the dense crown does not cover other plants from the sun

Selection of seedling

Only a strong and healthy seedling is able to grow, therefore, when buying planting material, it is worth evaluating a tree according to the following criteria:

  • roots with elastic lateral branches, 25–30 cm, without signs of disease;
  • trunk diameter of at least 2 cm, the bark is smooth, without damage. Under the bark is fresh green wood. If it is brown, the seedling is not viable;
  • seedling age 1–2 years. The height of the tree is 1.2–1.6 m; there are 3–5 branches around the trunk.

Flower buds are already formed on two-year-old seedlings, and the plant is ready to bloom the next year after planting.

You need to buy seedlings in the fall, then the plant will take root and give strong roots in the spring

Planting hole preparation

It is extremely important to cultivate the soil and properly prepare the planting hole, given that dogwood in one place grows longer than other fruit crops. For autumn planting, preparatory work begins in the spring. The selected area is freed from plant residues, perennial weeds are removed. Acidic soil is limed, and to improve the quality of the land, compost or manure is added at a rate of 5 kg per 1 m 2 . After that, the surface is leveled and harrowed to retain moisture. In the summer, they begin to prepare the landing pit.

Dogwood pit prepared in summer to mix fertilizer with soil

Planting hole step by step

Making a landing pit is easy if you follow these rules:

  1. Dig a hole 80x80 cm. If the soil is prone to excessive accumulation of moisture, make the hole a little deeper, and lay drainage (broken brick or crushed stone) on the bottom.
  2. Drive a support peg 80–100 cm high into the untouched bottom of the pit. Place it on the side where the wind blows.
  3. When digging, set aside the upper fertile layer in one direction, and the earth raised from the depth in the other. Add organics and mineral fertilizers to fertile soil:
  • humus or manure - 1 bucket;
  • superphosphate - 200 g;
  • ammonium nitrate - 50 g;
  • wood ash - half a liter jar.

To give the soil the desired structure, pour a bucket of water into the filled hole.

Planting dogwood

Before planting, the tree is carefully inspected, damaged branches are removed. If the roots are dry, they are dipped in water for 1-2 hours to revive, and then dipped in a clay mash for 10-15 minutes. The process of landing in a pit is simple:

  1. Make a mound of soil in the center of the hole.
  2. Place the seedling on a raised platform, carefully straightening the intertwined roots.
  3. Cover with earth and press down. After planting, the root neck should rise 5 cm above the ground.
  4. Tie the seedling to the support. When planting in autumn, carefully, so as not to damage the ovary, remove the foliage from the branches.
  5. Make a watering circle around the seedling and pour water into it at the rate of 30-40 liters per plant.
  6. When the water has been absorbed, mulch around the tree trunk.

Care should be taken when planting dogwood, as the fibrous roots can be damaged.

Video: dogwood planting process

dogwood care

Picky dogwood will grow even a novice gardener.


Dogwood roots are able to get moisture from the soil even with occasional rainfall. Despite the dogwood's ability to endure dry periods, the plant is responsive to watering. Mature trees are more resistant to lack of water than young ones, but when fruiting, a lack of moisture will result in the drying of berries. Kidneys in the absence of water are not laid. In a thirsty plant, the leaves are folded in a boat to reduce evaporation. Young, immature trees need regular watering in the first growing season after planting. Dogwood should be watered with settled and sun-warmed water. The water consumption rate for a tree will be 2 buckets under a tree 1 or 2 times a week. Mulch should be used after watering to avoid unnecessary moisture loss.

Dogwood is sensitive to waterlogging of the soil. Spring precipitation near Moscow should be taken into account when drawing up a watering schedule.

Dogwood top dressing

Gardeners have different opinions on fertilizing. Some believe that dogwood grows and bears fruit without fertilization. Other parts, on the contrary, indicate an improvement in the quality of the crop and the development of the tree after adding organic matter to the soil. Be that as it may, dogwood reacts to top dressing, both mineral and organic. Depending on the season, different types of fertilizers are chosen:

  • at the beginning of the growing season and during growth, it is better to use nitrogen-phosphorus compositions - 40–50 g per plant;
  • in the summer, a solution of chicken manure is used, diluting the fertilizer with water in an amount of 1 to 10;
  • closer to autumn, they are fed with potassium 10–12 g per tree;
  • in spring or autumn, humus or rotted manure is introduced, using organic matter as mulch or for digging. For 1 m 2 2-3 kg is sufficient;
  • in autumn, before digging, ash is added to the soil.

In acidic soils, do not forget about lime, as dogwood needs calcium for fruiting.

Tree pruning

Cut the dogwood in early spring, being careful not to damage the thin bark. Crown formation is carried out in the first years after planting. First, a trunk is made 50–70 cm high, removing the shoots starting from the planting level. 5-7 strong shoots are left as skeletal branches. The crown is formed in the form of a neat oval or compact pyramid.

Dogwood crown is formed oval or pyramidal for rapid growth of branches and ripening of berries

In the future, gardeners monitor the cleanliness of the stem zone, remove broken or dried branches in time, sometimes carrying out thinning pruning. Rejuvenate a tree 15–20 years after planting.

Dogwood easily lends itself to formation, becoming a decoration of the site. To do this, skeletal branches are tied to pegs in the right direction, and then trellises are installed and shoots are launched along them.

Tree ring maintenance

The process includes weeding near the tree trunks. The next day after watering, the soil is loosened to prevent the formation of an earthen crust that prevents normal gas exchange. Mulching is also not neglected, which combines the functions of feeding and maintaining moisture in the roots, and also prevents the growth of weeds.

Preparing dogwood for winter

Despite frost resistance, young dogwood with immature roots should be protected in winter. After leaf fall, it is worth removing fallen leaves and a layer of old mulch. To insulate superficial absorbent roots, a layer of manure or humus up to 20 cm high is laid, collecting a mound around the trunk. Dogwood saplings for the winter are covered with non-woven covering material. Burlap, lutrasil or agrofibre will do.

Winter in the Moscow region is moderately cold with stable snow cover. If a snowdrift is formed around the dogwood, this will serve as a natural protection for the roots.

This covering material is breathable but protects the plant from frost

Diseases and pests

Dogwood, which has good health, rarely suffers from diseases and pests. But an attentive gardener should periodically check the condition of the trunk, branches and leaves so as not to miss the initial stage of a developing infection or the appearance of insects.

Table: Disease and insect control measures

Diseases and
Symptoms Control measures Prophylaxis
Powdery mildew Can be recognized by a white powdery coating on the leaves. Leaf plates are bent and stop growing. Fungicides, such as Topaz, will help to cope with the disease. At the initial stage, it is worth treating
leaves with a solution of soda (60 g) and antibacterial soap
(30 g) in a bucket of water.
Collection and annealing of fallen leaves, loosening the ground under a tree in autumn. Do not overfeed dogwood with nitrogen.
Leaf spot Small red-brown spots gradually spread over the surface of the leaf, interfering with photosynthesis. The fungus enters the trunk through cracks in the bark, where it damages the cambium. In the fight against fungal infection, copper-containing preparations are used. The disease often occurs due to excessive soil moisture, so
overflow is fatal. Against the fungus, Bordeaux mixture is also used.
Multicolor Butterfly lays 100-200 eggs on the surface of the leaf, from which caterpillars of gray-brown color with yellow stripes and tubercles on the back appear. The caterpillars feed on leaf blades and make nests on young shoots. You can deal with caterpillars with the help of Parisian greens. Caterpillar nests are harvested by hand and destroyed.
Photo gallery: dogwood diseases and pests
A sign of powdery mildew is a characteristic white coating on the leaves.
Dry spots on the leaves of the tree coalesce and interfere with the process of photosynthesis.
The insect eats leaf plates and nests on growing dogwood shoots.

Popular dogwood varieties for the Moscow region

Thanks to selection work, many varieties of cornelian cherry have appeared, which grow in the conditions of the Moscow region. These are trees with an early and medium ripening period, which fits into the particular weather conditions of the region. The seedling brought from the south will not take root in the new conditions, but the zoned varieties will yield:

  1. Nastya. The plant is medium in size, the crown is not too dense. The bark of the trunk is gray, flaky. The leaf bud is gray-green, the flower bud is gray-yellow, with a raspberry blush. Leaf size is medium to large. The plates are slightly elongated, with a slight sharpening. Dark green surface matte, wrinkled, slightly pubescent. The sheet is concave, similar to a boat. The fruits are colored red, the average weight of the stone fruit is 5 g. The pulp is red, medium coarseness, sweet and sour. The average yield is 104 q/ha. The variety is valued for its fast maturation. Universal fruits. The tree resists diseases and pests.
  2. Coral Brand. Srednerosloe plant, oval fruits, like cherry plum. The variety is large-fruited, the weight of the berry is 5.5–6.5 g. The color of the drupe is orange-pink. The taste of the variety is sweet and more reminiscent of cherries than dogwood. The stone is easily separated from the juicy pulp. Ripe fruits crumble, so it is better not to pull with the harvest. The variety is ready for harvesting on August 15–20. Up to 35 kg of harvest is harvested from a 15-year-old tree. Berries are universal in use.
  3. Vydubetsky. The plant is tall, up to 4 m. Oval-pear-shaped fruits weighing 6.5–7.5 g. The skin is thin, shiny, painted dark red. In the stage of full ripeness, the berries acquire a pomegranate hue. Sweet and sour, juicy and tender flesh of dense texture. Ripe fruits do not crumble, which facilitates collection. The variety is famous for its yield - up to 50 kg per tree, the keeping quality of fruits, it is not damaged during transportation. Frost resistance up to -25 about C.
  4. Firefly. A tree up to 2.5 m high. The crown is 3 m in diameter, oval. Fruits weighing 7–7.7 g, bottle-shaped with a thickened neck. The color of the ripe fruit is red-black. Sweet and sour pulp, pleasant to the taste, dense, fragrant. Dogwood ripens in the last week of August or early September. Ripe berries do not crumble. The fruits are light, after harvesting they are not deformed for 4 weeks. Annual fruiting is noted, on a 15-year-old tree up to 60 kg of berries ripen per season, suitable for processing and freezing.
  5. Lukyanovsky. A three-meter tree with a beautiful, medium thickened rounded crown. The fruits are one-dimensional, pear-shaped, weighing 5 g. During the period of full ripening, the dark red skin becomes black. The pulp near the bone brightens. The texture is thick but soft. Productivity increases with age, 10-25 kg is removed from a 10-year-old tree, 45-60 kg from 15-20-year-olds. Harvest ripens in the first decade of August. The berries plucked ahead of time ripen, they endure transportation without any problems. The variety is valued for easy care, the ability to endure frosty and dry periods. Versatile berries.
  6. Eugene. The fruits are oval-drop-shaped, large and shiny. The mass of the berry is 6–8 g. The thin, but dense skin is colored dark red, which becomes black in matured drupes. The pulp is dark red, tender, sweet-sour taste, easily lags behind the stone. Berries of medium ripening, the harvest is ready for harvest in the third decade of August. The variety is famous for its annual harvests, a 15-year-old tree brings from 40 to 50 kg of berries. Fruits keep in the refrigerator for up to five weeks. The variety is chosen for drought and frost resistance.
  7. Elegant. The fruits are elongated, slightly flattened. Weight within 9 g. The peel is glossy, painted in cherry-burgundy, close to black, shade. The dark red pulp is dense, separated from the stone, the taste is sweetish with a slight sourness. Stable fruiting, yield per tree - up to 45 kg. The variety is distinguished by transportability and high resistance to diseases; cases of damage by viruses and fungi have not been recorded. The tree withstands frosts down to -25 o C.

Photo gallery: varieties zoned for the Moscow region

This variety of dogwood is able to withstand sharp cold snaps.
The fruits of the Firefly variety are stored for up to four weeks
Dogwood Nastya perfectly resists diseases and pests
This variety among all those near Moscow received the highest rating for taste.
Dogwood fruits Coral mark must be harvested on time, otherwise they crumble
Eugene's berries are leading in terms of the amount of vitamin C contained
Kizil Vydubetsky endures long-term transportation without any problems

Winter-hardy varieties of dogwood

Thanks to the work of breeders, dogwood takes root and bears fruit in regions with severe winters. For the cold weather near Moscow, the following varieties have been bred:

  1. Elena. Round-oval, one-dimensional fruits weighing 5–8 g. The surface of the berry is covered with a thin and shiny dark red skin. The pulp separated from the stone is colored red, tender and juicy. The taste is dominated by sweetness, the sugar content reaches 7.7%. The tree is harvested early - at the end of August. It is necessary to remove the fruits on time, as the berries are prone to shedding. The yield is annual, with indicators of 22–42 kg, the variety is resistant to diseases. Shoots withstand temperatures down to -35 to C and transported without problems. Variety Elena is useful fresh, but also suitable for harvesting.
  2. Nikolka. The fruits are ready for harvest in late July - early August. The berries are one-dimensional, elongated-oval, with a slight asymmetry, weighing 5–8 g. Ripe fruits are dark red. The uniformly colored pulp is tender and juicy, of a dense texture, fragrant. The taste is sweet with a slight sourness. An adult tree gives 35 kg of berries. The variety is resistant to diseases, withstands frosts of thirty degrees. Versatile berries.
  3. Vyshgorodsky. Early maturing variety, ripens in early August. The berries are elongated-rounded, weighing 4–6 g. The skin is shiny, dark red, the flesh is dense, juicy. The taste is rich, sweet and sour. Productivity is 35–42 kg per tree. The fruits are transportable, stored for a long time, do not lose their useful properties after processing. Disease resistance is high, shoots easily tolerate frost.
  4. Grenadier. Valued for the early ripening of berries - in early or mid-August. Round-elongated fruits weighing 5–9g are covered with a glossy skin of red color. The pulp has an average density, the taste is sweet and sour. The yield is stable, 45 kg of berries are harvested from one tree. The variety is well stored and transported. Immunity is high, the tree is winter-hardy. The fruits are used both in preparations and fresh.

Photo gallery: frost resistant varieties

The fruits are prone to shedding, so they are removed three to five days before full ripening.
Dogwood Grenadier is valued by gardeners for its early harvest and large fruits.
The variety tolerates even thirty-degree frosts

Dogwood Growing Reviews

Dogwood is a useful berry, which is not difficult to grow in a garden near Moscow. With minimal care in the fall, the tree will delight you with a harvest of berries with an unforgettable taste.

  • Author: Irina Morenko