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Since keeping your Dogwood tree healthy is crucial to maintaining its beauty & longevity, you should know how to keep a dogwood tree healthy. You should never leave any plant or tree unhealthy, especially if you have lots of them in your landscape or garden.
An unhealthy tree can be susceptible to past diseases and other issues that cause irreparable damage and spread to others. Furthermore, a sick tree will always hurt the overall aesthetic of your landscape.
Therefore, if you want to ensure your dogwood tree thrives and adds beauty to your landscape aesthetic look or outdoor space for years to come, you should know what affects their health most.
Let’s first discuss factors that can affect the health of your dogwood tree; then, I’ll tell you how to keep a dogwood tree healthy.
11 Factors That Can Affect the Health of Your Dogwood Tree
If you want to keep your Dogwood tree healthy, you must consider these 11 common factors that can affect its health.
- Soil: All varieties of dogwood trees need well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5 to grow & thrive. Therefore, a responsible gardener or landscaper should maintain their tree soil well-draining to prevent waterlogging.
- Water: Along with draining soil, Dogwood trees also need consistent moisture, especially during the first few years of growth. It would help if you also watered them more frequently during dry spells.
- Light: Avoid keeping your tree, especially young ones, directly exposed to the full sun. Dogwood trees require dappled shade to full sun exposure to thrive. Choose a spot for your tree that receives less shade or sunlight.
- Fertilizer: To promote healthy growth, you should apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring. During fall, light soil amendment will work best.
- Pruning: As you know, Regular pruning can promote healthy growth; promptly remove any diseased or damaged branches using clean & sharp tools.
- Pests: Many common pests can affect your Dogwood trees, like the Dogwood borer, scale insects, & aphids. Thus, you should watch out for signs of pests to take action promptly if required.
- Diseases: Just like pests, there are a few common diseases as well that are known to affect Dogwood trees, like anthracnose, powdery mildew, & spot anthracnose.
- Mulching: Mulching has many benefits, like it retains moisture, suppressing weed growth, and protecting the tree root from extreme temperatures.
- Temperature: Before you plant any tree, you must know its USDA zones. Dogwood trees are hardy in USDA zones 5-9.
- Wind: If you live in a region that experiences high & strong winds, move/plant your to a sheltered area if possible. Also, consider providing support like trellises, stakes, cables, etc.
- Competition: You should never plant your Dogwood tree near other plants that may compete for resources.
How To Keep A Dogwood Tree Healthy
Protect against deer browsing.
If you live in an area with lots of deer population, you first need to protect your Dogwood tree from their browsing. Deer can damage young trees and shrubs but also attack the bark & leaves of the dogwood when food sources are scarce.
This can weaken your tree drastically, making it more susceptible to diseases. Deer often feed on woody plants and trees in winter or fall when food is not easily available. If you want to protect your tree against deer browsing, use deer repellent sprays or erect a physical barrier around it.
You can easily find & buy deer repellent sprays which can be sprayed directly onto the tree. Alternatively, you can consider a physical barrier like a fence or netting, which is more effective in keeping deer and other wildlife away from your tree.
To know more ways to protect your tree, read our recent post on “How To Protect Dogwood From Deer”
Improve your soil quality.
In the first year of dogwood tree growth and in the following year, you should be improving your soil quality by using soil conditioners, organic matter, and fertilizers.
You need to pay attention to the quality of the soil your tree is growing on to grow and turn out as vibrant as it should be.
Please use soil conditioner to improve your soil structure, increase soil fertility, and help retain more moisture.
Some of the best organic soil conditioners that I find very helpful, especially in growing seasons, are compost or aged manure which you can add directly to your soil & provide essential nutrients.
Apply compost tea
Believe me or not, I prefer using compost tea which is nothing else than a nutrient-rich liquid to promote healthy soil biology. You can find many types of compost tea commercially available that can be used for plants and trees.
However, you can also make your compost tea by steeping compost in water for several days and then straining out the solids. After that, You can apply that liquid directly to the soil around your dogwood trees.
Enhance root growth with mycorrhizal inoculant.
To keep your tree healthy, you must look for ways to enhance root growth and nutrient uptake in your trees.
To do that, you can use Mycorrhizal inoculants which contain beneficial fungi that form a symbiotic relationship with the roots of your tree, providing it with essential nutrients & water.
I usually prefer to apply mycorrhizal inoculant directly to the soil around my tree. Alternatively, mix it with water and then apply it as a foliar spray on your dogwood tree as an alternative to direct application. The choice is yours.
Use organic pest control methods.
I frequently advised in almost all of my articles on dogwood tree care & management to avoid using harmful chemicals. Instead of using chemical ones, you should consider using organic pest control methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap.
These natural products also effectively control pests that damage, like aphids or spider mites on dogwood trees. The natural methods and organic pest control may not be the best for you due to severe infestation; it’s worth trying.
Also, you should call a professional airbrush for proper consultation on the best course of action in severe infestation cases. Generally, Neem oil and insecticidal soap are safe for the environment and won’t harm beneficial insects.
Encourage healthy root growth with a root stimulant.
If you want to keep your tree healthy from the outside, you must also keep them healthy from the inside. To do that, you should keep a healthy root system and encourage it for better growth.
You can use root stimulants that contain plant hormones and other nutrients to help your tree establish a strong root system. I often apply root stimulants directly to the soil around my tree. But as I told you earlier, you can always use root stimulant products as foliar spray by mixing it with water.
Ensure adequate water with a rain gauge.
As you already know, water is an essential part of their care to keep them healthy; ensure your dogwood trees are receiving an adequate amount of water after the first year of growth. You can use a gauge to ensure and measure the amount of water your tree is receiving.
You should also stick your finger about a couple of inches below the soil, and if it feels dry, you need to water it.
If your tree does not receive enough water even in the rainfall, use a rain gauge to determine whether you should supplement it with additional watering. It would help if you watered your trees deeply & infrequently rather than giving your tree frequent shallow watering.
Keep the area around your tree clean.
Pay attention to your yard/lawn/landscape maintenance and keep the area around your tree clean and free from fallen leaves and debris to prevent the spread of diseases and the likelihood of pest infestations.
You should know that diseased leaves and debris can harbor pathogens that can infect your tree. I regularly rake up fallen leaves from my yards and prune away any diseased branches to keep my tree healthy.
Related: How To Prune Red Twig Dogwood Bushes
Provide additional nutrients with a foliar spray.
If you notice any signs of nutrient deficiency in your dogwood tree, provide them with some additional nutrients using a foliar spray. You can directly use the foliar spray on your dogwood tree leaves to provide them with essential nutrients like nitrogen, Phosphorus, and potassium.
After reading this article, I hope you know how to keep a dogwood tree healthy for longevity. Recently I have shared a good guide on taking care of a dogwood tree and getting the best out of it.
You should check that article as well because that covers more topics regarding keeping dogwood healthy. You must Water your tree regularly and pay attention to the maintenance & cleanliness around it.
It’s also important to prune your tree occasionally and provide proper mulching around its base. Your tree is getting a lot of nutrients required for perfect bloom next time. If you find this article helpful, then consider sharing it.
Your share is going to help many people learn about some pro tips that are very helpful and have proved to be effective in keeping dogwood trees healthy for longevity.
You should check our dogwood tree care and management section/categories, where I have said many articles to help you. See you in the next post. Till then, take care and good.