Answer: Poor bloom is not necessarily a sign of insect or disease problems, nor is the development of lichen (mottled looking mossy growth on trunks or branches). If the trunk has a crusty look and it's not lichen, it may have been damaged and is in the process of healing over by sloughing off the old bark. Weed whacker damage can cause such symptoms. As long as your tree is leafing out and the leaves look normal in color and are not wilting, I wouldn't suspect any problems. Keep a close eye on your tree though. If leaves wilt and remain on the tree it could indicate anthracnose, a common dogwood problem. Flowers are often affected, too, showing darkened streaks along the petals.
Best wishes with your dogwood!
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