The Q&A Archives: dogwood pruning

Question: I have 3 red twig dogwood shrubs, the average temp right now is 75-80. They appear to have grown very full over night! I know they are rapid growers is it to late to prune them?

Answer: These really are rapid growers if they are happy where they are planted, they can top eight feet tall and wide. It is better to prune them in late winter by cutting them back hard -- say about six to ten inches from the ground, cut straight across. This stimulates branching near the base, controls size somewhat, and also with the new growth each year accentuates the red coloring as it is most apparent on young twigs. This late in the season you could thin them by removing about a third of the branches, cut them down low rather than midway and take the longest ones. This pruning technique can also be used each year if you do not like the early season look that results when they are cut back completely. I hope this helps.

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