The Q&A Archives: Flowering Dogwood

Question: I have a young red flowering dogwood that was badly damaged by deer in it's first 2 years. I have now protected it, and it is doing well and getting a lot of new growth. However it did not flower this year. I believe the new buds for the next year are generated from the blossoms, so if I do not have new buds forming, will it not flower next year? Is there a chance it will never flower? What should I look for?

Answer: Dogwood trees flower on buds that form the previous year, so it is possible the deer ate them off during the winter. If they do not chomp on the branches this year, you should see flower buds by this fall and then the flowers next spring.

This current year's flowers are the site of the fruit or seeds that turn red when they ripen later in the season. If you have no flowers, you will have no fruit this year. Typically, though, in fall you will see both the flower buds for next spring as well as the red berries or fruit.

Young trees usually do not flower very heavily if at all, it takes them a few years to develop the needed maturity and also become re-established after planting. So be patient for a few years yet if you don't see blooms.

Enjoy your dogwood tree!

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