The Q&A Archives: Trimming Variegated Dogwood

Question: I did notice your previous response for someone else regarding the care of a variegated dogwood and it was helpful to read about trimming these shrubs back, etc. but my question is:

Living in Minnesota, with our short 'warm season', is it too late to trim back my variegated dogwood. I have had it several years so it is well established, but have never trimmed it and it is quite out of control now - it is starting to overshadow everything around it. Please advise on just how I should go about trimming it if there is still time this summer.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Dogwoods are prone to developing disease if they are pruned in the summertime. The absolutely best time to prune is while they are dormant (Jan., Feb, March). Or you could prune just as the buds begin to swell in the spring but before they produce new foliage. Most gardeners prune dogwoods back about once every three years to keep them in control and looking nice. If at all possible, I'd wait to prune.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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