The Q&A Archives: dogwood leafs out but no blooms.

Question: i planted my dogwood five or six years ago, it didn't flower the following year, then did the next two and hasn't bloomed since it has new growth abd the leaves look good. it even gets the berries in winter. i've lost alot the shade around my home, neighbors cutting down large maples, and ash trees. we also have heavy clay soil. i fertilized one year with those stakes you pound in the ground around the roots system, and water it regularly,i have lamium growing to retain coolness in soil. any suggestions?

Answer: Dogwoods produce flower buds in April or May and weather can have a huge impact on how sucessful the development of those flower buds might be (warm days and cool nights are best for flower bud production). So, weather will account for how many flower buds your tree will produce in any given year. If it is producing berries, it is flowering (berries are the seeds from the tree and can only form if a flower has been pollinated by flying insects). I can only suggest that you water deeply once each week to maintain a healthy root system. You can feed your tree to promote blooming. A young 6 foot dogwood can be fertilized with up to 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of 12-4-8 per tree in February and mid-June. For a well established tree use 1/2 pound (1 cup) per inch of trunk diameter or 3 ounces of nitrogen per 100 square feet of area. For a 12 percent nitrogen fertilizer that equates to 25 ounces of actual fertilizer. When applying fertilizer, scatter it evenly within 100 square foot area surrounding the tree. (A note on fertilizer stakes - the nutrients are concentrated immediately around the stake, not equally spread over the entire root system, so while the stakes may be convenient for the gardener, they aren't helping the tree roots to any great extent.)

Hope this helps!

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