The Q&A Archives: New Cleveland Pear and Pink DogwoodTrees planted

Question: In mid April of this year I purchased from Home Depot 9 Cleveland Pear Select Trees and 1 Pink Dogwood. These 10 trees were puchased the third week of March time frame and I kept them in my heated garage and watered them weekly for about three weeks prior to planting all 10 trees in mid April. In April I sent in an inquiry to you about the need for feeding the trees at planting time or to use the same soil removed when planting. I was given some good direction from your staff and followed your directions completely. It is now mid June and my 10 trees have been planted for about two months. Two of the trees have sprouted leaves (both Pear trees) the balance of the eight trees which are about 12' high and 3

Answer: I think you're right in being concerned about the lack of growth in your newly planted trees. Yes, adverse weather can slow growth. And, transplanting can stress trees to the point where they won't put out new top growth but will concentrate on new root growth. However, if they've been in the ground for two months, they should certainly begin to show some growth by now. It sounds as though the pear trees are okay but the dogwoods are holding out for slightly warmer weather. Since pears spring to life earlier in the season than dogwoods, I'd give the dogwoods another few weeks to wake up from their prolonged dormancy. If they don't show at least some bud swelling by then, you may have to dig them up and return them for healthier specimens. Right now, try scraping the bark with your thumbnail to see if the tissue beneath the bark is green (green means alive; brown means dead). If you find live tissue in the branches, the trees are alive. Scrape several of the branches just to check the overall health. Or, if there's a small branch or two that you can cut off without ruining the overall look of the branching pattern, go ahead and prune a few inches back from the tip. Examine the inside for green tissue. If you find green tissue it's a good sign. I'd wait until mid-July to see if there are any signs of growth. Hope your trees survive!

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