Answer: Over fertilization is a frequent killer of young dogwoods. Its best not to fertilize the first year -- allow the root system and the foliage to reestablish a proper balance. 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 around the tree. Some cultural practices will reduce borer injury. Regularly watered and fertilized trees are able to maintain vigor and are less susceptible to borer injury. Avoid pruning during the summer months when the moths are laying eggs and avoid wounding or injuring the tree. Preventative sprays are pyrethrin based and applied 4 times during the summer. Apply according to label directions. Best wishes with your dogwood.
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