Trees and Shrubs forum: What is this sprout on our dogwood tree?

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Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jun 14, 2016 10:15 AM CST
I'm hoping it's just a new branch and not a parasitic plant, but it seemed very odd because of the location at the very base of the trunk. This is a relatively young tree that we bought 3 years ago as a required replacement by the city for a pine tree we removed.


Thumb of 2016-06-14/Brinybay/5dd79d

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Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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ViburnumValley
Jun 14, 2016 5:04 PM CST
Those are just new dogwood stems - no parasite or latent monster out to get anything.

It is quite common for trees (including dogwoods) to throw a sprout like this from dormant buds. It is a defense/survival mechanism against animal foraging/browsing, fire damage, and other unpleasantries that beset woody plants as they try to grow.

You should clip or break these off while they are little and tender, so the plant doesn't waste energy/resources on those stems.
John
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Brinybay
Jun 15, 2016 10:36 AM CST
ViburnumValley said:Those are just new dogwood stems - no parasite or latent monster out to get anything.

It is quite common for trees (including dogwoods) to throw a sprout like this from dormant buds. It is a defense/survival mechanism against animal foraging/browsing, fire damage, and other unpleasantries that beset woody plants as they try to grow.

You should clip or break these off while they are little and tender, so the plant doesn't waste energy/resources on those stems.


Ok, thanks. It's interesting that you mentioned defense against animal foraging, because on the opposite side, something (I think maybe a rabbit) chewed on the trunk about a year ago.



"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Image
ViburnumValley
Jun 17, 2016 9:45 PM CST
No fair hiding the best clues...

That would make perfect sense. Damage to xylem/phloem/cambium caused stress. Defense mechanism shouts "need more photosynthetic surfaces to recover from wound!" Response initiates growth from latent buds.

Plain as the sprouts on your dogwood...
John
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Brinybay
Jun 23, 2016 10:13 AM CST
Here's a pic of the damage after a year. I asked some Master Gardeners who were at the local hardware store about it when it first happened. They advised me to remove a couple of feet of the sod around the tree. The theory is that any animal inclined to chew on the trunk (in this case a small one like a rabbit since it was down low) would hesitate to cross the exposed area where they would be more visible to predators. I did that and it seems to have worked.

Thumb of 2016-06-23/Brinybay/4e6e9a

"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara

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