Kousa Dogwood Bloom - Knowledgebase Question

Erie, PA
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Question by juchters
May 10, 2000
We have an eight year old kousa dogwood. The first year there was one blossom. The second year a ring of blossoms almost at the top of the tree. Last year there were a few more blossoms- essentially in a ring arond a high part of the tree.

This year there is no sign of any blossom buds at all.

Is there anything we can do to encourage the tree to put out blooms next year?

Answer from NGA
May 10, 2000
These trees can be a bit slow to come into bloom, but by now I would expect it to be increasing. The tree needs a good soil that is humusy, evenly moist but not soggy, and well drained. It also needs (in contrast to our native dogwoods) a good amount of sun, at least a half a day but a full day is preferrred. The root zone should be mulched year round with several inches of organic mulch such as shredded bark. This will help keep the soil moist as well as keep down weeds and protect the trunk from weed whacker damage. It is hardy into zone 5, so if it is in a very exposed and windy location it may be a bit cold for it; if it is in a dry soil, it may need a bit more moisture during the summer; finally, avoid pruning it in fall or spring or you will be removing flower buds. You might also try giving it some compost and/or a complete granuilar fertilizer according to the label instructions each spring.

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