Ask a Question forum→cut these redtwig dogwoods to the ground?

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
BurtieR
May 30, 2020 4:22 PM CST
I purchased these 3 Bergson redtwig dogwoods on landscape design plan I commissioned from a nursery in the fall of 2018. They are approx 4 feet tall. During the spring/summer of 2019 they got a lot of spots on the leaves. I emailed the gentlemen I worked with at the nursery and he told that it was leaf spot from all the rain we had. I held off on supplemental watering but now wonder if that was my mistake.

The branches are sparse (maybe it's still from them establishing?) But there were also a lot of black/white dead branches that I had to cut out before it leafed out. Canker, twig blight? I read they are susceptible if they don't get enough water. Looking at it today in bloom (sparse), I see there are still some dead branches that I missed the first time but I'm also wondering how much I should be cutting away. Realizing I have no experience with dogwood, maybe it's more infected then I originally recognized? Attaching close up photos of what is left after my first prune a few weeks ago.

I have a common ninebark that is on the tier right above these , planted at the same time. Outside of a bit of power mildew last year, it's doing wonderful. Dense with leaves, growing and arching beautifully.

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[Last edited by BurtieR - May 30, 2020 4:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Big Bill
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BigBill
May 30, 2020 4:33 PM CST
Red osier dogwood is a spotty grower in my experience. It has good years and bad years. In the northern part of its range, it generally takes longer to leaf out.
But it's red twigs and overall appearance makes it a gorgeous border or edge plant in my mind!
They have only been in the ground 18 months. I would recommend giving them a little more time to adjust. See where they are next Fall in 2021.
Have you checked your soils acidity. They like it on the slightly acidic side.
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[Last edited by BigBill - May 30, 2020 4:35 PM (+)]
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
BurtieR
May 30, 2020 4:49 PM CST
Thank you! That does help. I can be patient if I know it's ok. I had read about the canker and worried I was setting it up to putter along for eternity until it finally dies, when I could of helped it sooner.
I think I remember the soil as slightly more alkaline. It was a several years ago when I first started. It's defiantly rocky, clay soil.
For so long, I was reading so much and over thinking everything, and scared myself in put anything at all.. I finally just let go of that, went through the whole process of getting help and design from a Horticulturist at a nursery and planted the design he suggested.

PS also good to hear that they can leaf out decent for a boarder. We have some along the fence line that was suppose to be for a bit of privacy. They are younger and sparse but don't have the dead branches the front yard ones have.
I just hope the soil cooperates or maybe we have to rethink the choice, especially for the back yard hedge.
[Last edited by BurtieR - May 30, 2020 5:05 PM (+)]
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
BurtieR
May 30, 2020 4:58 PM CST
(delete)
[Last edited by BurtieR - May 30, 2020 5:04 PM (+)]
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