Fertilizer for dogwood tree

Venus®

This award winning new variety was selected as the Grower of the Year Award, 2009 – Most Successful New Plant, U.K. The variety has also received awards for the best novelty of the year. This was at PLANTARIUM 2007 in the Netherlands and at IPM 2008 in Essen, Germany.

Most importantly, dogwood lovers will be rewarded with the profusion of large flowers (bracts) which is sure to make this variety a favorite of gardeners and landscapers. Displaying improved qualities Venus® is destined to conquer the hearts and gardens of plant enthusiasts around the world.

Qualities for Venus® include:

  • Distinguished by exceptionally large, profuse, large creamy white flowers (bracts) – six plus inches in size
  • With Venus® expect abundant flowers that will almost completely cover the tree
  • During the fall months you will find attractive strawberry like fruit
  • Expect attractive glossy dark green leaves during the summer and a wonderful coloring of its leaves in the fall
  • This variety will produce a tree that is extremely healthy and a vigorous grower
  • Has a reputation for good tolerance of drought conditions
  • Venus® is noted for high resistance to the diseases powdery mildew and anthracnose
  • Venus® grows very vigorously as a dense tree branched low to the ground with upright branches. Heights of eighteen feet and a spread of twenty feet have been reached in twenty years
  • Branches form a rounded head wider than tall
  • Has superior winter hardiness – The original tree has been field tested for twenty years and has been completely winter-hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Map Zone 6a.

Venus® Full Tree 30 years old, ~30′ wide by ~25′ high.

Tips For Caring For Dogwood Trees

Flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) are deciduous trees native to the eastern half of the United States. These trees can add year-round beauty to the landscape. Let’s look at how to grow dogwood trees.

Flowering dogwoods range in color from white to pink or red and generally bloom for about two to four weeks in early spring. They also add summer and fall color, with rich green foliage color in summer and reddish purple leaves during fall. This is oftentimes followed by brilliant red berries in winter. Proper dogwood care will bring these lovely trees to their height of beauty.

How to Grow Dogwood Trees

In their natural habitat, dogwoods are understory trees, which are generally surrounded or protected by other larger trees. Therefore, when caring for dogwood trees, this should be considered carefully before placement in the landscape.

Locating these trees on the edge of wooded areas or in groups is oftentimes more suitable to their natural surroundings. They can also be used as a backdrop for azaleas or other spring-flowering shrubs.

Flowering dogwoods can be grown in sun or shade; however, trees planted in partial shade generally perform better. Trees planted in full sun can be stressful, making them more susceptible to dogwood borers and heat stress. For care of flowering dogwood trees, dogwoods that are planted in full sun must also rely on frequent watering, especially during hot conditions.

While dogwoods will grow in a variety of climates and soil conditions, they typically grow best in, and even prefer, well-drained, humus-rich soil that is slightly acidic.

Planting Dogwood Care

Bare root and burlap dogwood trees should be transplanted in late fall or early spring.

Container grown trees can be transplanted anytime of the year, provided they are watered regularly after planting. A dogwood should be planted about two-thirds the depth of its root ball. The soil should be gently mounded around the sides of the root ball. Do not place soil directly over the top of the root ball, as this should be left slightly above ground level.

It is acceptable to apply a layer of mulch to help conserve water; however, for good dogwood care, keep this a couple inches away from the trunk. Be sure to water the tree thoroughly after planting and on a regular basis until the tree establishes itself.

Care of Flowering Dogwood

Most dogwoods require supplemental water during summer and fall, especially during hot, dry spells. For care of flowering dogwood trees, regular watering once a week to a depth of 6 inches should suffice. However, adding a generous layer of mulch will help retain moisture, minimizing watering chores.

Most established trees do not require fertilizer. However, if you do choose to fertilize young dogwoods, use only a small amount of slow-release fertilizer.

Dogwood trees seldom need pruning; however, it may be necessary to remove dead or injured branches, suckers, and diseased or insect-infested parts on occasion. Shaping trees may also help keep them more attractive looking.

Flowering dogwood trees are considered “bleeders,” which means they bleed sap, if pruned during late winter. Summer is an ideal time to take care of any pruning tasks that may be needed since these plants do not bleed sap during this time.

Once established in the landscape, caring for dogwood trees is relatively easy. As long as they have been planted in the proper conditions and location, the overall care of flowering dogwoods is minimal.

Fertilizer For Dogwoods: How And When To Feed Dogwood Trees

The dogwood is a favorite ornamental tree with numerous seasons of interest. As a landscape tree, it offers flowering spring beauty, a fall color show and bright berries in winter. In order to get all these attributes at their peak, it is a good idea to apply fertilizer for dogwoods. But do you know when to feed dogwood trees, or how to fertilize dogwoods? Timing and know how are the key to success in everything. Read on for information to keep your dogwood looking its best.

When to Fertilize Dogwood Trees

Dogwoods are native to Eurasia and North America in temperate to warm regions. The plants are part of a classic landscaping scheme of natural deciduous trees and shade to partial shade understory plants. The delicate flower-like bracts liven up the garden and lead up to a festive display of colorful berries. Fertilizing dogwood trees in spring will produce good tree health and vitality to ensure the best displays.

The key to useful plant feeding is to time it correctly. Fertilizing dogwood trees too late in the season might inadvertently cause a flush of new growth, which would be too sensitive to survive an early cold snap. The better idea is to feed the tree in early spring and again three months later. This will give the plant all the extra nutrients it needs during the growing season.

Dogwood Tree Food

The type of dogwood tree food is an important consideration too. New trees need a different ratio than established specimens. Dogwood trees need slightly acidic soil to thrive. Before you apply any fertilizer for dogwoods, it is a good idea to test your soil and see what nutrients it lacks and if the pH is suited to your plant.

If the soil is not acidic, you can use an acid lover’s fertilizer suitable for such plants as rhododendron and holly. In most regions, a ratio of 12-4-8 or 16-4-8 will be sufficient. Such a ratio is higher in nitrogen, which is what the plant needs to form leaves and vegetative growth. That being said, too much nitrogen can limit the flowering in dogwoods.

How to Fertilize Dogwoods

Young trees should not be fertilized the first year, as they are too sensitive at planting and damage could occur at the root level. If you feel you must fertilize, use an organic tea, diluted to half.

Once the tree is at least 6 feet (2 m.) tall, use ¼ cup (2 oz.) of fertilizer in February to March, and feed again three months later. The granular form is useful and should be dug in around the edges of the root zone. Make sure you water well after fertilizing.

Mature trees benefit from ½ cup (4 oz.) per inch of trunk. You can also gauge the amount by figuring 3 ounces (28 g.) of fertilizer per every 1,000 square feet (92 square m.). Scatter the grains within 100 square feet (30.5 square m.) of the tree and scratch into the soil. The adult tree’s root zone will go out that far from the tree and the wide area will have a better chance of delivering the food to the root system.

How to Plant a Dogwood Tree

Dogwood trees (Cornus florida) are native to eastern portions of the U.S. Their blooms cover the tree in colors of white, pinks and red throughout the springtime. There are 15 species of dogwoods native to North America. Dogwoods can range in height from 20 to 30 feet, with some growing into small trees and others small bushes. Planting dogwood trees is not a difficult task and novice gardeners should have good luck with them, providing all the plant’s requirements are maintained.

Consider the tree’s light requirements when choosing a planting location. Plant the tree in an area with filtered light, or underneath the canopies of larger trees where the dogwood will receive partial shade. Do not plant the tree in full sun conditions, or it will die.

Clear the growing area of any vegetation or weed growth. Keep a 3-foot-diameter section around the base of the tree clean at all times, so the tree does not suffer damage from lawn equipment that might injure the trunk.

Select an area in your landscape where the soil is rich, fertile and drains well. Amend the existing soil with compost and peat, but make sure it does not retain water. Dogwoods will die if left to grow in soggy or flooded conditions.

Dig a hole that is twice the size of the plant’s root ball. Loosen up the existing soil so the dogwood’s root system will easily be able to spread throughout the planting area.

Remove the dogwood from its container, being careful not to hurt the roots. Place the dogwood into the planting hole and fill the hole halfway up with soil. Pack down firmly. Fill the remainder of the hole with soil and firm up around the base of the tree.

Place mulch around the dogwood tree to help the soil retain moisture and cut down on the growth of weeds and other vegetation. Replace the mulch annually with a fresh application.

Water the tree well, once planted. Continue to water throughout the hot, dry seasons one to two times per week. Continue the watering schedule during the fall months. Dogwoods desire moist soil, but will die if watered too much.

Fertilize 12 to 24 inch trees in March and July with one tablespoon of a 16-4-8 fertilizer. Fertilize six-foot trees in March and July with ¼ cup of the same fertilizer formula. Fertilize established trees at a rate of one cup for each inch of the trunk’s diameter. Spread the fertilizer beyond the drip line of the canopy and water it in well. Apply a fresh application of compost around the base of the tree yearly.

As the summer approaches, nothing is more beautiful than watching your dogwood tree come out in full bloom.

Of the many varieties of trees, the dogwood tree is one of the most attractive in the American landscape. Avid gardeners are drawn to the four distinct types: the kousa dogwood, cornelian cherry dogwood, pacific dogwood, and the native flowering dogwood. You’ll see more of these populating the Pacific Northwest as they are more disease resistant than many of the other indigenous species.

But, like anything else, there are steps involved that will help your dogwood tree thrive no matter what the weather holds. Following the five tips below will help you achieve maximum results for making your dogwood tree flourish.

Tip #1: Choosing your dogwood tree

The process starts with two questions.

What type of dogwood tree is good for your landscaping?

What type of dogwood tree is best for your particular climate?

There are many factors to consider, such as:

  • the type of vegetation that is surrounding the site,
  • the amount of sun or shade the site will receive,
  • the type of soil in and around your desired site,
  • the proximity of the site to exterior factors like power lines, fences and foundations,
  • height restrictions for your site,
  • and most importantly, what your desired purpose for planting your dogwood will be.

In some cases, you might have to confer with your homeowner’s association to be sure any tree restrictions are met. These will be listed within the covenants, conditions and restrictions.

Perhaps your goal is to beautify your garden, or you simply desire to create more privacy. The dogwood tree can fit all of your needs. And once you have decided on the location to plant your new tree, you’ll be armed with information that will allow you to choose the best type of dogwood to plant.

Tip # 2: Soil

It is recommended to have your soil tested to determine that it has the fundamental minerals and nutrients necessary to allow your tree to blossom. You can hire a landscaper to handle this part of the process or you can test the soil yourself.

You’ll specifically want to test the soil drainage in the location that you plan on planting your dogwood. To test the drainage, excavate a hole 12 inches wide by 12 inches deep. Fill it with water and let it drain.

Depending on the drainage, you can determine if your soil is missing vital nutrients. This will give you the opportunity to replenish it with the missing elements needed to sustain healthy, robust growth of your dogwood tree.

Ideally, dogwood trees thrive in well-drained soil that isn’t too dry and somewhat acidic. If the soil contains organic matter, it is a plus. Having the proper nutrients will allow your new tree to grow strong and healthy.

Tip #3: Planting

Once you’ve selected your tree, it’s time to plant it.

When planting, place a layer of 3 to 4 inches of fertilized mulch around the tree during the planting stage. You’ll want to plant your dogwood about two-thirds of the distance of the root ball and leave the upper part uncovered. Doing this will allow the water to drain around the roots, which will assist in keeping the soil moist during the dry season.

The mulch also helps keep the weeds away. Keeping the weeds at bay not only keeps your dogwood looking good, but it also keeps your dogwood healthy.

Dogwood trees will grow in either direct or partial sunlight, but they prefer partial shade – preferably morning sun. With the proper planting technique, they will grow nicely with either option.

Tip #4: Fertilization

Don’t over fertilize!

Often times, homeowners are guilty of over fertilizing their landscape – especially dogwood trees. Most young trees do not require fertilization when initially planted as this can damage the root ball.

Once your new tree is 6 feet tall, it can be fertilized bi-annually. A quarter cup of fertilizer is sufficient for each fertilization, and watering well after application is key.

The best months to fertilize are March and July. If you happen to plant a dogwood tree within your landscaping and you fertilize your lawn regularly, you won’t need to fertilize your tree separately. And as it matures, it won’t require as much fertilization as the younger saplings; only half of the fertilizer application will be enough.

Tip #5: Pruning

As a tree grows and matures, it needs regular care. Basic pruning will prevent it from becoming sick and unattractive.

Like any other tree, you’ll want to remove disease-ridden, damaged or dead branches right at the neckline. If these branches are not pruned, they will eventually be taken over by insects and be susceptible to further disease.

It is important for a dogwood tree to receive the right amount of sunlight and air circulation, so removing any branches that block the canopy is key. Doing this will allow the proper airflow so it can grow properly.

Low hanging branches that cross each other should also be removed since these branches end up chafing each other and eventually end up creating an access point for insects and disease to take over.

Following just a few smart tips will help you grow a healthy and strong tree with ease and confidence. Not only will your dogwood compliment your landscape, but it also has the potential to increase the value of your home.

Tagged as: dogwood tree, dogwood tree care, Tree Care, Tree Pruning

When to Fertilize Dogwood Trees?

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There are two types of flowering dogwood trees that are usually available in garden centers. Cornus florida is native to the eastern United States, where it grows under tall pine trees or along the edges of deciduous forests. Cornus kousa, native to Asia, is more tolerant of full sun. If you can provide an optimal habitat for them, dogwoods should thrive and flower freely with little need for fertilizers.

Understanding the Natural Habitat

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In the wild, dogwoods grow under a canopy of trees that provide light shade, protection from drying winds and a supply of leaf litter every fall. The leaves make a natural mulch to suppress competition from weeds; they keep the dogwood’s shallow roots moist and provide a natural fertilizer and slightly acidic soil as they rot. When you bring your dogwood home and plant it, spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch around the tree, extending to 8 feet around the base. Leave a ring 4 inches from the tree trunk so you don’t smother the bark and cause rot. If your tree is a specimen in a lawn, this ring of mulch is especially important so the roots are not competing with the grass for water and you will never damage the tree’s trunk with a mower or string trimmer. The mulch will fertilize the tree while it is getting established.

Getting your Dogwood Established

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Over-fertilization can kill young trees, so root growth is improved by avoiding nitrogen in the first year. Let the tree find a natural balance without any chemical fertilizers for a year or you can overstimulate leaf growth at the expense of roots and flowers.

Before you plant your tree, check that the spot you have picked drains freely. Fill the planting hole with water; if it hasn’t drained in 10 minutes, choose another spot. Keep the tree well watered in dry weather the first summer, but remember that dogwoods don’t like wet roots.

When and How to Fertilize

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If you have an established tree in need of a boost, choose a liquid fertilizer that contains 5 percent nitrogen, 30 percent phosphorous, 5 percent potassium and other minerals such as manganese and zinc. Apply it in February and mid-June. Alternatively, spread general purpose granular fertilizer evenly around the tree, using 1 cup per inch of trunk diameter (measured at 3 feet up the trunk) and covering a radius of at least 2 feet from the trunk. Extend beyond the canopy of the tree if possible. Don’t feed after July when the vigorous new growth is over and the plants are producing flower buds for next spring.

If Your Dogwood is Not Flowering

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If your dogwood is not flowering as freely as you would like and it has been fertilized, it is best to consider what else might be wrong before applying more fertilizer. Make sure the roots are not competing with grass, weeds or other trees and that it is not in deep shade. Remember that young dogwoods can take three to five years to start flowering. Check that poor drainage is not causing root damage or fungal diseases. Unusual climatic conditions at bud set time can destroy tender buds. Normal flowering will resume next year, so keep the tree moist and mulched. There is often an alternate pattern to blooming; if the tree flowered abundantly the previous year, it may need a rest. Finally, drought stress from hot, dry summers can inhibit blooming, so drench the roots regularly in very hot weather.

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