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Trim or remove dogwoods

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lawnkid, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 935

    A customer of mine wants these dogwoods trimmed back from the walk for trick or treaters next week. By the looks of them, the ones in the first and third pictures are at least half dead. If I trim the dead areas, the shrubs are gonna look really thin. Are these shrubs gonna come back and grow new shoots in the spring if I cut them at the base of the shrub or are they gonners and I should relay that to the customer and rip them out. Thanks.



  2. sbvfd592

    sbvfd592 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    those redtwigs look ratty i would remove and replant too big to thin out and hope they come back.
  3. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    those are dogwoods? are you sure? what species?
  4. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    They look like redtwig dogwoods, they are very showy in the winter with the red branches, I would just do a light pruning, nothing more.
  5. Dstosh

    Dstosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 716

    Prune out the oldest woodiest stems. Approximately 1/3 of the plant
  6. Airwave

    Airwave LawnSite Member
    from Ireland
    Posts: 97

    It is Cornus Alba very popular here in Ireland on road side planting can be cut back quite hard and will come back fuller next year. If client like the plant maybe suggest taking this one out and replacing it with Cornus Alba Elgantissima which is also red stemmed but the leaves are varigated and looks much nicer.
  7. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Red twig dogwood is best pruned right after they bloom in the spring or late in the winter if flowers are not important. You can always prune out the dead wood, but now is not the best time to prune. Prune what you have to to make the plant safe for the trick or treaters, but best to leave any intense pruning till spring. The plant can be cut back to the ground or as Dstosh has suggested and it will rejuvenate with beautiful red stems for next winter. If you prune it now you may get growth that is not hardened off for a Cleveland winter which could ultimately kill the plant. They do have a habit of losing whole branches during the season, but the bright red branching is amazing with a snow covered background.

    From your photos, they do appear to be the wrong plant in the wrong place. So removing them and replacing with a more appropriate plant maybe a better solution. If the client has room somewhere that will allow these plant to be grouped and grow correctly, you may want to consider moving them when they are dormant or after they bloom.

  8. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    What he said,

    Just trim out the dead material (all the discolored stems) (Cut those at the base), leave all of the red twigs intact at the base and you can trim the shrub down a little so it doesnt just look like 5 stringy long pieces. But be sure to leave enough healthy plant material to continue to take in sunlight so that it can bud out again in the spring and thenf ill out that season.
  9. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    lightly trim/ cut out dead, maybe look into fertilizer, and see how it looks in year or so ...... remember we didnt get that much rain this year, that might have a little to do with it
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    i agree with this post

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