White Dogwoods; I'd like mine to do better, and...

CavilerNovember 13, 2013


My First post, so hello all.

We had a big, mature White Dogwood that was crushed in Gustav and last Fall I planted another. It is alive, but hasn't grown an inch and it's leaves never look healthy. Brown patches and generally poor looking. I've applied two different 'medicines' to the leaves to no real effect - they did seem to get better, but still don't thrive (they were literally browning and dropping like mad, and the spraying stopped that, but the vibrant green is nowhere to be found).

I am in Baton Rouge right off Highland Road (if you're familiar with BR), on the highland that gives the road it's name and, as an ancient levee, the soil is mostly clay. Can't do anything about that, but what can I do. It's in full sun, which I now know is a no-no but in my defense in a few years two gingkoes and a eucalyptus will shade it. So, what can I do for it?

Secondly, we've decided to put in another dogwood. We've looked at species and favor another White. Anything I can do to give this one a better shot? It will, at least, have good partial shade from day one. We've other trees to be put in this year, but I'll put those in another post.


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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Well, I think you pretty well know what you need to know. The trouble is Dogwood trees are extremely difficult to transplant. In our town, almost no garden centers even carry them, because they die, and then customers expect them to be replaced.

I have a dogwood that I planted along my driveway ten years ago. It was an expensive cultivar and I did my best to go strictly by the book in its planting.

It has not died. It has even bloomed a few times, but it has never thrived. It is not one inch bigger now than when I planted it. Every year I say I'm going to replace it with something else. But then it leafs out and hope springs eternal....

If I were you, I'd plant something else. Or better yet, collect some wild dogwood berries and plant a handful of them in the area where you want a tree. If they come up, they will likely do better than anything you could plant, though they might not win a prize for blooms. But then again, they might.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Something you may want to consider is that we have had very warm winters for the past few years. Baton Rouge was absolutely the farthest south in Louisiana that you could grow a dogwood 10 years ago. We are getting warmer, so much so that I will likely have to cut my peach tree this spring. I'm hoping for a good freeze this year to knock back the bananas (now 25 feet tall) and perhaps save the peach, but I'm not holding my breath. You have colder winters up there, but not by much, and it's likely just been too warm for an unestablished dogwood.
If you've ever been to Clegg's nursery, I used to work there years ago and remember that they used to sell low chill hour apple trees (somewhat related to dogwoods if I remember correctly). You might give them a call and ask if they still do. If they do, as them how they have been holding up. If the apples are doing poorly, than likely the dogwoods won't do well either.
An alternative small tree, although not with the same beautiful shape, would be a mayhaw. Clegg's probably sells them and they have beautiful white apple blossoms followed by small red fruit. My aunt makes some really great jelly out of them in the spring.
In any case, good luck!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 6:55PM
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