If you want a tree in your landscape that will reward you with stunning flowers in spring and beautiful fall foliage, plant a white flowering dogwood. The best time to plant them is in early fall so the tree has time to put out new root growth before winter sets in. If you follow the simple steps below to care for your white flowering dogwood, it will grow in your landscape for many years.
Things You’ll Need
- Granulated fertilizer
- Pruning clippers
- Enrich the soil at the planting site. Dig a hole twice as large as the root ball. Set the soil aside. Mix in with the reserved soil a couple of 5-gallon buckets of peat moss and at least one 5-gallon bucket of compost.
- Set the rootball of the flowering dogwood into the hole and fill it up halfway with the improved soil you mixed in Step 1. Fill the hole with water and let it drain. Finish back filling the planting hole with the improved soil. Firm the soil with your foot. Water thoroughly.
- Place a 6-to-8-inch layer of shredded bark mulch around the tree, extending out about 18 inches from the trunk. Do not pile the mulch up against the tree trunk; leave room there for air circulation.
- Water the tree every three days until new growth begins. Then water the equivalent of one inch every week for the first year after transplanting.
- Fertilize your white flowering dogwood every spring with slow-release granulated fertilizer. Apply around the base of the tree, extending out the same distance as the canopy of leaves.
- Prune in late winter and remove any dead, diseased or insect-infested branches. Lower limbs will tend to grow horizontally and the upper branches will grow more vertically. Prune for shape as desired, keeping a balance between the two branch types for the best overall shape.
- Clean up fallen leaves in autumn to help reduce the possibility of spreading disease.
Tips & Warnings
Plant dogwood trees in partial shade to full sun. They grow well with morning sun and some shade from the hot afternoon sun. In areas with intensely hot summers, they will do best in partial shade.