Pink Dogwood Care

Overview

The pink flowering dogwood tree is an ornamental variety that grows to a height of 25 feet. The tree produces light pink flowers with foliage that turns red in the fall. Red berries that are attractive to birds form on the tree after flowering is complete. Pink flowering dogwood is hardy to plant in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8 and prefers full sun and acidic soil.

Planting Location

Choose a planting location for the pink flowering dogwood that has well-draining, acidic soil. Sandy or loam-type soils are preferred. The tree prefers full sunlight conditions but can be planted in shade if reduced foliage is acceptable. Test the soil pH to verify it is between 5.0 and 6.5. Add ground rock sulfur to lower the pH number if needed. Let the soil rest for two weeks prior to planting.

How to Plant

Dig a planting hole that is the same depth and twice as wide as the root ball of the pink flowering dogwood tree. Combine equal parts organic compost into the removed soil to increase the water-draining properties. Set the tree into the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is at ground level. Fill the hole halfway with amended soil followed by a generous amount of water. Let the water absorb into the surrounding soil and root ball and add the remaining soil to the hole. Gently pack the soil in place to eliminate air pockets. Water the tree generously each day after planting for the first two weeks.

Care and Maintenance

Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the pink flowering dogwood. Leave a 6-inch gap between the start of the mulch and trunk of the tree. Water the tree weekly during the hot summer months or periods of drought by supplying a deep soaking to a depth of 10 inches. Fertilize the tree by applying a slow-release fertilizer in the mulch area over the root ball each spring after the first year of growth. Water the area well after applying fertilizer.

Propagation

Propagate the pink flowering dogwood by grafting a stem section of the pink dogwood onto a hardy white dogwood rootstock. It is possible to collect and plant seeds that form after the flowering is complete, however the seedlings grown will produce white flowers due to the grafted white dogwood rootstock.

Problems

Monitor the pink flowering dogwood for the presence of a fungal gall and cankers. A gall infection appears as a cluster growth on the tips of the branches and causes them to distort in shape and prevents flower formation. Prune and destroy infected branches to prevent the disease from spreading. A canker infection starts from an injury to the trunk. The infection appears as a blackened area on the bark with black liquid oozing from the infection point. Cankers cannot be treated and result in removal of the entire tree.

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About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.