How to Graft Dogwood Trees


Dogwood trees are an under-canopy tree that grows wild in forests. In the home garden, dogwood trees are typically purchased from a nursery. Attempts to move or transplant a dogwood tree are not typically successful. Dogwood trees transplanted from the wild usually have asymmetrical roots and limbs. One of the easiest methods for starting your own dogwood tree at home is to graft dogwood limbs, known as scions, onto the roots of other trees. Dogwood scions such as pink sachet are frequently grafted onto white dogwood rootstocks.

Step 1

Collect dogwood scions in fall after the tree slips into dormancy. Dogwood scions should be taken from new growth and should be smaller in diameter than a pencil.

Step 2

Store the scions in a freezer bag along with damp peat moss. Keep the scions in a refrigerator where the temperatures remain a constant 40 F and there is no light.

Step 3

Wait until the rootstock dogwood tree begins to bud before grafting the two together.

Step 4

Select a lower limb of the rootstock tree that is the same size as the scion to graft together.

Step 5

Cut the base end of the scion at a 45 degree angle with a sharp grafting knife. The cut should be approximately 1.5 inches long.

Step 6

Cut the root stock branch at a mirroring angle.

Step 7

Press the two cut ends together so that the bark touches. Wrap the union with grafting tape.

Step 8

Remove the grafting tape after the union heals together in approximately two weeks.

Step 9

Remove the leader of the dogwood tree and train the newly grafted limb to become the new leader of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Grafting knife
  • Peat moss
  • Gallon freezer bag
  • Refrigerator
  • Polyethylene grafting tape
  • Pruning shears


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Grafting and Budding Nursery Crop Plants
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Dogwood Trees
  • North Dakota State University Extension Service: Questions on: Dogwood
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Flowering Dogwood
Keywords: grafting trees, propagating dogwoods, growing dogwood trees

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."