How to Prune Gray Dogwood


Gray dogwoods are small trees that grow naturally in dappled shade in the forest. Gray dogwood trees produce tiny yellow flowers surrounded by showy white or pink bracts in mid- to late spring. They need only enough pruning to maintain their shape and to remove deadwood or suckers growing from the base.

Step 1

Prune dead, diseased or injured branches. Cut them off at the branch collar, the slight swelling that forms a ring around the branch, right next to the branch from which it grows.

Step 2

Prune any branches that cross each other or rub against another branch, cutting just above the branch collar.

Step 3

Remove any shoots growing from the base of the gray dogwood tree or from below the graft union.

Step 4

Cut off any low-hanging branches that could interfere with someone walking under the tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Dogwood trees have very thin bark that is easily damaged. Try not to injure or tear the bark when pruning; doing so is an invitation for disease. When planting a dogwood sapling, do not prune immediately after planting; wait until early the next spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning clippers


  • How to prune gray dogwood.
  • Pruning gray dogwood.
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About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.