How to Feed a Dogwood Tree


The dogwood tree is one of the most popular landscaping trees in the United States, known for its brilliant bursts of white, pink or red blossoms that emerge each spring and dominate the entire canopy. The tree, which grows to 25 feet in height and at maturity can be just as wide, has become a symbol of spring in many parts of the country. To make sure the dogwood tree blooms to its full potential, a regular feeding schedule is required

Step 1

Calculate the area under the tree's canopy or drip line, which is the farthest point from where water drips off the leaves.

Step 2

Put on garden gloves and measure out one half pound of slow release fertilizer for every 500 feet of area.

Step 3

Sprinkle the fertlizer under the tree, taking care to cover the entire surface under the drip line evenly and thoroughly. Avoid fertilizing directly up against the trunk; leave about six inches to one foot of ground between trunk and fertilizer.

Step 4

Water thoroughly so that fertilizer sinks into the ground, where it can be absorbed by the roots, which tend to stretch out as far as the drip line.

Step 5

Fertilize dogwoods three times a year for the first three to five years after being planted, according to the Ms. Grow-It-All website. Fertilize in March, May and August. Trees in USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7 only need two feedings a year, in March or April and again in July.

Tips and Warnings

  • The dogwood is susceptible to various pests and disease, including twig borers, which feed on the tips of young twigs; club gall; and dogwood anthracnose. To prevent disease keep the tree well watered and prune away diseased twigs or branches as soon as they appear to prevent the problem from spreading. Dogwood trees don't like salt and generally don't do well in coastal regions.

Things You'll Need

  • Dogwood tree
  • Garden gloves
  • Slow-release fertilizer (12-4-8 or 15-5-15)
  • Water


  • Today's Garden Ideas: Dogwoods--A Tree Full of Flowers
  • Fast Growing Trees Nursery: Dogwood Trees
  • Ms. Grow-It-All: Care and Feeding of Dogwoods
Keywords: feeding trees, dogwood tree care, fertilizing dogwood

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of "Home Media Magazine" and a regular entertainment contributor to various publications, including "USA Today," "The Hollywood Reporter" and "San Diego Magazine." He has written travel stories for "San Diego Magazine," the "San Diego Union" and the Copley News Service. Arnold graduated from San Diego State University.