Dogwood trees produce attractive blossoms in the springtime and small berries in the fall. These berries often remain on the tree throughout the winter, providing fresh food for birds. These trees grow about 30 feet high. Dogwoods thrive in many areas of the central and eastern United States. These trees prefer moderate climates and may suffer in areas with freezing temperatures. Dogwoods require protection during cold snaps and hard frosts.
Prune your dogwood tree late in the year to prepare for winter. Use a saw to cut off any broken limbs. Remove any dead branches or overgrown sections. Prune your tree into a compact shape to allow for easy covering when freezing temperatures arrive.
Place a thick layer of mulch near the base of your dogwood tree. Use raked leaves or grass clippings to hold in warmth near the roots. Pile the mulch high to cover the bottom portion of your dogwood’s trunk. Avoid creating a moist environment for fungus and mold by waiting to pile the mulch until shortly before winter. Remove the mulch as soon as the temperatures begin to warm in the spring.
Place a burlap barrier on the windward side of your dogwood tree to protect it from freezing wind and rain. Pound three tall stakes into the ground, equal distances apart, to form a triangle around your tree. Attach a length of burlap fabric to two sides of the triangle to provide protection in these directions. Allow one side to remain open for sunlight and air circulation.
Drape a large blanket over the tree whenever weather predictions indicate the possibility of extreme cold. Secure the blanket to the tree posts, allowing it to drape over your dogwood tree. Remove the blanket immediately after the cold snap to allow sun and air to reach the tree.