How to Prune a Red Twig Dogwood

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Learn how to prune a red twig dogwood bush in this simple step-by-step guide.

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Why prune a red twig dogwood?

Pruning is an important part of keeping your red twig dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) healthy and vigorous. This deciduous shrub is known for its beautiful red stems, which are especially showy in winter. The best time to prune your red twig dogwood is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

There are several reasons to prune a red twig dogwood. Pruning encourages new stem growth, which means more vibrant red stems in winter. Pruning also helps to control the spread of the shrub and can increase air circulation and light penetration, both of which help to prevent fungal diseases. Finally, pruning out dead or damaged stems improves the overall health and appearance of the plant.

When pruning a red twig dogwood, always use clean pruning tools and make sure to disinfect them between cuts to prevent the spread of diseases. Start by removing any dead, diseased or damaged stems at their point of origin. Then, thin out the center of the plant to increase air circulation. Finally, cut back any long or wayward stems to revitalize the plant and encourage new growth.

When to prune a red twig dogwood

Red twig dogwoods are generally pruned in late winter or early spring, just before new growth begins. The best time to prune is when the plant is dormant, meaning it’s not actively growing. This allows the plant to heal quickly and prevents infection.

How to prune a red twig dogwood

Red twig dogwoods are a beautiful addition to any garden, and they are relatively easy to care for. Most pruning of red twig dogwoods is done in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.After the plant has flowered, you can cut back the old stems to encourage new growth.

What tools to use

The first step is to choose the right tools. You’ll need a pair of bypass pruners and a saw. The bypass pruners are for smaller branches, and the saw is for larger branches.

Next, you need to understand how to identify the different parts of the plant. The bark is the outermost layer, and the cambium is the layer just under the bark. The xylem is the innermost layer, and it’s responsible for transporting water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves.

Now that you know what you’re looking at, it’s time to start pruning. Begin by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged wood. These branches will be either Brown or black in color, and they will be dry and brittle to the touch. These branches can be removed with either the bypass pruners or the saw, depending on their size.

Next, remove any crossing or rubbing branches. These are branches that are growing into each other or that are rubbing against each other. Left unchecked, these branches can damage each other, so it’s best to remove them now. Again, you can use either the bypass pruners or the saw for this step.

After that, you can start thinning out the plant by removing some of the older branches. These will be darker in color than the newer growth and won’t have as many leaves. Removing these branches will help increase air circulation and light penetration, which will promote new growth. Use your judgement when thinning out the plant – you don’t want to remove too much at once or you’ll damage it.

Once you’ve finished pruning, it’s important to clean your tools before using them on another plant. This will prevent diseases from spreading from one plant to another. To clean your tools, simply wipe them down with rubbing alcohol or a mixture of one part bleach to nine parts water

How to make cuts

To encourage new growth, make all cuts just above an outward-facing bud. If you don’t see any buds, cut above a node (the point on a stem where leaves are attached). Cuts should be perpendicular to the stem.

After pruning

After you have pruned your red twig dogwood, it is important to apply a post-pruning sealer to the cut surface. This will help prevent disease and rot from entering the plant through the cuts.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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