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16 messages
24/11/2011 at 15:27


How do I prune a camelia it quite big now and also a forsythe

thank you for a wonderful site crystal2010
16/04/2012 at 07:41
how late in the spring can I cut back my dogwood bushes, is mid april to late as they know have leaves.
16/04/2012 at 08:37

We've just done all ours last week and there were leaves further up teh stems.  I always wait till mid April as we get heavy late frosts that can kill the wee buds left behind on the stumps.

As for propagating, Midwinter Fire suckers freely in my garden so I have new plants to give away every year.  Alba sibirica and its green and mahogany stemmed cousins layer very easily all by themselves if I let them so you could try layering some stems deliberately.   I've also pushed pencil thick stems of the rpunings into a slit trench in the veggie plot and made babies that way but, the last two years, spring droughts have meant they failed so this year I've stuck cut stems in water.  They look decorative in the house and, if any root, I'll just pot them up.

10/02/2013 at 21:08
Great advice. Just what I needed as I thought I'd been over zealous with the pruning. Hope it pays off with great new stems next year!!
10/03/2013 at 15:11
I recently planted 3 'Midwinter Fire' shrubs, and I have been told that pruning them is not the same as pruning other Cornus shrubs, but getting advice on how to prune them has been difficult. So I am really pleased I watched Joe's video.
10/03/2013 at 20:33
For me midwinter fire is weaker than other dogwoods needing less aggressive pruning. I cut my dogwoods hard to,the ground last week but only removed dead or weak shoots from midwinter fire.
10/03/2013 at 23:30

For me Midwinter Fire is a bit of  a thug.  It's true it responds less vigorously to hard pruning than the others but the thing suckers and spreads all over the place in my garden.

10/03/2013 at 23:38
Ok, will have to watch that then obelixx. Always learning here
17/07/2013 at 19:58

Hi I have a load of dogwood shrubs that have gone a bit wild - about 8ft high. I want to cut them back to a more manageable size - 3ft. Can I do this now when they are in full leaf? A few of them already have some flower buds. I assume if I cut them back I will not get any new leaf/flowers this summer - is that correct? Do I risk killing the bushes if cut back severely now? 

18/07/2013 at 09:58

It's best to cut dogwoods to about 1 foot every couple of years. You will get fresh new and colourful growth depending on the variety. Some people cut back hard annually in autumn or very early spring. They grow quickly and can manage several feet each season. If you do it now you are unlikely to do it any harm, but why not enjoy it for the rest of the summer and then have a go. It's too hot for you to be doing big jobs anyway right now

18/07/2013 at 10:19

If the dogwood has well-coloured stems in the winter, cut back in spring, otherwise you lose the whole point of growing them!  Cut the old stems to the ground.

Forcythia: cut out one third of the oldest branches every year after flowering.

Camellia don't usually need much pruning if they are in the right place.

This in answer to the original post, now 8 months old.

15/05/2014 at 00:45
I have a dogwood that I need to move and prune. It currently has leaves and is just starting to flower. Is it best to move it now and cut back at the end of the summer or to move and prune it at the same time?
15/05/2014 at 08:27

Morning Louise.

How big is it?  If not too big I would move and prune it now.  Often too, dogwoods produce a "suckered" plant that can be severed and planted separately.

So, if you think you can dig up your dogwood intact with good rootball, prepare recipient hole first and incorporate compost when replanting. Prune the stems hard back and water well.  Water again later.  

If its a large dogwood it's best to wait until the autumn ........same procedure though.Good luck 

21/05/2014 at 14:39
Please help! I've inherited a dogwood, unknown variety, which I could in the back of a neglected border. It had barely any growth and after making space over winter, it had red stems, so assume it was still very young. I have had to move it today to a spot where it's size and hang lines look unsightly, it is aprox 4' tall with well developed leaves but no flower buds. If I stool it now, I know I'll loose this years glowers, but will it cause any harm to the plant and will I still get good growth ready for winter colour? ????
21/05/2014 at 16:18

It will probably help it to settle in, by reducing the transpiration load. (same as removing excess leaves on cuttings). Give it a bucket of water once a week for the next few weeks.

You may lose flowers, but if it has red stems its probably one of those you cut back each year so that the new red stems give winter colour.

21/05/2014 at 20:58

It's grown for it's stem colour in winter. Whilst some dogwoods have stunning flowers, this one's flowers may be insignificant.

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