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Dogwood trees are excellent for elevating the beauty of your property; however, they do not enjoy full sunlight. In general, dogwood trees prefer fertile soil and require periodic fertilizing to thrive and blossom during their lifetime. Most gardeners fertilize their Dogwood trees with Holly-Tone, but is Holly-Tone good for dogwood trees?
Holly-Tone is an excellent fertilizer for dogwood trees because it is acid-rich fertilizer. Fertilizing each year in early spring and also in mid-summer will help your dogwood thrive and resist disease. Keeping the mulch circle reduces competition from lawn grasses, which is the primary cause of slow tree development.
Read on to find out the tips on effectively fertilizing dogwood trees and keeping a dogwood tree healthy.
Tips On Keeping a Dogwood Tree Healthy
When growing dogwood trees, beginners make mistakes. Avoid making these mistakes when growing a dogwood tree to make it grow into a healthy tree with plenty of blooms.
- In the wild, dogwoods thrive in a forest receiving shade from taller and bigger trees. Whenever possible, plant dogwoods in partial shade, but too much shade or too much sun can be detrimental to the healthy growth of the dogwood. Avoid planting in a location receiving less than 60 percent sunlight per day. In full sun, dogwoods require special care and constant watering.
- Avoid planting dogwood too deep. If you plant dogwood too deep, its roots will suffocate due to a lack of oxygen.
- Watering requirements Dogwoods, particularly the first couple of years, are thirsty trees. Ensure you water young trees weekly, especially trees grown in dry climates.
- Avoid pruning a dogwoods tree the first year and in late spring when leaves are developing. If you decide to prune during the summer, keep in mind that the dogwood branches will ooze sticky sap. Generally, autumn is the best time for pruning a dogwood tree.
- To protect your dogwood from damage from lawnmowers and other threats, surround the tree trunk with a few thick stakes, about 6 inches (15.24 cm) away from the trunk because dogwood borers attack damaged dogwood trunks and branches.
- Avoid applying herbicides to exposed dogwood roots. Ensure that you have separate sprayers for fertilizers and herbicides.
- As a rule of thumb, fertilize dogwood trees twice a year through May and July.
- Generally, young dogwoods are sensitive to fertilization and can be killed by over-fertilization. When applying fertilizer, choose a low-nitrogen fertilizer because too much nitrogen will prevent your dogwood tree from flowering.
- Planting dogwood trees in wet or poorly draining soil will expose them to fungus because seedlings are particularly vulnerable to fungus and poorly draining soil. When growing, use organic material over the soil surface to improve drainage. Avoid adding organic material in the planting hole because it can cause root rot.
What Is The Best Fertilizer For Dogwood Trees?
In general, you can use any general-purpose fertilizer, such as 16-4-8 or 12-4-8, according to the University of Georgia. Also, keep in mind that over-fertilization can kill young dogwood trees; avoid over-fertilizing young trees to accelerate growth.
Choosing a fertilizer that is not suitable for a dogwood tree can cause vital damage or death to the plant.
To avoid vital damage, perform a quick soil test to determine the nutrient needs with a soil test kit, giving you an accurate idea of the soil’s nutrient needs so you can choose the proper fertilizer for your plant.
Dogwood trees thrive with a 12-4-8 fertilizer ratio. The excess of nitrogen, denoted by the first number, indicates nitrogen’s importance to the tree. Nitrogen provides the fundamental structure for chlorophyll, the primary pigment necessary for photosynthesis within the leaves.
Even though other essential macronutrients, such as phosphorus and potassium, are in lower ratio amounts than nitrogen, phosphorus helps with energy needs throughout adenosine triphosphate, and potassium contributes to cell division properties for a growing dogwood.
If your soil has nitrogen-deficient soil, a 16-4-8 fertilizer will help to keep the dogwood tree healthy. Common signs that your dogwood tree receives low nitrogen levels include stunted growth and light green leaves.
Applying fertilizer with equivalent phosphorus and potassium levels and higher nitrogen amounts gives the dogwood tree extra nutrients and ensures optimum photosynthesis.
Is Bone Meal Good For Dogwood Trees?
Many gardeners used bone meal with success on their dogwood trees. Using bone meal around the base of your dogwood trees in the fall helps with blooming in the spring.
As the name suggests, bone meal fertilizers originate from steamed animal bones, which are crushed into a granular powder and applied to plants or crops.
Bones are rich in calcium and phosphorus, helping them thrive and grow healthier. Besides being free of chemicals, its natural decomposition process feeds the beneficial pest in your soil.
Calcium promotes sturdy plant growth, and phosphorus is one of the three main constituents of any fertilizer. It is represented by the “P” in NPK that you usually see on fertilizer.
Phosphorus leads to higher seed yield and fruit, promotes flowering, and helps plants resist pests and disease.
Phosphorus from organic fertilizers such as bone meal is only available to plants in soils with a pH level below 7.0, found research from Colorado State University.
However, I suggest you perform a soil test before applying bone meal fertilizer to your dogwood trees.
Tips On Effectively Fertilizing Dogwood Trees
- On small trees, 12 to 24 inches (30.48 to 60.96 cm) tall, use one level tablespoonful throughout March and July.
- A newly-planted dogwood 6 feet tall needs about ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of a 16-4-8 or 12-4-8 fertilizer in March and again in July.
- Evenly spread the fertilizer on the soil surface for about 2 feet (60.96 cm) from the trunk.
- For established dogwood trees, use ½ pound (1 cup) of a 12-4-8 or 16-4-8 per inch of trunk diameter (4 feet (121.92 cm) above ground level) during March and also in July.
- Dogwoods grown in nurseries have better root systems than dogwood trees collected from the woods.
- For an 8 to 10 % nitrogen source, adjust the rate by one-third. Use one-third of the fertilizer beyond the dripline of the foliage because the roots of established dogwood trees extend into this area. Avoid concentrating the fertilizer near the trunk.
- Mature dogwood trees with trunk diameters more than 8 inches (20.32 cm) (4 feet (about 121.92 cm) above ground level) can reduce these rates since accelerated growth is usually not desired.
- To achieve maximum dogwood trees growth and strong stems, you will need to apply fertilizer. Use one level teaspoon per square foot of a general-purpose fertilizer bed area, such as 16-4-8, 12-4-8, or 10-10-10.
- Spread the fertilizer on the surface and deep water the soil, according to the University of Georgia.
Overall, holly-tone is good for dogwood trees. You can also use bone meal fertilizer, but before applying bone meal fertilizer to your plants, ensure you test your soil to ensure that the pH is below 7.
In addition, you can also apply any general-purpose fertilizer, such as 16-4-8, 12-4-8, or 10-10-10 in the bed area of your dogwood tree, and make sure you use one level teaspoon per square foot.