Cornus ser prune after transplant?

Discussion in 'Cornus (dogwoods)' started by LuvsGreen, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. LuvsGreen

    LuvsGreen Member

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    I'm transplanting some Cornus ser plants today. I purchased them as whips and have had them in the ground for 3 years now and want to put them in a spot that will show off the nice winter color. My question is: should I cut them back soon after I transplant them (they are still dormant) or let them grow a season in the new spot and prune them a year from now? Or prune the oldest branches first and leave the rest? They are not large plants--only 3-5 whips per root so far.

    Thanks for taking time to answer my question.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Top pruning at planting time interferes with root development. If you are talking about cutting them back because these are shrubby "twig" dogwoods like Cornus alba or C. stolonifera, even with those cutting back should not come up until the plants have grown large enough to have started losing some of the bark color - at which point the oldest and least colorful stems could be pruned down low, and the rest left. In my experience (and that of others) cutting the whole top down all at once produces a marked stunting effect, with re-growth being too short and sparse.
     
  3. LuvsGreen

    LuvsGreen Member

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    Yes, they are the red-twig dogwood shrubs. Thank you. I think I understand now. Leave them be until the red twigs lose the red coloring and then cut back that (or those) twigs. And as I understand it, you would cut those all they way back to just above ground level? Is there a best time to cut the non-red branches back?

    Thanks again for looking and answering.
    Traudi
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Down to stubs, end of winter.
     

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