Newly transplanted red twig dogwood, when to prune?

Discussion in 'Cornus (dogwoods)' started by pauls14325561, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. pauls14325561

    pauls14325561 New Member

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    Inherited a mature, 4' x 4' variegated red twig dogwood, just planted it today. It's a bit leggy at the moment, and I'm hoping to prune it. Wondering if I should just let it settle and do this in the spring, or should I do it now, give the plant a bit of a break on maintaining all the leaves?

    Also, should I prune it hard (hoping for the bright red branches)? i.e. 6" above the ground, or just remove the older wood for now?

    thanks!

    BONUS question: any suggestions about what to plant at the base of this? It's deep shade, there's sorrel here too - thinking ferns maybe?
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Should have waited until after it defoliated before moving it - now the main thing is to keep it watered. With mulching being a way to help keep the soil moist. After it reestablishes itself
    stem color can be maintained by cutting the oldest, dullest canes only down at end of winter during years that appears needed - cutting all the canes back hard at the same time can result in a poor response from "twig" dogwoods unless involved specimens are thriving. And you have moved this one into a tough spot where there is a tree and a laurel hedge right there. Also you have said there is minimal sun exposure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
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  3. pauls14325561

    pauls14325561 New Member

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    great, thanks!
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    As far as combination planting is concerned I would suggest deciding on if you are wanting to either play to the winter twigs or the summer leaves, cut a sample at a time of year when these are showing and hitting some garden centers. And seeing what they have in stock that looks good with the chosen dogwood feature at that time. Representative piece in hand you can hold it up against encountered items at outlets, see how it reads against various possibilities. This can even be done with small highly seasonal items like flowering annuals or spring bulbs, because these are often featured in pots and flowering by vendors.
     
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