How To Prune A Young Dogwood Tree: Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

Dogwood trees are popular ornamental trees known for their stunning spring blooms and vibrant foliage in the fall. They add a touch of beauty to any landscape, making them great additions to any garden or yard. However, if left unattended, dogwood trees can become unruly and overgrown, hindering their growth and affecting their overall health. This is where pruning comes into play.

Pruning is an essential part of maintaining your young dogwood tree’s health and shaping it into a beautiful specimen that adds value to your property. Pruning helps remove dead or diseased branches while promoting new growth, resulting in healthy and full-looking trees.

In this post, we will guide you through how to prune a young dogwood tree properly.

When should you prune?

Pruning should be done during the dormant season when the tree has no leaves. Late winter or early spring is an ideal time as it promotes faster healing since there is less sap flow during this time.

Tools Required

Before starting on pruning your young dogwood tree, ensure that you have all the necessary tools at hand:

1. Sharpened pruning shears
2. Loppers
3. Hand saws
4. Gloves

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Prune Your Young Dogwood Tree

1) Identify any diseased branches: Start by identifying dead, damaged or diseased limbs which often appear brittle with peeling bark; dispose of these immediately as they may infect others within close proximity.

2) Remove suckers: Suckers grow from roots beneath the soil surface leading up directly from the base of the trunk; they take away vital nutrients that would otherwise benefit other parts of your tree leading up its canopy; cut these off mercilessly!

3) Shape The Canopy: Begin with removing lower branches using sharp pruning shears at points just above where stems meet larger ones before moving onto others higher up — only taking out 1/3 of the overall growth to avoid damaging it.

4) Pruning The Main Trunk: After a couple of years, your young dogwood tree will have some established branches that need pruning. Start by removing any crossing or rubbing limbs that can create wounds leading up further down the trunk. This is done using hand saws and sharp loppers.

5) Cuts should be clean and precise: When you are making cuts, ensure they’re smooth and clean; rough edges cause more damage than good which leads to slow healing from potential infections.

6) Avoid over-pruning: Over-pruning can weaken trees, so only remove one-third of wood each year. In addition, make sure not to cut off too many branches at once as this may lead to stunted growth or even death in some cases.

7) Prune away water sprouts: Water sprouts – those thin shoots growing from main stems – detract nutrients from branch tips where fruit production occurs; get rid of them whenever seen due its lack usefulness for future growth.


Pruning young dogwood trees require careful consideration because if done incorrectly can stunt their growth and leave them vulnerable to disease. However, following our guide will help keep your tree healthy while also promoting new growth that adds value aesthetically-speaking! Remember always utilize tools such as sharpened shears or loppers when necessary—never use dull ones—which could result in jagged scars inhibiting proper healing after cutting has taken place!