Q:

When is the best time to transplant dogwood trees?

A:

Quick Answer

The best time to transplant a dogwood tree is when it is dormant in the winter or before the leaves come out in the spring. This gives the tree time to rebound before it blooms. Care must be taken in the winter to transplant when the soil is well-drained and loose. The dogwood should not be planted when freezing temperatures affect the soil layer.

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Full Answer

Dogwoods have wide, shallow roots, making it difficult to remove them without damage. Successful removal of the roots can be accomplished by using a digging fork instead of a shovel. The smaller feeder roots are essential for the tree to gather water from the soil and must be left intact. The root system extends out at least as far as the canopy, requiring a large digging area.

A dogwood tree's native habitat is forest undergrowth. It is best to choose a location for transplanting that mimics the low lighting of the forest floor as too much light can send the tree into shock. When replanting the tree, the hole should be two to three times the diameter of the root ball. The tree should be watered well both during and after transplanting, with a layer of mulch applied around the roots for water retention.

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