The best time to prune a dogwood tree is after it has finished blooming for the season, usually in late summer or early fall. Pruning a dogwood tree in spring or summer leaves it open to disease from insects and risks damage to the tree while it is actively growing.
Pruning a dogwood helps to keep the tree's appearance and improves air circulation to the living branches. It is also a preventive measure against infestation by insects.
As a rule, dogwood trees do not need intensive pruning. The main goals for pruning are to remove dead branches and low hanging limbs that interfere with other plants' growth in the yard.