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To cut dogwood (Cornus), you have to proceed differently depending on the nature and habitability: Some cuts promote the flowering, others the formation of new shoots - and some dogwood do not need a cut. For cutting dogwood, you need a pruning shears and, for older shrubs, a hand saw that can cope even in dense branches.
Depending on the growth characteristics, dogwood can be divided into three main sections and must be cut accordingly.
1. Dogwood with shrubby growth
The first cut group includes the different varieties of the white dogwood (Cornus alba) and the yellowwood dogwood (Cornus sericea). Both species and their varieties show an intensely colored bright red, brownish red, light green or yellow bark. The color is particularly intense in young shoots. If, on the other hand, the shoots are older than three years, they become more and more crusted and lose their typical color.
A vigorous pruning at the end of February or early March promotes the sprouting and the formation of young shoots. However, one waives a large part of the flowers. Every two or three years, the shrubs are either set completely on the hive or cleared out annually, cutting off the older shoots near the ground and leaving the younger shoots. This preserves the natural growth of the Dogwood, while the Radikalrückschnitt leads to the formation of long thin, intensely colored rods.
If you put the white dogwood on the hive every two to three years, it will keep your natural growth
If you value flowers, you let the shrub grow and only clear it out occasionally. The shoots then bend over time and become rooted in contact with the earth. Cut the overhanging shoots back to a side shoot at the bow apex - otherwise the shrub may become very overgrown over time by the natural offshoot formation. Outdated dogwood can be easily rejuvenated, for which you can simply prune all shoots in early spring to about 30 inches above the ground.
2. Cut the flower dogwood
Flower dogwood remains beautiful even without cutting. It ages only in old age, and usually only when the soil or site conditions are not optimal. It is necessary at best slight care or Auslichtungsschnitte, in which one intersects crossing or too close standing branches. This applies to the Japanese flower dogwood (Cornus kousa), the Pacific flower dogwood (Cornus nutallii) and the Florida flower dogwood (Cornus florida), but also for the pagoda dogwood (Cornus controversa). The plants grow as large shrubs or small trees and bloom in May or June. The flowers have showy white or reddish bracts and are created in the autumn of last year - a cut in the spring before the shoot would therefore be fatal. The red fruits in autumn are reminiscent of raspberries or strawberries. They are edible but not very tasty. A radical rejuvenation cut does not tolerate these types of dogwood.
The species of flower dogwood 'Venus' is by nature only weakly branched - here you should help out with pruning shears
An exception is the fast-growing flower-tree variety 'Venus', a hybrid of Japanese and Pacific flower dogwood, which branches out only reluctantly. A pruning after flowering in June persuades the shrubs to a denser, bushy growth. Shorten all shoots after flowering by one third and then let the shrub grow. This cutting measure is usually required only for younger shrubs.
3. Blood turkey and cornelian cherry
In these species, only in the first few years after planting, some correction cuts are needed to grow the plants to the desired shape. Blood turkey (Cornus sanguinea) are large shrubs. In the spring, they cut back young, freshly planted shrubs by half to two-thirds in order to make them rich. The following spring, cut off all thin shoots and cut the rest by a third. Thereafter, only Auslichtungs- and care cuts are necessary, in which everything that grows cross, dead or broken off, is derived or removed.
In old specimens a courageous rejuvenation cut is possible, for which you cut off all old shoots near the ground and shorten the young shoots by half. As a result, the blood-turkey crucible is pushing hard, so some correction cuts will be needed in the next few years.
The Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) is especially popular because of its yellow flowers, which appear in February and March before the leaves shoot.Cornus cherries grow as large shrubs or trees and have the hardest wood in Europe - besides, it is so heavy that it sinks in the water.
The cutting is limited to the educational cut, which determines the growth habit: cutting young plants from sprouting in the spring, leading to multi-stemmed shrubs. If a tree-like growth is desired, only one main shoot or few leading gears remain of these shoots. These will be cut by a third next year and will be used to make the crown in the following years. Regularly remove the ground-level shoots that disturb the tree-like growth.