dogwood tree flowers

When And How To Fertilize Dogwood Trees

Dogwood trees are some of the most stunning ornamental trees you could have on your property. They have seasonal changes that make them gorgeous if properly cared for throughout the years. Since they are considered landscape trees, dogwood trees offer a variety of alluring appearances. Their blooms in the spring are breathtaking, then change into beautiful colors in the fall, and produce bright red berries in the winter. However, knowing when to fertilize and what kind of dogwood tree fertilizer is best. All the work you put into caring for your trees will be worth the labor.

When To Use Dogwood Tree Fertilizer

You have to consider the type of climate that dogwood trees prefer the most when fertilizing them. They are native to North America and Eurasia which are temperate to warm zones. When it is early springtime and the last frost has passed, this is the ideal time to fertilize your dogwood trees and then again after about 3 months. If you wait too late into the season, you may accidentally force new growth that’s too tender and delicate to survive any kind of cold weather. Routinely doing this will result in fabulous seasonal displays of blooms and color changes. However, there are some other factors that you must consider before applying dogwood tree fertilizer.

Young dogwood trees should not be fertilized in the first year since they are still too tender and could potentially damage their roots if given too much. Once your dogwood tree is about 6 ft. tall, use about 2 ounces of fertilizer from February through March, then once more three months later. Be sure to give your dogwood trees plenty of water when you fertilize them. Giving your dogwood tree this burst when it’s early spring will give it all the nutrients it needs to thrive for the growing season.

How To Fertilize Dogwood Trees

Depending on where your dogwood tree is in its growth stage, you’ll have to use a certain ratio to make sure that it’s getting enough nutrients. The type of soil and food that your dogwood tree is getting will ultimately shape the health of your tree as well. Dogwood trees need slightly acidic soil, so testing the acidity and nutrients of the soil is a good thing to do before you apply any fertilizer at all. Doing this will give you a great starting point for your dogwood trees’ growth.

For most regions, using a ratio of either 12-4-8 or 16-4-8 should be more than enough for your trees. Having such high nitrogen is exactly what dogwood trees need to grow new vegetation and leaves. However, if your soil has too much nitrogen, it could stunt the number of blooms it produces in the spring. If your soil is too poor in acidity, using an acid lovers fertilizer blend may be what you need to kickstart your dogwood’s growth. Gardeners usually use this blend on holly trees or rhododendrons.

Fertilizing Mature Dogwood Trees

If you’re fertilizing a more mature dogwood tree, using 4 ounces of fertilizer per inch of its trunk is ideal. Additionally, using 3 ounces per every 1,000 sqft may prove to give you a better idea of how much to use. Then, scatter fertilizer 100 sqft from the tree and scratch it into the soil for efficient root absorption. Dogwood trees’ roots have a very generous root zone and giving the fertilizer such a wide area will ensure that the tree is being properly fed.

Cody Medina
Small Scale Farmer
Hi there! I'm Cody, a staff writer here at The Garden Magazine and a small-scale farmer living in Oregon. I've been gardening most of my life and now live on a quarter-acre farmstead with chickens, ducks, and a big garden.