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#51523 May 25th, 2007 at 10:20 AM
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I have a "hedge" along the South side of my house. There are alternating red stick dogwood bushes, and regular (I think) dogwoods. Last fall I cut them back, but since I don't know what I'm doing, I'm not sure it worked out. How far back can I cut them? They were very leggy, and I want them to get new growth from the ground, not from the ends of the branches. Is it too late this year?

ShadyLadyMN #51524 May 25th, 2007 at 10:20 AM
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ShadyLadyMN #51575 May 25th, 2007 at 12:59 PM
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[Linked Image]
OK, here's the real picture...

ShadyLadyMN #52553 May 27th, 2007 at 05:34 PM
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The shrubs can be cut back to within three buds of the ground. Some of the previoulsy cutback branches have dieback at the tips. When pruning a stem with leaves prune back to just above an outside leaf or just above a set of leaves. When you prune back to the ground if there would be no leaves left then prune back to just above an outward facing bud (a bump felt on the stem when you run a finger along it. Doing so allows the stem to grow out and up instead of into the middle.

The shrubs are in such dense shade they may never be full and bushy or thrive. Feed them as soon as leaves appear with a granular organic fertilizer. Keep them short, watered and fed this year. What you have at the end of the season may the best these bushes can do in dense shade.


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