How To Properly Plant And Maintain The Kousa Dogwood Tree

The Kousa dogwood, also known as Cornus kousa, is a deciduous tree that may grow up to 30 feet tall and has beautiful, reddish-purple leaves in the fall. In the spring, the flowers are cream-colored and fashioned like exquisite stars. This is the perfect tree to use as a contrast for vertical constructions because to its compact mature size of 15 to 30 feet and its tendency to branch out horizontally. Kousa cultivars include “Wolf Eyes”, which has ivory-margined, grayish-green foliage that, in the fall, becomes a more intense shade of reddish-pink. These deciduous trees are typically resistant to both pests and diseases, and they thrive with only a moderate amount of care. They are suitable for plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. Get your Kousa Dogwood at TheTreeCentre.

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1. Kousa dogwood should be planted in a location that receives full sun to moderate shade and has soil that is organically rich, continuously wet, and well-drained. Dogwoods growing in areas with inadequate drainage are at a greater risk of contracting a root disease. Even though they thrive on sandy, acidic soils with pH values between 5.5 and 6.9, kousas may survive neutral to weakly alkaline soils with readings between 7.0 and 7.5.

2. Conduct a soil test before watering, and begin irrigating when the top three to four inches of soil are devoid of moisture. It is important to water well enough to soak the top one foot of soil, as this is where the majority of the roots will develop. Water your plants every three to seven days when there is a dry period, even during the chilly temperatures of fall. When you overwater a plant, the roots are deprived of oxygen, which causes them to develop more slowly, absorb less nutrients, and risk developing root rot.

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3. Apply a layer of organic mulch to your soil that is three to four inches thick, such as pine bark. This will help your soil to better retain water. Spread it out from outside the tree’s dripline, which is the point at which rainfall falls to the ground from the tree’s outer leaves, to a distance of one foot from the tree’s stem. The accumulation of mulch around the trunk not only retains moisture but also encourages the development of disease.

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4. At the beginning of spring and again in July, use an all-purpose fertilizer with the ratio 12-4-8. One spoonful of fertilizer should be applied to freshly planted trees that are between one and two feet tall. Raise the quantity to a quarter of a cup for trees that are 6 feet tall and have recently been planted. Spread the food out equally in a circle that is 2 feet in diameter around the tree trunks. A young dogwood tree that receives an excessive amount of fertilizer may die. When the trunk diameter is measured 4 feet above the soil line, bigger, well-established kousas should get one cup of fertilizer for every inch of trunk diameter. Spread the food further than the dripline, which is the point at which the rain begins to fall from the outermost leaves onto the ground.

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5. Prune kousa dogwood after its spring bloom. 

Take away any branches that are damaged, sick, or infected with insects. Cut away any branches that are crossing or rubbing against one another to stop the spread of illness. If it is required, thin the canopy in order to increase the air circulation within and the light exposure outside. Make sure the tools you’re using are clean, sharp, and adequate for the size of your dogwood. Hand pruners with a scissor-like movement can be used to trim branches with a diameter of up to 1 1/2 inches. Utilize long-handled lopping shears for cutting branches with a diameter ranging from 1/4 inch to 1 1/2 inches. Saws designed for pruning are required for larger branches. Utilize pole pruners for performing canopy trimming on older trees.


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