When Should I Prune Red Twig Dogwood

Pruning Red Twig Dogwood

When Should I Prune Red Twig Dogwood

Red Twig Dogwood is another of the Oregon Native plants. Its scientific names are Cornus sericea, Swida sericea, C. stolonifera. It belongs to the dogwood species.

My dear friends, It is often seen in the westernmost parts of North America. It has other names such as Red twig Dogwood, American Dogwood, Western Dogwood, Red-rood, and Creek Dogwood.

It is quite commonly observed to grow in the wilderness. These Oregon native plants typically grow well in regions where the soil is damp.

Wetlands are the usual places you can see the plant growing. It can grow as tall as 5 m and as wide as 4 m. It forms dense thickets and spreads easily underground.

Given proper cultivation, the plant features dark red twigs and branches. The plants that grow in the wilderness lack this quality of color, especially in the regions where there is a lot of shade.

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It is referred to as a deciduous shrub. Leaves usually are 7 cm broad and 15 cm long. They turn red and purple. These Oregon native plants bear small flowers that are a pale shade of white in color and are formed in clusters. It bears a small fruit that resembles a berry.

Some of the tribes have used the fruit of this plant for medicinal purposes; such as the Indian tribe that took to eating berries for the treatment of slow bleeding and cold.

This plant is also quite popular as an ornamental shrub. Its red color is the main reason why the shrub is used. It can be divided into two kinds of subspecies.

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Red Twig Dogwood
Red Twig Dogwood

When Should I Prune Red Twig Dogwood

One species has its leaves completely hairless and finely pubescent with small flower petals. The other kind of species has densely pubescent leaves and slightly big flower petals.

It grows best in the kinds of soils that for some periods of season are saturated. Lakes, ponds, wetlands and streams are common places where Red Twig Dogwood is found. It has great tolerance for fluctuations in water tables.

It has red stems that are responsible for its name – “red willow”. Nitrogen rich, shallowly inundated and saturated soils are preferred by this shrub.

Red twig Dogwood can survive in complete dryness during the late summer. Its twigs and barks are evenly smooth starting from the autumn season to the late spring season.

Its inflorescence is that of cyme. It bears berries that are quite smooth on the face and furrowed on sides. These Oregon native plants grow well in heights that are below 3 km.

Pruning of Red twig Dogwood

Red twig dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’) and red osier dogwood (C. stolonifera) bear small white flowers, but unlike their treelike cousin flowering dogwood, they are primarily prized for their colorful red stems.

Pruning of them in late winter or early spring while they are still dormant. First remove any dead or damaged stems.

In addition, remove about a third of the oldest stems annually. The new shoots that sprout from the ground will have a brighter red color in winter.

You could also prune them down to the ground annually so they put on all new growth and stay more compact.

Depending on their location, red twig dogwood can grow to be 10 feet tall and 10 feet across.

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Diseases of Red Twig Dogwood Tree

The ornamental dogwood tree is a popular specimen due to its vibrant flowers and bright red berries in the fall and winter. However, you must take care in selecting and maintaining your dogwood tree as they are susceptible to a variety of diseases.

The effects of these diseases range in severity from disfiguring blemishes to the death of the tree. If your tree becomes infected, quick identification and treatment can save its life.

The three main types of leaf/flower diseases are Powdery Mildew, Spot Anthracnose and Septoria Leafspot. They do not usually cause permanent damage but are disfiguring.

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Severe infestations will eventually weaken the tree and make it susceptible to other, more dangerous, conditions. Powdery mildew will appear as light green to yellow spots.

Then, threadlike white patches develop and the plant gives the appearance of having been dusted with flour. Spot anthracnose affects the flower petals, leaves and young shoots.

The symptoms are small circular reddish-purple spots appearing on the petals in early spring. Spots on leaves are small and dark purple in color, but the centers may turn pale yellow-gray and drop out.

Septoria leafspot usually does not become severe until mid-summer. The spots appear angular and are bordered by veins.

At first, they are a uniform, purplish color, but later in the season the centers become grayish, while keeping the dark purple border.

The centers rarely drop out. The spots are much larger than those caused by spot anthracnose.

The primary disease affecting the wood or stem of the tree is a Dogwood Cankers. A canker is a slowly developing blemish on the main trunk or the larger branches.

Cankers may be either:

A sunken area in the bark that may ultimately circle the trunk and result in the death of the tree above the area, or a swollen area with roughened bark on the trunk or main branches.

These roughened areas are often invaded by insects. Leaves on diseased trees may be smaller than normal and shed prematurely.

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Pruning Red Twig Dogwood
Pruning Red Twig Dogwood


Red Twig Dogwoods bright red branches bring unique color to the winter landscape. Small flower clusters appear in spring. Red Twig Dogwoods bright red branches bring unique color to the winter landscape. Foliage turns red in fall. White berries appear in spring and are enjoyed by wildlife.

Red Twig Dogwood or anthracnose is the most serious disease to affect dogwood trees. Initial symptoms are small purple-bordered leaf spots or larger tan blotches, especially on leaf margins.

These initial symptoms can be confused with the less serious Spot anthracnose. Affected leaves do not fall in the autumn and frequently remain on the tree until spring.

The fungus can spread to the twigs and, in some cases, to the trunk, causing brown, elliptical cankers.

Sprouts may develop from the cankers, and also may become infected. Untreated, the cankers this fungus produces will kill the tree.

Red Twig Dogwood trees are a beautiful addition to your landscape, but can develop major problems without the proper care and attention.

First, select certified disease-free plants from a nursery or garden center. Do not transplant wild dogwoods as they are more likely to carry disease.

Secondly, do your research and plant your Red Twig Dogwood in the right kind of soil and sun.

Finally, if your tree shows signs of disease, treat it immediately and don’t allow a minor problem to become a life-threatening infestation.  Current year’s growth features outstanding coral-red branches on a multi-stemmed shrub. Yellowish white flowers are followed by small …

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When Should I Prune Red Twig Dogwood

How tall does a red twig dogwood get?

8 feet tallRed Branches

Branches of Red Twig Dogwood add a contemporary accent to container gardens in winter. Here they are paired with Maiden Hair Ferns. When not pruned, the shrub, Cornus Sricea, grows up to 8 feet tall with a spread equally as wide.

Does red twig dogwood spread?

When planting red twig dogwoods, give them plenty of room. They grow up to 8 feet (2.5 m.) tall with an 8 foot (2.5 m.) spread.

Is red twig dogwood invasive?

Because of the densely growing underground stems and rapid growth rate, red osier dogwood can become invasive. When growing it in your yard, take steps such as pruning to confine it only to the areas you desire it. Leaf and twig blights, canker, and leaf spots are occasionally a problem, as are leaf miners and bagworms.

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Do red twig dogwoods grow fast?

Hardy in USDA growing zones 2 to 9, red twig dogwod is a moisture-loving, fast grower that will quickly reach a sizable 6 to 8 feet in height and width.

Set Your Winter Landscape Ablaze in Fire-Red Color. Why Red Twig Dogwood Shrub? It’s a shrub that sparks conversation…with fantastic winter color, weather …Growing a red twig dogwod is a great way to add spectacular color to the winter garden.

The stems, which are green in spring and summer, …Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ … Current year’s growth features outstanding coral-red branches on a multi-stemmed shrub. Yellowish white flowers are followed by small …

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Red Twig Dogwood: Care and Growing Guide 2021

Red twig dogwood will brighten your winter landscaping with its bright red branches; the shrubs actually can provide year-round interest. Despite bearing spring blossoms, variegated leaves during summer, and berries from summer to fall, clearly, this plant’s common name explains the main reason that people grow it: namely, the bush’s red twigs, which are brightest from late winter to early spring.

Several different dogwood species have cultivars that include the “red-twig” label as part of the common name. Depending on variety, these shrubs bear either dark green or variegated leaves (greenish-gray with a white edge) and small white flowers that form in flat clusters.

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The flowers are succeeded by berries that are a white color with hints of blue and green. The fall foliage can pick up hints of rose or gold, but most gardeners find the foliage less attractive in autumn, as leaves pick up brown spots with age. You will be glad that the foliage is deciduous, as you will have a clear view of the red color of the bark in winter.

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Red twig dogwood shrubs should be planted somewhere in your yard where they can be easily viewed from a window, to take advantage of their status as top-notch specimen plants for winter landscapes. For optimal display, grow them against a wall that receives ample sunlight from the south or west in winter.

Use them in combination with yellow twig dogwoods for an even more stunning winter display. With or without their yellow cousins, red twig dogwoods look best massed together. On a more practical level, their widely-spreading root systems make them effective plants for erosion control (for example, on steep bankings). They are excellent for moist woodland plantings.

Botanical NameCornus servicea, Cornus alba, or Cornus sanguinea
Common NamesRed-twig dogwood, Tartian dogwood
Plant TypeDeciduous flowering shrub
Mature Size6 to 9 feet tall, 8 to 12-foot spread
Sun ExposureFull sun to part shade
Soil TypeFertile, moist soil
Soil pH5.5 to 6.6; slightly acidic
Bloom TimeSpring
Flower ColorWhite
Hardiness Zones3 to 8
Native AreaMuch of North America
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How to Grow Red Twig Dogwoods

Red twig dogwoods have good tolerance for most soil and light conditions, and are one of the few shrubs that thrive in boggy conditions. The best color is on new stems, so a systematic routine of removing a few of the oldest stems each year is recommended. If the shrubs spread too much, use a spade to trim the roots around the base of the plant. The plants can periodically be trimmed back all the way to the ground, which will both rejuvenate the plant and control its growth.


Red twig dogwoods will tolerate partial shade, but the signature red bark will be the brightest if they are planted in full sun.


Red twig dogwood bushes are considered good areas with consistently moist soil (for example, wet spots where homeowners may wish to establish woodland gardens), although some types perform better in well-drained soils. Work humus into the soil for nutrients. Somewhat acidic soil is preferred.


These plants prefer moist areas. They thrive in low spots or along streams or ponds. If there is not a lot of rain, water new plants weekly for the first few months. Mature plants only need watering during dry spells when there is no rain for more than a week.

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Temperature and Humidity

This shrub has adapted to a wide range of temperatures. It does not do well in extremely hot and humid climates where it can be vulnerable to diseases such as canker.


Fertilize red twig dogwood in the early spring, side-dressing it with compost. When it has started to leaf out, you can feed it with fish emulsion, although it will do fine without.

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