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.

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.

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.

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When Should I Prune Red Twig Dogwood

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