Although you may love the natural beauty of your property's dogwood trees, you may feel that they require a bit of shaping, especially if they are growing too close to your house or other structure. However, even if you feel that you need to perform the task early in the growing season, there are reasons you should never prune your dogwood trees during the spring or summer months.
1. Exposes the Trees to Dogwood Borers
One reason you should never cut any branches on your dogwood trees in the springtime is that it exposes the bare wood to dogwood borers. Especially in early spring, these insects can burrow their way into the unprotected wood where they take up residence and feed on the trees' sap.
If your trees are older, it can take a couple of seasons for these borers to kill them. However, if you have younger, unestablished trees, the insects could kill them the same year that they invade the wood.
Since the borers are looking for homes in which to nest and reproduce in the spring, pruning is never a good idea. Instead, wait until late fall or early winter when the insects have gone dormant.
2. Causes the Tree to Lose Too Much Sap
During the spring and summer months, the warm weather stimulates the growth of your dogwood trees. As a result, copious amounts of sap are freely running inside of the trees' veins to provide nourishment for the flowers, leaves, fall-time berries, and new branch growth.
If you cut off any branches during this period of rapid flow, the trees will bleed out a great amount of the sap it needs to grow. As a result, flowers, leaves, and berries on branches above the cuts will not have the nutrients they need to flourish. They may start to wither and drop off.
While the branches may recover, the trees' resources will be spent healing them during the most prolific growing time. Because of this, you may notice that the next year's flowers and leaves are not as plentiful or healthy because the growth has been set back.
To avoid causing damage to your dogwood trees, only prune them in the late fall or early winter months when they are dormant. If you are unsure of how to properly prune your dogwood trees without damaging them, contact a tree pruning service, such as Silver Leaf Tree Service, to find out more.