I HAVE A RED AND YELLOW DOG WOOD DOES ANYBODY KNOW THE EXACT TIME TO PRUNE THESE PLEASE.
Any time now but preferable not when a frost is forecast immediately afterwards as this can lead to damage to unhealed wounds. You can either take all stems down to a pair of buds low down or take out a third to a half of stems each year and leave the other half. Thr former method keeps the shrub a bit smaller and neater and gets the best new colour for next winter. The latter is better for youngish plants and those exposed to extreme conditions that might killl off new growth with a late frost.
I do tend to do mine slightly later than now, becausemof the chance of very cold weather yet. Much dpends on where you live of course, as some areas will be milder than others. April is usally my month for that kind of pruning, frosts after then tend not to be as hard or as long - so far anyway!
At Wisley I noticed that they had used their red and yellow dogwood prunings as a backdrop to some other flowers. Presumably temporary as you wouldn't want to risk rooting. Not particularly my cup of tea but quite attractive nonetheless.
I just want to say that you should not throw the pruned stems away. Save them for supporting other plants later in the year. They last a long time without going brittle and snapping.
If you want to do this, and indeed it can be quite effective, you can always put the cuttings in the ground upside down, it solves the rooting problem!
I usually leave mine a bit later as we get harder winters than most of the UK and some nasty late frosts too. A friend of mine with a more sheltered garden 15kms away does them earlier and puts the stems in empty pots about the garden so they can be decorative without rooting. She also uses them in flower arrangements and her OK uses them as plant supports once they've dried.
I'd do them early April, the weather's usually a lot kinder then, and I think the cold snap that's forecast will last a bit longer than the weathermen are predicting.