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Pruning a Cornus alba 'Elegantissima'

LucidLucid Posts: 385


I've got a Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' (Red-Barked Dogwood) and have noticed that the stems are no longer red near the bottom to about a 3rd of the way up. I've read that to retain the red colour you should prune the stems right to the ground, but would I be correct that it is now the wrong time of year to do this? Or should I have a go? There are leaves on the plant now.

Is this something you have to do each year?


Lucid image


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,836

    It should be done in early spring as new foliage buds start to open.  You can either take every stem back to a healthy pair of buds - always leaving a  spare pair below in case of nasty frosts - or you can take out at one third of the oldest, dullest stems each year.   As it's a bit late, I suggest you try doing the latter this year so you get some renewed, fresh colour and then next spring, you can either carry on like that but earlier or go for the full cut, also earlier.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Thanks obelixx, I'll give it a try.

    Lucid image

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