Connecticut winters are long and....Blah, especially if your passion is gardening like mine is! The other thing I'm passionate about is trees and shrubs that look interesting during the winter. Red Twig Dogwood is a shrub that I'm in love with. It has a pretty green leaf that's bordered with a cream margin in the summer. If that's not enough, the show really starts in the winter! The twigs turn from a non-descript brown to a deep crimson red!
But what happens if they start looking like all the other shrubs and start losing their red? After all, you planted it for its winter color, right?
We'll, not to worry. At M&M Garden Designs, we're here to solve your garden problems. Red Twig Dogwoods have their brightest red color on young wood. Older branches lose their color and stay brown even in the winter.
There's a very simple solution for this. Pruning!
Take a look at this picture. If you look at this branch I'm pointing to, you can see it's pretty thick.
Time to get out those by-pass pruners, that branch (and many more) has to go!
It's supposed to be warm next week - almost 50! That would be a great day to get some winter sunshine and get your Dogwood pruned!
Go ahead and prune the branches at a 45° angle close to the bottom. You only want to prune about 1/3 of the entire shrub. This will stimulate new growth which will lead to bright red branches (yippee!). If you prune more than 1/3, even though the shrub is dormant you could shock it. But don't worry, you can get the rest next winter!