I have read about absolutely to only prune dogwood in the winter or very early spring,while it is dormant. the problem is I have
also read to prune it only in early summer! Which is the correct answer??
There are a couple factors at work in the differences you are seeing. 1 is the fact that blooms are set in late summer/early fall; therefore, pruning in winter removes blooms. However, it is easier to see the structure of the limbs when leaves are off which helps in determining which to remove. Insects are dormant in winter and borers are a potential problem with summer cuts. Lastly, pruning wounds heal fastest in early spring as growth begins which limits exposure to disease and insects. Summer blooming is sometimes done right after blooming. Wounds may bleed sap at this time of year although I've recently read that this isn't harmful to most trees. Back to the issue of disease and insects, summer cuts (wounds) are during the time of greatest exposure. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons; personally, I would lean toward late winter/early spring pruning. However, right away is the best time to remove damaged, diseased or dead branches. The longer they remain, the greater the risk of insect and disease problems.