Pruning Bare Stems on Dogwood
On top of my dogwood, there are bare stems about 12 inches long. The other stems on the tree end in a fan of smaller stems that have buds. Do I trim the 12 inch bare stems back to the first full node? The dogwood is a lovely shape. The top of it, however, has those 12 inch long stems that are bare, no other stems coming off it and no buds. It is live, though. Do I trim these back to the nearest node or leave them? Thanks.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You can trim them. It won't hurt the tree.
It is likely a fungus or thrips causing those bare branches, though. You may be able to "wake" them back up by treating them with both a fungicide and a pesticide (neem oil works well as it is both and organic).