Our Davidia has grown from 1 metre to 5 metres in about 7 years. Last year we had a prolific show of hundreds of handkerchiefs; this year just three! Two years ago we had hundreds of large (2cm dia) seed pods with just 3 handkerchiefs. Can we expect handkerchiefs to show every other year? The tree is in middle of large lawn, enjoys every aspect and has no competition from surrounding trees. We feed it every spring. Please advise.
It sounds like your dove tree is growing well. They often take 10 years or more to begin flowering, so I would speculate that yours is not quite matured yet, and so is somewhat erratic in its habits. Here's an article on the davidia: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/dove-tree/dove-tree-growing.htm
I purchased a handkerchief tree 12 years ago. (at the time it was 3-5years old.) . It has never bloomed. What should I do to try to get it to bloom?
It is not unusual for this tree to take decades to bloom and then only occasionally.
This article will refresh you on the care.
Dove tree looks bad, it has a few buds coming on but appears "puny", I want to give it some food but not sure what kind.
Add compost around the base of the tree out to the dripline. They need a high organic soil. Before adding any fertilizer I would have the soil tested. Then you will know for sure what it needs. These articles should help:
Has been in ground 3yrs. 8ft tall. Top 4ft dead, several limbs dead.
After doing a bit of research I am thinking you should talk to a certified arborist, since the top of the tree appears to have died. I know that trimming away dead branches is important, but I'm not sure the tree would survive if you were to take away the top four feet of it - that may be way too much pruning for an 8 foot tree. Here are a couple articles that may be helpful, but I recommend contacting someone locally who can take a look at your tree: