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Kousa Dogwood

Q.Why Is My Newly Planted Kousa Dogwood Tree Growing Leaves Only At The Base Of The Bark?

Zone 7a | Christine1969 added on May 19, 2024 | Answered

I planted the tree at the end of September 2023. It was purchased through the mail and seemed to be alive when we got it. It was not full with leaves and actually only had a few straggling leaves on it. We planted it in sunny spot in our yard. The winter was mild in New York but we did get a lot rain. We are in 7a zone. It is the middle of May and the only leaf growth has been seen at the base of the tree. Will this tree grow leaves off the branches, or do you think it is in shock and maybe growth will off the branches will take another year or two? Christine

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 20, 2024

Likely, the tree is stressed. You will need to check pH, nutrient levels (over-fertilizing can be detrimental to newly planted trees.) and moisture content. You may want to perform a scratch test, as well.




Unfortunately, it looks like you have shoots growing from the rootstock. This is below the graft point and likely not the dogwood that you started with. Rootstocks are usually more vigorous but not as appealing, but make great rootstock to attach a specimen that is slower growing to boost the speed of the process. In the case that you lose the tree, these will take over to become the new tree.

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