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Dogwood pruning or removal


I recently had a dogwood bush/tree that was being undermanaged by out communal gardeners and therefore it had grown to about 4-5ft tall and about 3-4ft at its widest point. In my great wisdom not realising how popular these plants were decided to cut it back to the base... Now I'm stuck with roots that keep sprouting new shoots up but I want to get rid of them so I can plant a wildflower patch there instead. Any hints and tips please. Also ps I am now aware that this was sacrilege I'm sorry.

Thanks in advance,

Mr S


Hi Mrs S,

Thanks for getting in touch about your Cornus or Dogwood.

The issue is that if you want to get rid of any shrub you need to dig it out. Cutting it back or hard pruning it to the ground will simply result in more vigorous new growth.

This is because the main root ball is still in place, with access to water and nutrients. So it keeps sending out new growth. The only way to remove or kill a shrub is to lift it and its root ball out. 

Maybe if you read my guide to pruning Cornus it may help you work out whether you want to keep it or remove it. They are fantastic shrubs for winter interest and can be cut back hard each year to the base.

I hope that helps and if you want to plant a wildflower meadow then here's my guide for that too!

Happy gardening!

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