Q. When is the best time to prune a flowering dogwood tree? Some of the smaller limbs are barren. Thanks.
Do you know if your dogwood is the native, earlier blooming kind or the Korea type that blooms more toward the beginning of summer? If it is the native be on the lookout for the anthracnose fungus that has no cure. In either case, prune off the affected branches up to the trunk or to the nearest healthy branch. If you suspect the fungus, be sure the tree is kept watered in dry spells by deep watering twice a week, avoid putting chemical lawn treatments near the roots, and feed lightly now at the branch drip line with a fertilizer for acid loving plants. Prune as soon as the new growth starts so you can see which are the dead branches. Or after blooming if your goal is the shaping or size reduction of the tree.