Planting a Dogwood Tree: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking to add a splash of beauty to your garden, planting a dogwood tree is the perfect choice. Dogwoods come in various varieties, such as Kousa, Cornelian cherry, and flowering dogwood. With their stunning white, pink, and rose blossoms, it’s no wonder that flowering dogwood is the state tree for Missouri and Virginia. So, let’s dive into this seven-step guide on how to plant these magnificent trees and pick the perfect location for them.

Before Getting Started: General Information

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let’s go over some general information about dogwood trees.


Dogwood trees are not only great for landscaping but also have other practical uses. Due to their size, they are perfect for planting near utility lines, patios, and larger buildings. Additionally, the bark of these trees has medicinal benefits. If you’re a fan of delicious jams, you’ll be pleased to know that the fruit of the Cornelian cherry dogwood is underused in America and can be a delightful addition to your pantry.


The size of a dogwood tree varies depending on the variety. The flowering dogwood, for example, reaches a height of 25′ and has a spread of around 25′ at maturity.


In the spring, dogwood trees are known for their magnificent white, pink, and red flowers. As fall approaches, their leaves transform into a beautiful red-purple color. These trees also bear bright red fruits, which attract songbirds when ripe.

Hardiness Zones

The flowering dogwood thrives in hardiness zones 5-9.

Bloom Period

These trees typically bloom in April-May.


With proper maintenance, dogwood trees can grow 13-24″ per year. They prefer partial sun and dappled shade, along with regular pruning, watering, and mulching. Adding mycorrhizal fungi to the soil can boost root growth and prevent root diseases.

Soil Preference

Dogwood trees can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. However, they do prefer moist conditions.

Wildlife Value

The delicious fruit of dogwood trees attracts many birds, foxes, squirrels, rabbits, and even beavers. Deer and rabbits also browse the foliage and twigs of these trees.

How to Plant a Dogwood Tree: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you have a good understanding of dogwood trees let’s dive into the seven-step process of planting them.

Step 1: Prepare the Tree

Start by inspecting the root system of your dogwood tree. Trim any damaged or long roots to promote healthy growth.

Step 2: Prepare the Soil

Ensure the soil is well-drained and amended with organic matter. This will provide the necessary nutrients for your tree to thrive.

Step 3: Dig

Dig a hole that is wide enough to accommodate the root system of your tree. The hole should be slightly shallower than the size of the root ball.

Step 4: Place

Carefully place the dogwood tree into the hole, ensuring it is positioned straight and at the appropriate depth.

Step 5: Fill

Fill the hole with soil, gently packing it around the root system. Make sure not to bury the trunk of the tree.

Step 6: Water

After planting, give your dogwood tree a thorough watering. This will help settle the soil and provide much-needed moisture for the roots.

Step 7: Protect

To protect your newly planted tree, add a layer of mulch around the base. This will help retain moisture, regulate temperature, and prevent weed growth.

How to Grow a Dogwood Tree After Planting

Congratulations! You’ve successfully planted your dogwood tree. Now, let’s explore some tips on how to care for it.

How to Water a Dogwood Tree

Dogwood trees require regular watering, especially during periods of drought. Make sure to water deeply, allowing the soil to absorb the moisture. However, avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.

How to Prune a Dogwood Tree

Pruning is essential for maintaining the shape and health of your dogwood tree. It’s best to prune during the dormant season, typically in late winter or early spring. Remove any dead, diseased, or crossing branches to encourage proper airflow and prevent disease.

Knowing how to plant a dogwood tree is just the beginning of your journey to beautiful and thriving trees. For more information on caring for your dogwood tree, check out our comprehensive growing guide here. Happy gardening and enjoy the beauty your dogwood tree will bring to your landscape!