I have two questions.
1) My flowering dogwood is a relatively new tree. We purchased it 5 feet tall and 2 years ago it flowered beautifully. Last year it flowered, but considerably less. This year (and I don’t know if this is related to ice storm), all of the buds just fell off. The leaves are coming out and just ‘pushing’ the buds off. Not sure if they got damaged/frozen in the ice storm?
2) My very old 40 to 50 year old Juniper has gone pretty much completely brown. Needles falling off everywhere. I’ve tried pruning it but can find only little patches of green. If I prune anymore, it will be down to dead wood. Will it bounce back this summer?
Thanks for your inquiry. I hope the following information will be useful
1) Examine the branches and leaves of your Dogwood to see if there is any evidence of disease or pests. Attached is an information sheet from Cornell University describing the more common diseases and pests that can affect dogwoods.
If there isn’t anything apparent then the reduced flowering and bud drop could be the result of insufficient sun or water or perhaps mechanical damage (from a lawnmower etc.). The bud drop could certainly be a result of the ice storm and cold winter.
Try to reduce any further stress on the tree. If there are any adjacent trees, prune to ensure that dappled light conditions throughout the day. The soil should be kept cool and moist, with the tree being watered thoroughly in times of drought. Mulching is wonderful, and you should add some more compost this year as well (always remember that any mulch should be kept few inches away from the trunk of the tree). Next spring, just as the branches start leafing out, watch for infection and remove the affected parts immediately.
2) With respect to your Juniper, only time will tell as to whether it will bounce back. I would not prune any more off the shrub as this could cause more stress as the plant tries to ‘heal’ the pruning cuts. Good cultural practices are even more important this summer. Ensure that the plant has adequate water and you can add soil to serve as nutrition and mulch.
Attached is an article from Purdue University on the effects of this harsh winter on trees and shrubs that you may find interesting.
Good luck and let us know how your Dogwood and Juniper do over the next year.