Asked April 23, 2019, 11:48 AM EDT
Baltimore County Maryland
There may be several reasons for decline. Dogwoods grow best in morning sun and afternoon shade in a well drained soil. They are understory trees.
You may be dealing with issues such as drought, poor planting techniques, planting too deeply, poor drainage, etc. Branch dieback can be also attributed to cankers, anthracnose, powdery mildew, and insect issues such as borers.
Here is our dogwood publication for more information http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/TreesandShrubs/...
Your dogwood looks mature. If the tree puts out some new growth then most likely it will limp along but not return to its former glory. If the tree does not put out foliage, then you will have to consider replacement.
Thank you for your response. Based on what you said, it seems best to take the trees out - they haven flowered (or shown any growth) this spring. I have two follow-up questions; 1) is it safe to plant new dogwoods in the same area, and 2) I have several other dogwoods in the yard - is there anything I can do to prevent the same issue from occurring with them?
Thank you for your time.
The best thing you can do preventively is to plant the trees correctly. So many trees are planted too deeply and are overmulched. Also, water the trees as they become established. Please see the following information from our website about tree planting. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/tree-shrub-planting