Pagoda Dogwood Tree Pruned - June 2023

Back in Fall of 2021, I bought a small Pagoda Dogwood tree from a local non-profit (Conservation Foundation) and planted it in the back by the firepit and the row of Hicks Yews.   And I just left it alone.  It has come back each Spring (here's the first one) and it grew out as much as it grew up.   At some point last year, I talked about maybe transplanting this tree - because of the horizontal - fat-boy - branching.  Ultimately...I've decided to leave it in place; transplanting a couple-year-old tree is dicey.  

But, as a result of NOT transplanting it, I've decided to do something that I've leaned pretty hard AGAINST:  pruning a young tree.  Over the years, I've learned that you just leave trees alone.  Forget limb'ing them up, forget pruning.  Except (maybe) for when there's no clear apical meristem or leader, I just don't touch trees for a number of years after I plant them.  

This Pagoda Dogwood has a bunch of young, healthy, horizontal branching close to the ground that is making a bit more like a 'shrub' or bush than a tree.  See below for the current state of the Pagoda Dogwood in our Zone 5B garden:

I took out my pruners and tried to clean it up a bit - to bring it in width-wise and see if I could help it get taller, quicker.   

I took each of the lower limbs back to a just a couple of leaf pairings and removed the extended branches, but I left EVERY limb connected to the trunk.  Just shortened them.  I also found a leader emerging from the center - see below:

After all the pruning was done, here (below) is what I was left with in terms of pruned-off/trimmed-off leaves and green branches:

And, now...the reveal.  Below, you can see the post-pruning shape of the tree.  The top-level of branching was left untouched.  The bottom, closer-to-the-ground level was just brought in to one leaf set.  As it matures, I'll end up removing the bottom level  and it will have a much-more tree-shaped form as it grows. 


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