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I purchased a Stellar Pink dogwood tree early this spring…

Patricia Asked

I purchased a Stellar Pink dogwood tree early this spring. It is still completely void of leaves or flowers. The limbs and branches are green. I don’t want to plant it if it is a lost cause. I have kept it watered and in full sunlight, and I also protected it from our last frost.

The Gardener’s Answer

It is concerning that your dogwood has not put on any new growth this season. Stellar Pink or Cornus x ‘Rutgan’ is a hybrid between the native (Cornus florida) and Japanese (Cornus kousa) dogwoods. This particular tree is part of the stellar series of dogwoods developed at Rutgers University. I mention its background because it is known for being vigorous and disease-resistant. Stellar Pink blooms after the foliage appears, as opposed to the native dogwoods that bloom before new growth appears.

Given the timing of your question and where you are gardening, I would think yours should be in bloom. To find out if your tree has any life left, you can take a knife or fingernail and scratch the bark to find out if the cambium layer is green or not. If it is green, then it is still alive, but otherwise you may want to check with the garden center/nursery where you purchased your tree to find if it has a guarantee policy.

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