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I purchased a white and pink dog wood from the nursery at Lowe's. We planted it according to directions about two weeks ago and I don't see any new growth on it at all yet. I broke off a few small twigs and it is still green. They are only about 4 feet high and were in pots when purchased. There were no leaves on them only bare branches. How long does it take to see if they are growing properly since they are guaranteed if they die. Thank you

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I'm not sure where you planted these flowering dogwood trees. If you are in Utah, you have just planted a very demanding baby. Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) prefer an acid soil that is usually cool and moist. This would not be a tree I would recommend for most of Utah. Our soil is naturally high pH and low in organic matter - practically opposite what these trees prefer.

In answer to your question, though, you can expect the tree to leaf out by the date of your average last frost. Transplanting may shock this tree and retard leaf emergence. Check the limbs every week (barely scratch the outer layer with a fingernail - if it is limber and green underneath, it's still alive). If branch tips test dead, move back along the branch towards the trunk and re-check.

If the tree doesn't leaf out by early summer, I would recommend that you return it for a refund because there is probably something wrong with it.

Good gardening!

Posted on 3 May 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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