Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) removal

Because of its similar leaf shape and lush green leaves, Common Dogwood is frequently confused for Japanese Knotweed.

In this blog, we look at how Dogwood spreads and more importantly how to remove it effectively.

What is Dogwood?

The common dogwood, Cornus sanguinea, is a dogwood species native to most of Europe and western Asia and is extensively grown as a decorative plant. It’s a deciduous shrub that grows 2–6 metres (7–20 feet) tall and has opposing, 4–8 centimetres (2–3 in) long leaves with an ovate to oblong form with an entire edge, turning orange-yellow in autumn and then falling to show red stems.

How does Dogwood grow and spread?

Dogwood, otherwise known as the common dogwood, is a shrub or small tree. It can grow up to 10 feet high and has oval-shaped leaves that are about 2 inches long. The flowers of this plant are white and have five petals with red spots on them. This plant grows mostly in moist soils but also does well in dryer soils. It’s a common weed found all over North America and parts of Europe too!

Dogwood weeds reproduce by seed pods which contain hundreds of seeds each. These pods burst open when ripe releasing seeds into the air where they will hopefully land on some moist soil to start new plants for next year’s crop of weeds!

Blossoming branches of common dogwood in May
Blossoming branches of common dogwood in May

Methods to remove Dogwood weeds

There are many ways that you can remove common dogwood weeds from your garden. Some of the most popular methods include using herbicides, pulling the weeds by hand, or using a weed whacker/strimmer.

Method one – herbicides

One of the most popular methods for removing common dogwood weed is to use a herbicide. There are many different types of herbicides available, and you can choose the one that is best suited for your needs.

The best way to ensure that this weed does not return is by preventing its seeds from dispersing at all. This means removing the flower heads before they bloom and pollinate (Dogflowers are wind-pollinated) or using a herbicide on the plants themselves when flowering occurs.

You can either spray or paint glyphosate (Roundup) directly on the leaves to kill the weeds; make sure to wait for good weather before applying any chemicals to prevent run-off.

Recently dogwoods have developed resistance to glyphosate, so other herbicides such as triclopyr (Brush-B-Gone) or 2,4-D Amine may need to be used instead. Be sure to read the label carefully before using any herbicide and always wear gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when applying.

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Method two – dig it out

Another popular way to remove common dogwood weeds is to pull them by hand. This can be a time-consuming process, and may not be as effective as the roots can tun up to 10 feet in length and can regenerate.

If you do intend to remove the weed by hand, then it is best to do it before the plant flowers and its seeds are in the surrounding ground.

Method three – weed whacker/strimmer

A final method that can be used is using a weed whacker or strimmer. This is probably the quickest way to remove common dogwood weed. A weed whacker or strimmer uses string or metal blades to cut the plant. This method works best on larger plants that are growing close to the ground. It is important to be careful when using this type of tool because you can damage nearby plants if not used correctly.

This technique cannot stop Dogwood from spreading by seed unless you bag the clippings and dispose of them properly.

Preventing Dogwood from returning

After you’ve removed Dogwood from your property, you’ll need to take precautions to ensure that the weed doesn’t return.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to getting rid of Dogwood; the approach you take will largely depend on the size and extent of the infestation, as well as your personal preferences.

The best way to prevent common dogwood weed from returning to your garden would be to carry out thorough deep tillage in the autumn.

The best time to do this would be during the month of October, and you can carry out a second one during March or April (but at least two months before sowing).

This should make sure that not only all seeds are removed from your soil, but also prevent them from germinating.

Besides tillage, you can also carry out a preventive treatment with herbicides in the autumn, but before the seeds germinate.

In conclusion

Dogwood is persistent but with good planning and a consistent treatment plan you be able to win back your garden. Keeping up with regular prevention measures after you have removed the weed will ensure you’ll be in a strong position to keep it at bay and see the back of it once and for all.

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Want to know more about removing Common Dogwood?

Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.

Governmental advice can be found here and the UK law covering the removal of Japanese Knotweed as stated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found here.

The best means to contact us is via our email – hello@knotweedremoval.tips

Do not forget we have a library of blogs covering many areas relevant to Japanese Knotweed, our free downloadable How-to Guides and Product Reviews on the latest methods being employed to eradicate or remove Japanese Knotweed.

Knotweed Removal, UK

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