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Hardiness Zone: 8a
Tripleb from Greenville, AL
What you're finding underneath your mature dogwoods are suckers. Young outer suckers around a mature tree can be easily dug up and divided from the parent plant and then transplanted to a suitable location. Their future success depends on a variety of factors of course, but their success rate is actually pretty good.
I am over 60 years old and have lived in Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee. I don't think I have ever seen a sucker on a Dogwood root. I have seen them on the tree when the tree has been cut or damaged. My technique for reproduction is to harvest the seeds before the birds get them and spread them on the ground and cover them with oak leaf mulch. Each Spring I have hundreds of baby Dogwoods. I transplant them by using a 6 inch deep bulb planter. I push the planter down into the ground and twist it as if I was cutting buscuits and then lift it up and put it into a 1 gal container. I have a 2 ft tree in two years.
Have you ever started your seeds in pots, and if you have, when did you plant them? I have 39 seedlings I started my seeds this past spring. Most are working on their 5th set of true leaves and a few are starting their 6th set.
Crazy thing. I received a floral arrangement over winter that had red beaches about 2-3 feet long cut and folded over heart shape and imbedded into the florist green foam bricks. I kept it watered to make the cut flowers live longer and I am sure the florist had the basic fertilizer for cut flowers. As the flowers died i replaced with artificial blooms. Assuming I would trash all after the holiday I was shocked today to see the red stems growing green leaves. Its been 5-6 weeks and each stem has leaves and floral buds. The base has roots coming out. Looking up the plant it is a dogwood. Dont know how successful I will be but I plan to transfer to potting soil and plant in the spring outside in northern Kansas.