I have several dogwoods in my yard, and I frequently find what appears to be small dogwood seedlings growing around and about underneath them. Is this possible, and if I move them to an appropriate location, do they stand a good chance of successfully growing? Thanks!
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.
- To transplant them, lift the root with the suckers attached to it from the parent plant. Several suckers appearing above ground will usually be attached to a single root.
- Try to disturb the parent plant as little as possible and make sure you select suckers that have fibrous roots at their base.
- Cut the suckering root off as close to the parent plant as possible.
- Divide the suckers from the main root. Make sure that they all have their own roots.
- Cut each sucker down by at least half and dip the base in a rooting hormone.
- Replant the suckers in prepared holes filled with a good potting soil-firming the soil around the base. Water them thoroughly.
- If you only want to transplant a few suckers, drive a sharp shovel or spade into the soil to sever them from the suckering root and carefully lift them out individually instead of lifting out the entire root with the suckers attached. Just be careful to avoid damaging other roots of the parent plant unnecessarily.
- Once transplanted, it can take several months for the suckers to re-establish themselves. If you do this in the fall, new growth should appear the following spring.