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Plant Diseases/Dogwood disease


We had a beautiful pink dogwood tree at the corner of our house, about 15 years old and an absolute delight each spring. Then it started showing signs of fungal disease and deteriorated rapidly, so we had no option but to eventually cut it down.  We would very much like to plant another in this same spot, what do you advise please?

Hi Patty:

Some disease organisms can reside in the soil for many years w/o the susceptible plant being present.  It would have been helpful to know the nature of your trees demise.  Poor soil drainage can be a big stress factor that can lead to several root rot related diseases.  Maintaining good soil drainage is very important. Trees can get stressed like people and stress can increase the likelyhood of diseases.

If you follow a few hints, you will probably be OK.  Start with a healthy tree from a reputable nursery. Look it over for any bark damage/wounds etc.  This can lead to disease!  Now is a good time to plant.  Be sure you plant it correctly-- there is a lot of good info out there on the internet.  You can check out the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service site and Auburn University. Dr Austin Hagan is the disease person at Auburn.  Visit his page at

Lastly, keep the lawnmower and string trimmer away from the base of the tree.  These devices create wounds where borers and plant disease organisms can enter the tree.  Mulching is useful too, but keep it no more than 3" deep and pull it back away from the trunk- don't pile it up against the trunk because this is a good place for bugs/rodents to set up housekeeping.

Here is a free publication on the web that has a lot of good stuff in it ---worth checking out    enjoy  You can keep this publication in your glove box right next to your car owners manual  ha-ha.


Plant Diseases

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Dr Stephen Vann


Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals


Plant Diseases Identification and Management

B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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