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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really don't have much experience establishing dogwoods. Most of what I ever planted was ravaged by the deer before it ever got going. I did have a small stand of Red Osier Dogwood which I got established only because I caged about a 25' strip of it. That stand last many years but eventually died out.

I planted some ROD seedlings I got from the local CD sale a couple of years ago and tubed them to protect them from browsing...

I planted 3 low-lying areas with them as I know they do like to have their feet at least somewhat wet...Here they are in the tubes in April of last year.

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By the end of summer many of them were well out of their tubes - August 2020

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But, by November 6th last year the deer had pretty much had their way with whatever was over the tops of the tubes.

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I had read somewhere that dogwoods should be pruned back down to 2' or so periodically so they can sprout more into shrub-like bushes. I figured I had nothing to lose so I pulled the tubes and cut them back to about knee-high this spring.

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They have responded very well and are sprouting a lot of new shoots.

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I am thinking about caging them until they can get well established. I am pretty sure that if I don't protect them they will be heavily browsed again this year.

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I envy those of you who have been able to successfully grow dogwoods from cuttings with no browse protection but it just isn't going to work around here - although our deer numbers are down quite a bit. Maybe just caging the seedlings or cuttings rather than tubing them would be more effective?

Any tips or suggestions from you dogwood gurus would be very much welcomed. Thanks
 

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I grow my own from cuttings. I've found that I need to baby them in my garden for a year before moving. Even still, without caging them will rarely get over a foot tall. Deer candy.

After I take all the cuttings I need, I cut the ROD shrubs that have out grown the browse line back to encourage more growth at the deer level.
 

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You may need to fence off an area for a few years to get a strong colony going. Hopefully, eventually, you can get the colony to be strong enough and big enough that it can withstand the pressure and continue to expand. Once she’s strong and ready, the deer can prune for you, still survive, and hopefully leave enough for your cuttings to expand, hopefully, eventually, getting enough established that it takes the overall pressure off a lot of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You may need to fence off an area for a few years to get a strong colony going. Hopefully, eventually, you can get the colony to be strong enough and big enough that it can withstand the pressure and continue to expand. Once she’s strong and ready, the deer can prune for you, still survive, and hopefully leave enough for your cuttings to expand, hopefully, eventually, getting enough established that it takes the overall pressure off a lot of it.
That is how I got the one stand established years ago. I kept them caged for several years and they grew great. I guess I will have to do the same with these.
 
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For whatever reason I have quite a bit of it on my property and a lot of it is pretty mature bushes. It really gets hammered by the local deer but it amazingly bounces right back. I have tried transplanting some of the smaller ones but without tubing them they get devoured.
 

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I would like to find some strong colonies on public land - to pick the berries. I had one that yielded 20 gallons a summer, but the high Gt Lks water levels basically killed it.

A different habitat value it supplies is for birds. ROD especially good vs. other shrub Dogwoods as it can set 2 crops per year sometimes.
 
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