Question for all you Gardening experts

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2008 7:53 PM GMT
    My stupid dog (that is a key identifying mark because I have one dumb dog and one smart one) tore the top off a baby dogwood I planted in the Spring and proceeded to use it as a chew toy. So now it's nothing more than a 3 foot stick jutting up from the ground.

    This may seem like a stupid question, and it probably is, but I'm no gardening expert. Is there any chance of this thing coming back in the Spring or should I pull it up. If I replant, I'll probably put something up around it.

    "You don't have to be a gardening expert to know that a tree broken in half is dead." There I saved the smart"bums" some time.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Dec 03, 2008 8:01 PM GMT
    I think it may come back, depending on how damaged it is. If it does, it's going to be awhile before it's something attractive to look at. I'd replace it and put up some kind of fence to keep the dog away.
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    Dec 03, 2008 8:20 PM GMT
    i'd replace it - you don't have to put up a barrier. you can lightly spray the plant with a diluted solution of cayenne pepper every now and again.
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    Dec 03, 2008 8:25 PM GMT
    What kind of dog is the stupid oneicon_question.gif

    I think if you only have 3' left I would go ahead and replace it with another Dogwood- they are very beautiful especially when they are in full bloom.

    One thing to consider is to try and buy one that is a bit larger- a little more digging required but in the long run very well worth it- especially with "snoopy" running around.

    Best of luck to you...
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    Dec 03, 2008 8:31 PM GMT
    Probably easier and quicker to replace the tree...
    It might come back, but it will come back from "under-growth" - growing out from the roots, which could make it unstable in growth. icon_sad.gif

    My dog loves to get a wild hair and dig up newly planted plants - - luckily this is only once in a while, his preference is to pee on them until they BURN UP!!!! icon_mad.gif

    but I still love him. sorry bastard.
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    Dec 03, 2008 11:23 PM GMT
    Funny, my dogs have always completely ignored the dogwoods.

    Your dog has made a "heading cut," which is a perfectly valid way to prune a young tree. In the spring, new branches will grow out from each of the buds that remain on the "stick." (On most dogwoods, the buds are very small, and they are usually found in pairs at distinct nodes.) We do this to young fruit trees in their first winter, so that they'll branch close to the ground, instead of overhead. It also stimulates growth in older trees.

    The terminal bud secretes a growth hormone that suppresses all of the other buds along the branch, until it grows far enough away from them. Once the tip is removed, all of the other buds will start to grow, however, they will now all begin producing the suppressing hormone. The result will be a lower, more bushy plant. It is possible that a new shoot may pop up from the ground with more vigor than the original, but that really depends on the species.

    If you keep the tree, you should use a pair of shears or a sharp knife to clean up the cut. Make the cut angled, and just above a bud. There are products available to seal the cut, but if you're not going to do a lot of these, they're probably not worth buying. Next winter, after the tree goes dormant, evaluate the shape and if it's too bushy, remove lower branches and any descending wood to let the upper branches grow more vigorously.

    It's easier to grow new shoots than new roots.
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    Dec 03, 2008 11:39 PM GMT
    So the dog found, and made a chew toy. I don't call that dumb. Next to tool making.

    Did your dog have the right chew toys?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2008 11:56 PM GMT
    As long as the root system isn't damaged it should come back. The tree should be dormant for the winter but there is a good chance your dog only stimulated growth
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    Dec 03, 2008 11:57 PM GMT
    If all you have is trunk, it will probably die. But if it doesnt, all you will get are pathetic shoots coming up from the base. Replace the tree.

    Now ask a dog expert if that invisible fence spray will work to keep the dog away next time.
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    Dec 04, 2008 12:40 AM GMT
    Trees are surprisingly resilient; you should be ok.

    As for a your dog, you may want to buy it some chew toys. Excessive gnawing on random objects is usually a sign a dog needs something more to keep in entertained, keep its mind occupied, and burn it's energy.
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    Dec 04, 2008 1:04 AM GMT
    Thanks for the responses guys. I don't know what I'm going to do, but Mindgarden's suggestion sounds good. I noticed that our HOA cut the tops off of the crepe Myrtles so now it looks like a bunch of sticks shooting out of the ground. So I think I'm going to work with him out in the yard correcting him when he goes near the bushes or trees, and use the cayenne as a last resort. It's my fault for not training him how to behave properly in the yard since he's actually very well behaved inside the house.

    Stayingfit- He's a border collie spaniel mix. He's actually really not stupid. He learned most of his commands by watching my other dog respond when I gave her one. He's just hyper, and I don't think the hour long walks daily are cutting it now that it's cooler and he has more energy.

    He does have chew toys in the yard so why he'd attack the trees I do not know.
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    Dec 04, 2008 2:28 AM GMT
    I used to have a problem with my dog attacking my trees, so I started wrapping the branches in barbed wire. It's the perfect punishment. The animal is still welcome to try, but at a price. And if you havn't ever seen a more persistant dog; he just about chewed his face off.

    Which is why I now salt the wire. He still tries, every once in a while; I guess he just has a taste for pain. icon_rolleyes.gif