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How Far from My House Should I Plant Dogwood Trees? Planting and Care Guide

dogwood tree infront of the house

Trees are a major long-term investment in your property, providing valuable shade, attracting beneficial wildlife, and making your home look great. Dogwood trees are known for their attractive blossoms and wide canopies, but planting them can be tricky. Specifically, how far you’re supposed to plant them from your house. Considering that dogwood trees can reach up to 40 feet in height, we’d recommend planting them at least 15 feet away from your house.

Dogwoods in the sun may only grow as tall as 20 feet, but the species is known for spreading out both underground and above ground. Although you can get away with planting smaller dwarf dogwoods as close as 6 feet to your house, you’ll want to check out your soil first. That has a huge impact on where you can plant your tree.

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Soil & Dogwood Tree Spacing

Dogwoods prefer slightly acidic soil, and concrete from driveways or your foundation seeps into the nearby soil and makes it more alkaline. It’s worth checking what the pH is in the area you plan to plant your dogwood. If it’s too alkaline, you can temper the pH by adding nutrient-rich compost or lawn clippings.

testing soil PH
Photo Credit By: Microgen, Shutterstock

Flowering Dogwood Canopies

The canopy of your dogwood tree will also determine how close you can plant it to your home. The smallest dogwood species, the Red Pygmy cultivar, only grows a canopy up to 5 feet wide. This means you can plant it right next to your shrubs! Larger cultivars get to 20 feet or more, with canopies up to 40 feet. We strongly recommend planting larger dogwoods at least 15 feet away from your house to give them ample room to grow and expand. Smaller specimens can be planted as close as 6 feet away from your house.

How Far From My Fence Should I Plant Dogwood Trees?

You can plant dogwood right next to a fence, but it’s not a good idea if you have neighbors. Dogwoods have giant canopies, so you’ll likely deal with your neighbor griping when branches start dropping into their yard. To cut down on the hassle for everyone, plant your dogwood at least 10 feet away from your fence. Ideally, you’d place it further away, but not everyone has a ton of space to play Tree Tetris in their yard.

dogwood tree
Photo Credit By: Jana McLain, Pixabay

Ideal Dogwood Tree Conditions

Like all plants, dogwood trees thrive when they grow under certain conditions. From soil pH, soil type, weather, and more, numerous factors can have a huge impact on your dogwood tree’s health. Let’s see what kind of conditions dogwoods prefer below.

Preferred Dogwood Conditions include:

  • Acidic soil
  • Soil rich with organic matter—compost is a great amendment
  • Well-draining soil that doesn’t get too dry
  • Growing as understory trees underneath taller trees
  • Partial shade with morning sun

A barefoot farmer on clay graden soil

What is the Best Biome for Dogwood Trees?

According to the US Department of Agriculture, dogwoods grow best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8. They don’t do well in harsh sun and prefer temperate climates. For that reason, dogwoods can be often found growing in deciduous forests along the eastern US coast. A couple of cultivars are suited for warmer climates, but dogwoods aren’t great with the heat.

Will Dogwood Roots Damage My Foundation?

No, dogwood trees aren’t among the trees known to damage foundations with their roots. Dogwoods have respectably deep root systems, but they aren’t especially invasive. With proper placement, their roots shouldn’t get anywhere near your home’s foundation. Dogwoods are friendly for underground cables and plumbing, too.

flowering dogwood tree
Image Credit: Piqsels

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Dogwood trees are beloved for their showy white flowers, but they need some space to flourish. Plant dogwoods at least 15 feet from your house and check the soil to make sure concrete hasn’t rendered it alkaline before planting. Planted in partial shade, dogwoods are some of the most underrated trees.

Featured Image Credit: Vineyard Perspective, Shutterstock


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