Caring for a Cherokee Chief Dogwood

By Heidi Green , last updated April 16, 2011

The Cherokee Chief Dogwood is a popular variety of dogwood that features reddish pink flowers. This showy tree grows naturally in rural environments, but can also be used for landscaping purposes. Beautiful throughout the year, the Cherokee Chief Dogwood flowers in early spring, produces lush green foliage in the summer, and produces small red fruits in the fall. This article explains the best practices for caring for Cherokee Chief Dogwood.


Though Cherokee Chief Dogwood trees can handle a good amount of sun, they prefer to be grown in an area with filtered sunlight and partial shade. They will not tolerate wet soil, so it's important to choose a planting area with well-drained soil that doesn't collect water runoff. Dig a hole that's twice as large as the rootball of your young dogwood tree, but no deeper. Amend the soil with compost, sand and peat moss to achieve a nutrient rich, well-drained growing medium. Water the hole, allowing it to absorb all water before planting the tree. After planting, pack the soil firmly around the rootball, leaving the very top layer of roots expose. Water thoroughly, but do not allow any water to puddle and sit around the roots. Apply a layer of mulch to protect the new tree.

Care and Maintenance

Though the Cherokee Chief Dogwood is quite drought tolerant, it should be watered regularly during its first year of growth to promote a strong, deep root system. During dry periods, you should supplement watering, though regular rainfall will keep most dogwoods happy. Fertilizer is unnecessary for most dogwood trees; if the soil is severely lacking nutrients, you can fertilize annually. Most trees will achieve a height and width of 15 to 30 feet and require little pruning. If it's necessary to prune a branch, do so in winter when the tree is not actively growing.

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