One reader has a question: I have several dying branches in my dogwood tree. Is it okay at this time of year to prune them out of my tree?
The answer is yes. Anytime you have dead or diseased wood, remove it without hesitation. It will make a perfect entry point for disease and insects. The only question I have is what is the cause of the problem. I have found that people forget that the dogwood tree in nature is part of the undergrowth. It is not a sun worshiper. Check at the base of the tree for borers. You can also look for twig girdle insects at the base of the branches.
Be mindful to learn as much about a tree or shrub before you plant it. This will ensure its health, survival, and your sanity.