Fire and drought are the key reasons for this loss.
We routinely burn the entire property as part of our land management. A couple of years ago we did a burn when it was unusually dry and as a result the fire was much hotter than usual and caused more damage. It killed many dogwoods and left others weakened.
Last year we experienced a historic drought. That killed off many of the dogwoods that had already been weakened by the fire.
Yesterday on the bird walk I spoke about this with Josh Stevens. Josh is a forester that we have worked with closely in the past. He has a deep understanding of forest management and he understands that at the PGT our primary goal is displaying the beauty of native plants.
His suggestion was that we continue to have woodland burns but that we make sure that they are not hot burns. We will also be more careful to rake around our vulnerable trees to remove fuel that could scorch the tree.