The flowering dogwood is a showy deciduous tree that is well-known and widely planted throughout America. It also has the honor of being the state tree of Missouri, memorial tree of New Jersey, and state flower of Virginia and North Carolina. It's scientific name is Cornus florida.
- Growth: One of the ornamental trees used for landscaping, flowering dogwood is a small deciduous tree that grows about 30 ft in height, with a crown spread of 35 ft, depending on the cultivator. The leaves grow to about five inches of length and two inches width.
- Life: Under suitable climatic conditions, this moderate grower will live up to 80 years.
- Appearance: Its natural shape is very alluring, with a short trunk and lateral branches that make it appear multi-layered.
- Flowers: The tree is a visual treat, with spring bringing with it clusters of flowers in colors of white, yellow, red, or pink, that bloom continuously for a period of 2-3 weeks.
- Foliage: Summer has this tree showing off its attractive, bright green foliage. This turns a vivid red and purple in fall. The undersides are a pale green, while the surface a shade darker.
- Fruits: Shiny red fruits appear in autumn, followed by bare barks with next season's buds in winters.
- Variety: If you want to be picky about the color of your dogwood, choose from following varieties: Pagoda dogwood, Cherokee Chief, Flowering dogwood, Carnelian Cherry, Japanese dogwood, Pacific dogwood, etc.
Dogwood Tree Care
Adequate care will help the tree to thrive with beautiful flowers and fall foliage. Flowering dogwoods are propagated through seeds as well as various techniques of grafting. In most cases, you may not get the exact tree characteristics as the mother plant; some variations in the size and color of the flower will occur.
- Pick a good quality variety from a reputed vendor.
- It should be planted in well dug up soil that is incorporated with lime, fertilizer, and organic compost.
- Water the plant adequately in its first year. As it begins to mature, you can water as per need. Excessive water may damage its roots.
- It responds well to regular three-four layers of organic mulch. Choose from any type of mulch you want, and learn how mulching is done.
- Dogwoods don't need heavy pruning. One can train them when they are young, and prune them to remove injured, diseased, or insect-infested branches. Prune only in their dormant season, in winters when the branches are bare, and just before new buds begin to sprout.
One drawback of having a flowering dogwood is its susceptibility to diseases. Varied diseases attack almost every part of the dogwood: flowers, leaves, stems, trunk, and roots.
- Common flower and leaf diseases are anthracnose and septoria leaf spot.
- Colored spots is the common symptom.
- As the disease progresses, the petals and/or leaves begin to turn yellow, and curl.
- Infected new growth develops with distortion to its shape and color. Stems, trunk, and roots can get infected by fungus that stunts the growth, resulting in poor flower and foliage. This can be avoided by a regular spray of fungicides.
The dogwood tree adds its beauty to any landscape by being a true four-season tree. So, go ahead and plant it if you're looking to make your landscape one of the prettiest ones in the neighborhood.