All-Season Dogwood Trees Guideline

tree

Emma Downey

Emma Downey
Gardening Expert

Updated on 12/4/2022

Dogwood trees, and yellow flowered shrubs, among the most popular in the United States, provide an unrivaled display of beauty during all four seasons. The advent of the spectacular white or pink flowers, which are technically bracts and signal spring's arrival, is the primary draw for visitors. The dogwood's requirements for maintenance are simple, and it survives and expands rapidly in domestic landscapes despite its lack of attention.

Basics

Types:

There are many different kinds of dogwoods, ranging in size from low-growing shrubs to tall, attractive trees with a single trunk. The list that follows contains some of the most frequent varieties, some of which are indigenous to the United States, while others originate in Asia or Europe.

  • Cornus florida, sometimes known as flowering dogwood, is a tree that is endemic to North America.
  • Kousa dogwood, often known as Cornus kousa, is an Asian native tree.
  • Pagoda dogwood, also known as Cornus alternifolia, is a native species of North America that can grow into a huge shrub or a small tree.
  • The Cornelian cherry dogwood is native to Europe and Asia and can grow as either a huge shrub or a tiny tree.
  • Cornus nuttallii is a native species of North America that can grow into either a huge shrub or a small tree.
  • Cornus sanguinea, sometimes known as bloodtwig dogwood, is a native plant to both Europe and Asia.
  • Swamp dogwood, also known as Cornus amomum species. Oblique is a native shrub to North America.
  • Cornus stolonifera, sometimes known as red osier dogwood, is a native plant of North America.

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Zones:

2-9, depending on the variety

Size:

Shrubs with a height of three to five feet and a width of one to two feet; trees with a height of ten to twenty-five feet and a trunk diameter of six to twelve inches.

Exposure:

Depending on the cultivar, the plant can tolerate either full sun or moderate or complete shade.

Bloom time:

Bloom time is between the middle of March and the month of May, depending on the variety.

The Rate Of Growth:

Most dogwood shrubs and trees develop rapidly, typically at a rate of more than one foot each year. Trees will reach their mature height and width in roughly a decade.

Color Of The Flower:

Bracts that resemble petals on dogwoods are typically white; however, some cultivars, such as C. Florida 'Rubra, have bracts that are pink or even a very light shade of red.

Foliage:

The leaves of dogwood, like those of other deciduous trees and shrubs, are green during the summer months but transform into an eye-catching shade of reddish-purple in the autumn before falling to the ground.

Form:

Trees have a circular shape and branch out in a horizontal pattern. Dogwood shrubs are known for their upright growth pattern.

Are Dogwoods Deer Resistant?

Although the level of deer resistance varies slightly between varieties, Rutgers classifies most of them as rarely too infrequently harmed by deer.

Planting Dogwoods

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When You Should Plant:

Dogwoods should be planted in the spring while the earth is still moist and before the tree growing season begins.

Where To Place The Seeds:

Dogwoods can flourish in full sun or partial shade, making them an excellent choice for an understory tree or shrub.

Soil:

Dogwoods are most successful when grown in soil that is mildly acidic, moderately acidic, well-drained, and contains organic matter.

Planting Tips:

  • Make sure the roots have enough room to spread by digging the hole as wide as possible.
  • Avoid planting too deeply; the top of the root flare should be visible above the soil.

  • Dogwoods are cultivated in containers should have the root ball that surrounds the plant loosened with a soil knife. This will stop the roots from continuing to develop in the circular form of the pot.
  • Before planting bare-root dogwoods, submerge the roots in a bucket of water for a few minutes.
  • Build a mound of earth around the circumference of the root ball to act as a reservoir for water.

Plants That Go Well Together:

Incorporate witch hazel, redbud, and oakleaf hydrangea into your planting.

Care And Trimming Of Dogwood

Pruning:

Dogwood trees and shrubs already have a form pleasing to the eye, so they do not need much trimming unless it is necessary to enhance their appearance or increase their robustness. When the tree is passive in the late winter or early spring, which is before the new foliage grows, it is the ideal time to perform any necessary pruning.

Watering:

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Be sure to give your dogwood a consistent amount of water until it becomes established. Then, during very hot and dry spells, apply more water and mulch to assist in retaining moisture. Maintain a distance of several inches between the mulch and the tree's trunk. Dogwood trees aren't necessarily drought tolerant due to their preference for moist soils and their ability to tolerate marshy environments. Many dogwood trees can even thrive in these conditions.

Fertilizing:

Exercise caution when fertilizing a young dogwood shrub or tree because excessive fertilizer might kill the tree. This is the cause of death for many newly planted trees. Because of this, it is generally recommended to postpone fertilizing your tree until it has completed its second growing season. You should analyze your soil to discover the most effective method of fertilizing an established dogwood if you believe the tree might gain from adding nutrients. In addition, the fertilizer that is applied too late in the season might stimulate new growth that is more susceptible to damage during the winter months.

Diseases:

Dogwoods are susceptible to the fungal disease known as anthracnose, which spots the leaves and causes the twigs to die back. As a preventative precaution, you should ensure that the foliage has adequate air circulation so that it remains dry and water the plant during the summer months, even if there is a drought. It is essential to remove and cut away any infected twigs and branches.

Pests:

The dogwood borer is the most frequent insect that causes damage to dogwood trees. Its larvae tunnel beneath the bark of the trunk and limbs. When performing lawn maintenance, take care not to cause any harm to the tree's bark; this is because freshly born larvae enter the tree through wounds or broken bark. Additionally, avoid pruning the tree from April to June, which is when borers are most active. Using a pesticide as a spray on infected trees is one treatment method.

You may buy various dogwood trees, bushes, and other dogwood-related products online. Depending on the size and type, you should anticipate paying anywhere from roughly $20 to $100 or perhaps more.

All-Season Beauty

In spite of the fact that it is a relatively tiny tree, the dogwood's breathtaking beauty throughout the year has a significant impact on the appearance of residential gardens.

Spring

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Blooms can be seen on trees and shrubs between the end of March and the middle of May, and they typically remain for three to four weeks at a time.

Flowers that grow on trees are more likely to be single and more prominent than other types of flowers.

Flowers on bushes are typically smaller and clustered together, as shown on the right.

Summer

After the blossoms fall off, the plant is covered in glossy green leaves, some of which have dramatic white or yellow variegation. Both trees and bushes have foliage that looks the same.

Autumn

Berries come after the blossoms and serve as a food source for fall and winter by attracting birds. The hue of berries might differ from one type to the next.

Trees (left): Like the flowers, the berries that grow on trees are single and much more significant.

On shrubs (shown on the right): the flowers are followed by clusters of tiny berries.

Winter

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Trees (left): After the leaves have fallen from the dogwood tree, the beautiful horizontal branches and scale-like bark become the focal point of attention. If you are fortunate, the crimson berries will remain on the tree throughout the winter, adding to the one-of-a-kind beauty of the textured bark.

Bushes (right): During the winter months, the stems of many dogwood shrubs take on an array of vibrant colors, including yellow, red, coral, and orange. (Depicted: dogwood from the Arctic Sun® brand)

Dogwood Tree Facts

  • The love of the dogwood that is so prevalent in the United States may be traced back to two of our founding fathers. Dogwoods were among the species that George Washington brought to Mount Vernon, where he also obtained many of his trees from the surrounding forest. In the late 1770s, Thomas Jefferson planted dogwoods at Monticello, which led to the American Dogwood being chosen as Virginia's official state flower in 1918. Jefferson's planting of dogwoods at Monticello.
  • At least 36 distinct species of birds, including northern cardinals, tufted titmice, bluebirds, juncos, and waxwings, feed on the luscious red berries that grow on dogwood trees. On the horizontal branches of the dogwood, other birds, such as sparrows, robins, and northern mockingbirds, will build their nests.
  • Although dogwoods have been around for centuries, the term "dog tree" was not applied to them until 1548. This name is derived from the word "dagwood" and refers to the fact that the slender stems of the tree were traditionally employed in the production of bladed implements such as daggers, arrows, and skewers. The name was altered to "dogwood" in the year 1614.
  • The dogwood came in third place, behind the oak and the redwood, in a countrywide vote that was organized by the Arbor Day Foundation to determine which tree should be designated as the national tree of the United States.

Best Places To See Flowering Dogwoods

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Many states host festivals to celebrate the occurrence, some of which continue as long as a month, in anticipation of the dogwoods bursting into bloom each spring.

  • Since 1936, the Dogwood Festival in Atlanta, considered one of the oldest, has become an annual institution.
  • The Dogwood Trails Celebration is held in Palestine, Texas, over the course of three weekends, beginning at the end of March and continuing into the beginning of April. This event includes a parade, a dogwood branch train on the Texas State Railroad, and a barbecue cook-off.
  • The Dogwood Trail Celebration takes place in Paducah, Kentucky, and can be enjoyed both during the day and at night. The event has a 10-mile lit trail that, after dark, casts a luminescent glow on the white blooms.