The dogwood tree is legendary for the beautiful blooms it produces. Every spring, strikingly colorful flowers appear on the branches of this popular tree and dazzle us with their gorgeous red, white or pink petals.
Though it may be best known for its spring blooms, the dogwood tree is a year-round favorite due to the colorful berries it produces in the summertime and occasionally in the fall. Dogwood leaves are equally attractive, appearing as a brilliant green in spring and summer and changing to vibrant reds, yellows and oranges during the fall. If you’ve seen this tree’s beautiful autumn leaves or summer flowers, you might become excited about the prospect of growing your own. We’ll give you a few tips about how to go about doing that.
The dogwood is a great tree to grow on your property because in addition to being beautiful, it is also a very versatile tree. Do you need a smaller tree? Or a larger tree? Do you think white flowers would match your property the best, or would red be better? Either way, you can choose a dogwood that will fit your needs. The dogwood tree generally gets to about 25 feet tall, while trees in home gardens generally stay at about 15-25 feet. This is a good size for a home tree since they won’t get big enough to interfere with power lines or damage your roof. You can also enjoy the flowers from right outside your window!
Another reason dogwood is so attractive is because it grows very quickly. It can grow about a foot every year if you take proper care of it, which means that you can have a full-size tree after only about ten years.
Growing a dogwood tree requires a certain amount of preparation. First, you need to figure out where the best place to plant the tree is. In their natural habitat, dogwood trees grow underneath other trees, thriving with a little bit of shade. Too much shade, however, can be detrimental to the growth of flowers so be careful. You also want to make sure that air can circulate properly around your dogwood. If you have other, taller trees, they’ll be perfect to shelter your dogwood. Think about how the color of the tree you have will contrast with the flowers of the dogwood you’ve chosen. For example, the rich green of evergreen looks great when matched with white or pink dogwood flowers.
Once you’ve chosen a spot, you will want to make sure all of the conditions are right to keep your tree healthy. A slightly acidic, well drained soil is best, as well as a little mulch around the the area of the tree. You might need to get stakes to put around your tree to help hold it up. After you’ve completed your preparation, it’s time to choose a tree! There are quite a variety of dogwood trees to choose from, so here are a few examples of trees that bloom beautifully:
Cornus Florida – The Flowering Dogwood
The flowering dogwood is the most popular and common dogwood tree. It has a variety of cultivars you can choose from, like the “Cherokee Princess” which sports beautiful white flowers, and the Gulf Coast Pink, a popular pink variety of dogwood from northern Florida. Flowering dogwoods tend to grow to a maximum of 25 feet tall. This tree turns a vibrant red in the autumn.
Cornus Nuttallii – The Pacific Dogwood
As its name suggests, this tree is native to the Pacific Coast. Its range stretches from southern British Columbia all the way to Southern California. It’s a beautiful tree although it can grow very large, sometimes reaching 50 feet tall. There are varieties, however, such as “Starlight” which don’t get that big and work better in a yard. The berries on this species are particularly beautiful, coming in in a beautiful pink-red shade. You have to take care with this one because it has a tendency to be susceptible to dogwood anthracnose, which is a disease caused by a fungus.
The Cornus Stellar series
This is a hybrid series of trees that is made by breeding two different dogwood species together. The Stellar Pink is an example. It stays relatively small, peaking at about 20 feet tall and its leaves are a dark green that change to purple-red during the fall. It doesn’t produce fruit but is highly resistant to diseases that can plague other types of dogwood, such as anthracnose and dogwood borer.
Cornus Kousa – The Kousa Dogwood
This one is also a relatively small tree, growing to about 20 feet tall. During the late summer this tree grows large, edible fruits that resemble raspberries. It flowers later than other types of dogwood, growing flowers with yellow-green bracts and turning a vibrant shade of red during the fall. This tree is also resistant to diseases like anthracnose that plague other types of dogwood trees.
Cornus ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’
This is another hybrid tree that crosses the Pacific Dogwood with the Flowering Dogwood. It flowers during the early spring with large, white, overlapping bracts. It’s an excellent choice for gardens since its distinctive layered branching shows off the flowers very well. During the autumn it turns a red color and it resists diseases very well.