Dogwood trees, or the European Cornels as others would designate it, create a perfect impact to the environment. They are good choice for your landscape as their brilliant blossoms tend to last long. They are especially wonderful sight during autumn. On the average, a dogwood tree can grow from 20 to 25 feet in height. The spread of the dogwood can also reach as wide as 15 to 20 feet.

The dogwood is part of the Cornaceae family, under the Cornus genus. It is known as the provincial flower of British Columbia in Canada and the state flower of Virginia, USA.

The flowering dogwood trees generally have glossy green color. It has distinct opposite leaves, but there can be found some branches with the alternate order. All species of the dogwood bear fruits that have one or two seeds in it. On the other hand, the flowers of the dogwood have four parts. They usually come in clusters of yellow or white. They are also surrounded by greenish bracts that can be mistaken as petals.

The term dogwood is actually a variation of the word 'dagwood.' This latter term is actually used to describe the slender stems that are characteristic of hard wood used for making daggers or skewers. This type of wood is also considered very useful in making tools, shuttles and other pieces that need strong wood.

Dogwoods also bear fruits in bright and cherry red colors. These are very much loved by the birds. Most of the fruits in the genus where dogwood belongs are edible, though they are not found very favorable because it does not contain much flavor. Some berries can only be feasted on by birds as they are toxic to humans.

1. Characteristic of the Soil

The dogwood can very well adapt to the different soil types that can provide it with basic nutrients. They can thrive in alkaline, acidic, loamy, sandy, clay or drought tolerant soils.

Problems may arise if the dogwood is not given the proper conditions needed. At the least, it is preferable to provide soils that are rich in nutrients and well-drained after sufficient water supply.

2 Planting

Plant the trees carefully. A correct planting will ensure success throughout the tree's lifespan, while damaging it while planting will do no good down the road. The area should be partially shaded. Make sure you have dug a hole that is large enough to comfortably fit the root ball of the tree you are planting. The top of the root ball should be even with the ground. Once you have placed the tree in the hole, fill it with soil that you removed when digging.Apply a layer of mulch around the tree at ground level. This is preferable to putting mulch near the roots.

3 Water

Make sure the soil has proper drainage. Standing water will kill your dogwood.
Water dogwoods once or twice a week, depending on the amount of rain the area sees. Make sure that they are sufficiently moist, but not drowning. This is especially important during the first 2 years.

4 Fertilizer

Use a general, all-purpose fertilizer to keep the soil around the dogwood fertile enough to keep promoting growth. Spread the fertilizer on the ground in a 2-foot radius out from the trunk of the tree. A newly planted dogwood only needs approximately 1/4 cup of 12-4-8 fertilizer in March, and again in July. Be careful not to over-fertilize, or you will do damage instead of good.

5 Pests

The Dogwood Borer is the main enemy of this flowering tree. This is most common in areas of the United States and Canada. They can cause damage by thriving in the bark of the trees to feast on its tissues.

This pest will cause the tree to grow slowly or at the worst, kill it. Make sure this pests are prevented properly.

6 Preventing Diseases

The flowering dogwood is also susceptible to the disease brought by dogwood anthracnose. The fungus Discula destructiva causes the devastation of the flowers before they can bloom.

There are many things in nature that we can enjoy. One of its clear proofs is the flowering dogwood tree. So make sure you get to enjoy it in your own garden. Bring nature closer to home.

Tips and Warnings

1 Keep mulch spread under a wide area beneath the tree to help insulate and protect delicate roots.

2 Be careful around the trunk of your dogwood. Damage from lawn mowers, shovels and other implements can be permanently damaging.

3 Plant your trees during the dormant season--between November and March.

4 Do not concentrate fertilizer near the trunk of the tree.

5Dogwoods can be susceptible to pests. Keep an eye out for leaf spots and stem cankers that can foreshadow a bigger problem.

Light: Sun,Part Sun

Zones: 3-8

Plant Type: Tree,Shrub

Plant Height: To 25 feet tall, depending on type

Plant Width: To 20 feet wide, depending on type

Landscape Uses: Containers,Beds & Borders,Privacy,Slopes

Special Features: Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fall Color,Winter Interest,Attracts Birds

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