Dogwood trees are some of the most beautiful and versatile trees you can plant in your garden. They’re known for their stunning blossoms, which range from bright white to pink, and their distinctive branching pattern. If you’re considering adding a dogwood tree to your landscape, here’s everything you need to know.
What Do Dogwood Trees Look Like?
Dogwood trees have a unique branching structure that’s sometimes called “tiered” or “layered.” This means that the branches grow in horizontal tiers, with each tier slightly smaller than the one below it. The result is a beautiful, asymmetrical shape that’s instantly recognizable. The bark is smooth and gray, and the leaves are oval-shaped and glossy green. In the spring, they burst into bloom with large, showy flowers that can range in color from white to pink.
When Should You Plant Dogwood Trees?
The best time to plant dogwood trees is in the fall or early spring, when the tree is dormant. Planting in the fall gives the tree a chance to establish its root system before the hot summer weather sets in. When you’re selecting a spot to plant, look for a location that gets partial shade. Dogwoods prefer moist, well-drained soil, so make sure the planting site has good drainage.
How Big Do Dogwood Trees Get?
The size of a dogwood tree depends on the variety you choose. Some dogwoods, like the Cornus kousa, are small trees that grow to around 20 feet tall. Others, like the Cornus florida, can grow up to 40 feet tall. Most grow at a moderate rate, so they won’t quickly outgrow your garden.
How Do You Care for Dogwood Trees?
Caring for dogwood trees is relatively easy. They prefer moist, well-drained soil, so make sure the tree gets enough water during dry spells. You can mulch around the base of the tree to help keep the soil moist. Dogwoods don’t need a lot of fertilizer, but you can apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring if you want to give your tree a boost. Pruning isn’t strictly necessary, but you can remove any dead or damaged branches in the winter or early spring.
Dogwood trees are a beautiful and easy-to-care-for addition to any garden. With their unique branching structure and stunning blossoms, they’re sure to be a standout feature in your landscape. Whether you choose a small Cornus kousa or a towering Cornus florida, you’ll love the beauty and versatility they bring to your outdoor space.
5 Interesting Facts About Dogwoods
- They have a rich cultural history. They were used by Native American tribes for a variety of purposes, including making medicine and crafting tools. Some tribes also believed they had spiritual significance.
- The dogwood blossom is the state flower of Virginia, and the tree itself is the state tree of Missouri.
- Dogwoods are sometimes called “pagoda trees” because of their tiered branching structure, which resembles the roofs of traditional East Asian pagodas.
- The fruit of the dogwood tree is technically a drupe, which means it has a pit surrounded by a fleshy outer layer. The fruit is edible, but it’s not usually consumed by humans because it’s quite sour.
- There are many different species of dogwood, but the most common in North America are the Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) and the Cornus kousa (kousa dogwood). The kousa dogwood is native to East Asia and is known for its slightly later blooming time and distinctive, raspberry-like fruit.
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