Cornus florida

One of America’s most popular ornamental trees for centuries, Washington and Jefferson both planted it. Native from Massachusetts to Florida and Texas. Was used by native Americans for medicines and dyes. The wood is very hard and used for golf club heads, mallets, tool handles and butcher blocks. The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is the species we think of when the word dogwood is mentioned, but there are two other species, kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) and Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas) found in landscapes.

  • Culture
  • Concerns
  • Management
Culture for Flowering Dogwood

Does best in moist, well-drained, acidic soil (pH 5.5 – 6.0) high in organic matter, with morning sun and afternoon shade. It does not do well when exposed to intense heat. A good choice to plant near utility lines, next to buildings or patios.

Concerns about Flowering Dogwood

Adequate soil moisture is important during dry periods due to its shallow roots. These may be some of the first trees to succumb to drought injury if not mulched and watered. Susceptible to mower and trimmer damage. Competes poorly with turf. Anthracnose and powdery mildew are the main plant health care concerns. Stressed trees also become vulnerable to borers.

Management Practices for Flowering Dogwood

Expose root flares and mulch a large area around the tree to help retain moisture and prevent mechanical damage from lawn mowers and trimmers. Fertilize based on soil sample. Prune water sprouts to reduce infection from dogwood anthracnose.

Photos related to Flowering Dogwood

Flowering Dogwood Image 1

Flowering dogwood in bloom

Flowering Dogwood Image 2

Dogwood flower bract often mistaken for flower petal

Flowering Dogwood Image 3

Dogwood killed by mower or trimmer damage

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