How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Dogwood Trees

Dogwood timber are a beautiful understory tree so as to add to your panorama. They supply showy spring flowers, inexperienced summer season foliage dotted with vivid purple berries, scarlet fall leaves, and an attention-grabbing patterned bark throughout winter. Not solely are they pleasing to the human eye, however they supply shelter for birds and small animals in addition to fruit for the birds and flowers for the pollinators. 

The primary purpose many gardeners add these timber to their panorama is for the gorgeous spring blooms. The flowers will be both white or pink and have virtually a cherry tree-like look in full bloom.

Dogwoods are native to the japanese United States. They’ll thrive in quite a lot of circumstances all through North America, making their normal upkeep and care necessities simple to satisfy

Dogwood Tree Overview

This magnificent dogwood tree stands in full bloom, showcasing its elegant white flowering branches. The strong and sturdy stem supports an abundance of delicate blooms. It's nestled among lush green grasses, with towering trees in the garden background.

Native Space

North America and Mexico

Watering Necessities


Pests & Illnesses

Borers, Anthracnose

Soil Sort

Moist, Properly-Drained Soil

What Are Dogwood Timber?

A close-up displays branches adorned with delicate white blooms. The tree's branches elegantly cradle these white flowers alongside small green leaves, creating a harmonious natural composition.
Below optimum circumstances, they’ll thrive for as much as 80 years, making them a long-lived species.

Dogwood timber are additionally referred to as American dogwood, Florida dogwood, Indian arrowwood, Cornelian tree, white cornel, white dogwood, false field, or false boxwood. The identify dogwood is claimed to come back from the truth that the fruit shouldn’t be even match for the canine. Many caterpillars feed on the leaves, and birds eat the fruits.

These flowering timber are sometimes planted as a decorative. They produce white or pink blooms and are fashionable amongst gardeners on the lookout for an early spring blooming tree. Below supreme rising circumstances, they’ll stay to be 80 years previous

Their native vary contains the Japanese portion of North America and a few areas of Northern Mexico. Flowering dogwood is even Virginia’s state tree.

Historical past

These enchanting dogwood tree flowers, pure white and radiant, soak up the warm sunlight, casting a serene glow. Each petal seems to embrace the light, creating a beautiful play of shadows and highlights.
Dogwood timber served numerous medicinal and sensible roles for Native People.

Native People used dogwood timber for many medicinal functions. The chewed bark has been used as an analgesic for complications, fever, toothaches, colic, and different pains. Arrow shafts, daggers, and different instruments have been constituted of this hardwood. 

In 1915, President Taft despatched a present of dogwood timber to Japan as a thank-you for the present of cherry timber. These authentic timber have since died (they reached the tip of their pure lifespan), however the Friendship Blossoms Initiative saved the sentiment between nations alive by sending three thousand timber to Japan in 2012. 

Native Space

A close-up of a dogwood tree bursts with the vibrant beauty of its pink blooms. These delicate flowers contrast beautifully against the branches, which are adorned with small, verdant leaves, creating a lovely visual symphony of nature.
These timber are famend for his or her potential to thrive in each pristine forests and well-maintained landscapes.

As talked about above, the dogwood tree native vary contains a big portion of the Japanese United States and spreads into Northern Mexico.

On this native space, dogwood timber are sometimes grown as ornamentals in personal residences and public parkways. This tree is beloved for its potential to thrive equally in pure forests and manicured landscapes. It’s also comparatively adaptable and may survive quite a lot of climates. 


A close-up of a dogwood tree. Sturdy branches reach gracefully towards the sky, adorned with vibrant green leaves that shimmer in the sunlight. Among the leaves, delicate white blooms burst into elegant splendor, creating a captivating spectacle.
Dogwoods are brief or shrubby understory timber, usually with a large, flat crown.

Since dogwoods are understory timber, they’ve a brief or shrubby development behavior slightly than a tall and pointy one (like an evergreen tree, for instance). This low-branched tree often has a flat crown and spreads as vast as it’s tall.

They’ll develop to be about 30-35 ft tall and vast. They’ve oval-shaped leaves about three inches lengthy, that are darkish inexperienced throughout summer season and switch scarlet in fall.

In spring, flowering dogwoods produce creamy white flowers with 4 petals that later flip into vivid purple berries. Although white is the commonest, some tree varieties have pink flowers. This deciduous tree drops its leaves utterly throughout winter to disclose a darkish patterned bark. 

Makes use of

A close-up of dogwood tree's branches. Clusters of vivid red berries contrast beautifully against the backdrop of lush leaves. In the blurred background, hints of other green leaves further enhance the picture's natural charm.
This tree produces small fruits which might be inedible to people however function a meals supply for native birds.

Though this tree does produce a small fruit, it’s usually planted as a decorative slightly than an edible. The berries will not be edible for people, however the fruit will feed your native birds!

Like most timber, additionally they present shelter to birds and small mammals. As well as, the spring flowers will present early forage on your native pollinators. Total, they add magnificence to your panorama and habitat and meals for the native wildlife. What extra might you ask for? 

The place To Purchase Dogwood Timber?

Within a garden adorned with a lush carpet of green grass and vibrant plants, majestic dogwood trees stand tall and proud. Their white flowering branches create a stunning contrast against the verdant surroundings, evoking a sense of natural wonder.
You will discover dogwood timber on the market at completely different development levels in native nurseries or massive retail shops.

Dogwoods will be bought as naked root timber from many on-line retailers. Choosing a naked root tree is the easiest way to ascertain a brand new tree.

Nonetheless, you might also be capable to discover dogwood timber on the market all through the season in numerous levels of development at a neighborhood nursery, backyard middle, or perhaps a massive field retailer. 


A close-up reveals the dogwood tree's slender branches adorned with small leaves and delicate white blooms. The graceful branches create an exquisite natural pattern, drawing attention to their understated elegance in the garden.
To plant the tree, guarantee the outlet is at the very least one foot wider than the unique container.

One of the best time to plant your dogwood tree is early spring. As talked about above, you should buy dogwood timber in numerous states of development, however the best tree to ascertain shall be a bare-root tree planted whereas it’s nonetheless dormant in early spring. It will give it time to ascertain earlier than the warmth of the summer season units in. 

When planting, just be sure you dig a gap at the very least one foot wider than the unique container. When inserting your naked root tree into the outlet, make sure the roots are pointing downward and out from the trunk and never bending again upwards or splayed out to the edges.

You would possibly want a second set of arms to carry up the tree whilst you backfill the outlet. You may fill it with the identical soil from the outlet or combine in some natural matter or compost at planting time. You should definitely give your tree a very good soak with the hose after planting. 

The right way to Develop

Dogwood timber require reasonable upkeep, together with common watering, pruning, and optionally available fertilizing. However with their primary care necessities met, they’ll thrive and supply your panorama with stunning spring blooms for many years! 


A close-up of a dogwood tree showcases an intricate network of branches that lead to the enchanting white blooms and lush green leaves. In the softly blurred background, more luxuriant green foliage adds depth and tranquility to the scene.
Do not forget that morning solar and afternoon shade work greatest for these timber.

Of their pure habitat, dogwood timber are understory timber. This implies they develop to a medium top, often below the shade of different, bigger forest timber.

They do greatest in partial shade circumstances. Because you won’t have a forest, mimic this by planting your dogwood close to a bigger tree or constructing. When offering shade, keep in mind that these timber do greatest with morning solar and afternoon shade

Though partial shade is good for a dogwood tree, it may well survive in full solar so long as it’s saved nicely watered. Mulching your dogwood tree may also help retain moisture and assist it survive full solar circumstances.

Make certain to not pile mulch instantly up towards the edges of the trunk, as this could trigger trunk rot. Kind a donut form with the mulch leaving an open middle across the trunk, and the mulch will permit water to assemble close to the tree’s base slightly than run off. 


A close-up captures the delicate beauty of pink dogwood tree blooms, showcasing their gentle petals and vibrant color. In the background, lush green grasses frame the serene scene by the side of a tranquil lake.
Newly planted timber ought to obtain 1-2 gallons of water per week.

Dogwood timber require a reasonable quantity of water. You should definitely present your established dogwood timber with at the very least 1-2 inches per week. If it rains constantly, you then received’t want to offer further water.

Whereas establishing a newly planted tree, present it with 1-2 gallons of water per week and extra throughout sizzling climate. This may be simply achieved by inserting a soaker hose on the tree’s base. After the leaves have fallen from the tree and it has entered winter dormancy, lower watering in half. If it snows in your space, you probably received’t must water it throughout winter.  


A close-up of a soil meter anchored in brown soil, ready to assess the pH value of the earth. This tool provides essential information for optimal plant growth, ensuring the soil's health and balance.
Including contemporary compost to the soil throughout spring can improve moisture retention.

Dogwood timber desire moist, well-draining soil. As talked about above, and particularly in sizzling and dry areas, these timber can profit from mulch unfold across the base to assist the soil retain moisture. Amending the soil with contemporary compost within the spring can even assist with moisture retention. 

Though dogwood timber will survive in alkaline soil, they do greatest in barely acidic soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5. This simulates the circumstances these timber would expertise as a part of the understory of a deciduous forest. As natural matter falls to the bottom round them and decays, it creates a barely acidic soil. This may be achieved within the residence backyard by including a soil acidifier to the drop line across the tree’s base yearly throughout spring. You too can feed the soil round your timber by mimicking what nature does and leaving the fallen leaves.

Temperature and Humidity

A close-up of dogwood tree branches reveals the graceful elegance of pink flower clusters, each petal in perfect harmony. These blossoms radiate natural charm, a true spectacle in any garden setting.
The dogwood tree thrives in a temperature vary of 60-80 levels Fahrenheit through the rising season.

The best temperature vary for a dogwood tree through the rising season is 60-80 levels Fahrenheit. In areas with excessive drought and warmth through the summer season, they’ll wrestle except you may make use of the right shade, mulch, and water necessities. These timber haven’t any particular humidity necessities. Nonetheless, they do desire some humidity slightly than extraordinarily dry circumstances. 

Conversely, as soon as they enter winter dormancy, they’ll deal with temperatures as little as -10 levels Fahrenheit. They reliably carry out in USDA rising zones 5-9. Though these timber are fairly hardy, the mulch does double obligation by retaining moisture throughout summer season warmth and defending the roots from the intense winter chilly. 


Within a shovel, fresh compost humus is waiting for its role in nurturing the soil. In the blurred background, vibrant foliage and a warm, inviting glow of light provide a sense of anticipation for gardening and growth.
Overusing nitrogen can result in extreme foliage on the expense of blooms.

Fertilizing dogwood timber is optionally available as they don’t require fertilizer to bloom as soon as established. Nonetheless, if you wish to encourage extra development, you could apply a fertilizer barely larger in nitrogen in spring.

If an excessive amount of nitrogen is utilized, nevertheless, you could get a number of new development and foliage however not many blooms. Many select to forego the fertilizer altogether and solely add just a few shovels of contemporary compost every spring. 


A man's hand takes up a large pruning tool to carefully trim the vibrant red twigs of a dogwood bush. These twigs stand out against the brown soil, surrounded by other green plants, in preparation for the upcoming season of growth and renewal.
When pruning, get rid of useless or broken branches and skinny out overgrown areas.

Dogwood timber profit from common pruning. This may be executed as soon as yearly in late fall or winter when the tree is dormant. It will be certain that the tree shouldn’t be prone to boring bugs like it might be if you happen to pruned it in spring or summer season when extra of those pests are round. Pruning through the fall/winter will make sure the tree can heal the cuts earlier than these pests return the next rising season. 

When pruning your dogwood, you’ll need to search for any useless or broken branches and take away them. Reduce off previous or twiggy stems, and take the chance to skinny out any overgrown areas as nicely, primarily specializing in areas with branches that crisscross or develop downwards. You need to depart the strongest and healthiest branches rising in an upward and total pleasing form to develop on for the subsequent 12 months. 

Rising In Containers

A close-up of a flowering white dogwood tree reveals delicate clusters of white blooms. The sturdy stem and branches support this beautiful canopy of blossoms. The tree stands in a smooth, green grassy lawn surrounded by other towering trees.
Conserving them in containers for an prolonged interval won’t be conducive to their well-being.

The brief reply isn’t any, they’ll’t be grown in containers. Dogwoods have a shallow root system that prefers to unfold, and mature timber can attain 35 ft tall with a root unfold of 30 ft. This isn’t supreme for containers. They are often began in containers and transplanted into the bottom later, however they received’t be pleased in a container for the long run. 


A close-up of dogwood tree branches. A profusion of white flowers adorning the branches like delicate snowflakes. These white flowers create a stunning contrast against the tree's dark branches.
Propagating dogwood timber is a simple course of, achievable via cuttings and seeds.

Dogwood timber are simple to propagate from each cuttings and seeds. A softwood slicing will be taken within the early spring, simply as new development seems. These cuttings will be rooted in water or instantly into the soil. Rooting hormone shouldn’t be mandatory, however it may well assist pace the method. As soon as measurable root development has developed, you may place your slicing into its ultimate planting website. Observe the ideas talked about above for watering a newly planted tree. 

These timber will also be grown from seed, though it may well take as much as 10 years for a dogwood tree to achieve maturity when grown this manner (cuttings offer you a head begin). Though, that is thought-about comparatively quick development for a tree!

The seeds will be gathered by harvesting the mature fruit. Peel again the fleshy fruit to disclose the inside seed. Rinse and soak the seeds to assist in germination. Plant them in soil and maintain them in a heat location like a sunny windowsill.

Preserve them evenly moist till you see sprouts. Increase the seedlings till they attain a transplantable measurement of at the very least 6-8 inches tall. At this level, you may place them in pots. After they attain sapling measurement, transplant them into the bottom.  

Widespread Issues

Dogwood timber are comparatively trouble-free, however there are some pests and ailments to search for, particularly if you happen to stay in sure areas the place dogwood anthracnose is understood to be current. Learn on to be taught the indicators of misery and the best way to handle and proper them. 

Lack of Flowers

A close-up view of a single Cornus kousa flower showcases its pure white petals. The lush green leaves serve as a vibrant backdrop to this exquisite bloom, enhancing its natural beauty.
To make sure your dogwood tree produces stunning blooms, use a balanced fertilizer.

An absence of phosphorus and potassium can intrude with flowering. Utilizing a balanced fertilizer can guarantee your dogwood tree has the whole lot it wants to provide stunning blooms. Nonetheless, a fertilizer too excessive in nitrogen can promote a number of leafy development however not many flowers. 

The climate can even play a job in an absence of flowers. In excessive warmth and drought circumstances, particularly early within the rising season, dogwoods will drop their flowers or not flower in any respect. Conserving your tree well-watered and mulched may also help with this.

Dogwoods don’t produce flowers till they’re just a few years previous. In case you’re questioning why your newly planted slicing isn’t flowering, it probably isn’t sufficiently old. 


A close-up captures the damage inflicted on the leaves of a dogwood tree, a result of infestation by dogwood sawfly larvae. The leaves appear tattered and unhealthy due to the presence of these voracious pests.
These pests are opportunistic and search pre-existing entry factors into timber.

Dogwood borers seem as white caterpillars with yellow heads. They feed slightly below the floor of the bark and produce a saw-dust-like waste product that may seem round any openings or wounds on the tree. These pests are opportunists and usually search for current wounds or openings to enter the tree.

It is very important wait till late fall or winter to carry out your entire pruning. It’ll be certain that these pests are now not round and provides your tree time to heal earlier than they turn into lively once more in spring. 

Dogwood sawflies seem like caterpillars, however they’re wasp larvae. They feed on the leaves of timber and customarily seem between Might and July. These pests will not be often life-threatening to established timber, however they’ll trigger extreme harm to younger timber and sluggish their development. For small infestations, the larvae will be manually eliminated. For bigger populations, think about using an insecticidal cleaning soap spray. 


A close-up exposes the impact of Anthracnose Fungal Disease on the creamy dogwood flowers, marked by distressing red spots. The tree is nestled amidst lush green grass and distant towering trees.
When deciding on a planting website, keep away from low-lying areas vulnerable to standing water.

Dogwood anthracnose is brought on by a fungal pathogen. This can be a critical illness that impacts dogwood species. All kinds of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) are prone. Overly moist circumstances can encourage the unfold of this fungal pathogen, which is why infections often happen in a cool and moist spring.

Growing airflow across the tree may also help forestall it and restrict its unfold. Pruning any overstory timber could also be mandatory to realize this. Because the climate circumstances dry up, so will the fungal development. Most established timber can get better as long as the climate circumstances enhance and the fungal development subsides. This illness can kill dogwood of all sizes however is most extreme on younger timber. 

Root rot is a fungal development that assaults the roots of crops uncovered to constantly moist soil. Signs of root rot in timber will seem as discolored or wilted leaves, department dieback, a thinning cover, total poor development, browning or blackening on the base of the trunk, mushroom development on the base of the trunk, on the roots, or the areas surrounding the tree.

Root rot is tougher for timber to get better from than different crops. Smaller crops will be dug up, broken roots lower away, and replanted into dry soil to get better, however this isn’t possible with a big tree. One of the best plan of action is to stop it from turning into a problem. For that reason, when selecting a planting website, keep away from low-lying areas the place standing water could collect (like close to the downspout base) and all the time permit your tree to dry out between waterings. 

Ultimate Ideas

Dogwood timber are a beautiful North American native tree so as to add an understory layer to your landscaping. This decorative tree will present stunning white or pink spring flowers, which assist help your native pollinators. The fruits present meals for the birds and different small animals. In case you’d like so as to add a fast-growing massive hardwood tree to your panorama, look no additional than dogwood! 

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