How Do You Care For Dogwood Trees?

How Do You Care For Dogwood Trees?

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Sophisticated and elegant, the Flowering Dogwood tree starts its delicate spring show making early spring such a special time of year! But did you know that Flowering Dogwood Trees are truly a four-season tree?

Learn how to care for these incredible trees so they can continue to bring beauty to your world all year long!

All About Dogwood Trees 

Dogwood trees feature small flowers surrounded by very showy bracts that are mistaken as the flowers. They can be rounded with a notched center, or come to a point. The bracts stay showycherokee chief dogwood for several weeks before the rounded button of true flowers in the center develops into a raspberry-shaped berry in fall.

Flowering Dogwood leaves are attractive. The foliage emerges bronzy or reddish on many cultivars and matures to green. They grow to about 5 inches long and about 2 inches wide. The undersides are a pale green. Foliage is oval, and the prominent veins curve out from a strong mid-rib. The fall foliage color varies but is spectacular red, burgundy, and to red-purple leaf tones that develop as the fall temperatures come on in the late season!

The distinctive bark is rough and gray, with a finely-blocked texture portrayed evenly along the trunk. It adds a lot of interest in wintertime. You'll swear it looks like your tree is wearing alligator-skin boots. 

Everyone loves a graceful Dogwood tree!

How to Use Dogwood Trees in the Landscape

cornus florida dogwoodFlowering Dogwood trees (Including Cornus florida, Cornus kousa, and the many cultivars and hybrids) at Nature Hills are available in many sizes, colors, and shapes! You’ll find a wonderful selection of Dogwood trees for you to choose from! Their relatively small size and high volume of flowers make them a popular landscaping choice for specimens and focal points.

Mix Dogwood tree bloom colors for a custom look in an informal grouping. Place the darker red Dogwood trees further away from your home, and the palest blooms closest for a big boost of intrigue and visual interest.

Featuring a sophisticated form and a wide span of flower colors - from an endearing pure white to incredible scarlet red! Vibrant modern cultivars are coming out of top university breeding programs all the time!

The striking beauty of this very recognizable tree gets the attention of homeowners and landscapers. The gray bark adds interest to the winter landscape.

Notable Dogwood Trees at Nature Hills Nursery

  1. The beautiful Cherokee Brave Dogwood is a darling pink-flowering Dogwood tree that is low maintenance and has improved pest resistance, disease resistance, and drought tolerance! Flowers, gorgeous leaves, berries, and fall color too!
  2. Rutgers University has brought the truly special Scarlet Fire® Rutgers Japanese Dogwood. Fuchsia-pink flowers, and burgundy fall foliage color, this pink selection bringsscarlet fire rutgers japanese dogwood disease-resistance and very eye-catching accents to your landscape.
  3. Ragin' Red Dogwood is an incredible variety that delivers a brick-red flower display in spring. Combined with bold mixed fall color, you can't go wrong with Ragin' Red.
  4. Little Poncho Kousa Flowering Dogwoods stay small, but their white bracts deliver a very large presence as a focal point. This four-season selection works hard in small space gardens and courtyards.
  5. Fill a wide-open area on the far side of your pond with cold-hardy Cherokee Princess, a spreading Dogwood tree with horizontal branches. As this pristine white-blooming cultivar ages, it develops into a showy living sculpture. She might look dainty, but the white flowers of Cherokee Princess bloom on a cold-hardy Dogwood tree that survives winter down to growing zone 4. That's Minneapolis-style cold.
  6. Stellar Pink Dogwood is an upright variety that brings a romantic look to your landscape. The pink-blushed bracts line the layered branches for an exquisite spring show.

Dogwood Tree Care

Flowering Dogwood trees are modestly-sized deciduous trees that are the best-known harbingers of spring. On average, Flowering Dogwood trees grow faster with at least four hours of direct sunlight a day, and they love the morning sun with some protection from the afternoon sun. Their root systems need well-drained soil that doesn't stay wet for long.

dogwood infographic

Although the moderate growth rate translates to roughly one foot a year. Plant in well-drained soils that have regular access to moisture. Include Nature Hills Root Booster for the life-long support of a healthy root system. 

  • Dogwood trees thrive in full sun to partial shade
  • Blissfully easy to maintain
  • For the most part, Dogwood trees flourish in almost any type of well-drained soil
  • Dogwood prefers a soil pH between 5.5 and 7.0
  • Regular moisture while establishing, then are quite drought-tolerant
  • Appreciate mulched beds of arborist bark chips

Planting Your New Dogwood Tree

Properly located Dogwood trees can live up to 80 years of age. Taking the time and these key steps during planting makes all the difference to young trees while ensuring reliable floral displays every spring in your landscape!

  1. Once you’ve received your new Dogwood tree, unpack it and get it some fresh air in a shady location or your garage. 
  2. To get them fully hydrated after their trip, submerge your new tree's root system until bubbles stop coming to the surface
  3. While your tree is soaking, dig your planting hole twice as wide as the roots, but no deeper
  4. We highly encourage using Nature Hills Root Booster for lifelong symbiotic root support
  5. Remember not to plant Dogwood too deep. Keep them at the same level at which they were growing at the nursery
  6. Tap your Dogwood tree out of its nursery container, and settle it in the planting hole
  7. Firmly backfill soil around your tree to eliminate air pockets at the root zone
  8. Then saturate the ground around your new tree
  9. Mulch over the root zone to a depth of 3 feet. Spread the mulch out to 3 feet outside the canopy, then pull it back away from the main trunk. 

For best results, plant your Dogwood where there is good air circulation, and provide morning sun to dry the leaves. Water at the roots to keep the foliage as dry as possible. It’s important to use good sanitation when cleaning up fall foliage. This is important since improperly planted Dogwood trees are susceptible to anthracnose.

Maintenance Tips for Flowering Dogwood Trees

  • Get the best results by brushing up on planting and growing tips for Dogwood trees
  • In colder climates, Dogwood trees will tolerate a bit more direct sun in a mulched setting
  • Dogwood trees perform best with the morning sun to dry their foliage and afternoon shade
  • They love a breezy area at the edge of a woodland.
  • Keep them consistently moist, but never in standing water
  • Maintain consistent soil moisture for the tree's first year in its new location. 
  • Fertilize your Dogwood tree with a good slow-release fertilizer according to the application rates on the package. 

Site your Dogwood tree where you won't need to do regular pruning for size control. Give them plenty of space, as they can be slow to heal from pruning. You will, however, want to correct the form as needed after flowering. Prune if necessary in late winter or after blooming in spring to remove crossing branches and water growth, or to control the shape.

Flowering Dogwood Trees Support Wildlife

bird nest in a dogwood tree

In addition to their beautiful ornamental look, flowering Dogwood trees support beneficial pollinators that gather nectar from the tiny true flowers. Watch for the fabulous Cecropia Silk Moth to use Dogwood as their caterpillar Host Plants to lay their eggs on.

After the flowers finish, its red fruits are a food source for songbirds and other wildlife from fall through winter. While the Cornus florida is a beautiful landscape plant, it is also an important wildlife tree. Squirrels, deer, and some 28 bird species eat the fruit.

The bright red fall fruit has a fun, bumpy look, but you need to keep an eye out for songbirds that flit from branch to branch as they snatch the ripe fruit, although the fruit may occasionally persist through December for lovely winter interest.

Gorgeous & Easy Care Dogwood Trees!

So don’t wait any longer! You'll never regret adding these incredible flowering trees to your landscape! We'll ship it when the time is right for planting. Dogwoods can be successfully planted in summer, but you'll need to keep a close eye on their hydration.

Find healthy, gorgeous Dogwood trees for sale at Place your order today!

Happy Planting!

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