Flowering Dogwood Tree Information
The flowering dogwood tree, or Cornus florida, is a deciduous tree native to North America, particularly to the eastern half of the United States. This tree can reach a mature height of 33 feet in a forest setting but usually reaches only around 25 feet at the most in a residential area. The flowering dogwood's bloom times vary with the latitude, with bloom times in the southern states occurring around the beginning of April and in northern states more toward the end of the month or even into May. The flowering dogwood's berries are a favorite for birds to eat.
The colors of blooms for flowering dogwoods found in the wild are usually limited to white. Referring to the dogwood's colors of blooms refers not to the tiny clusters of flowers themselves, but rather to the four prominent rounded petals, or bracts, that surround the little flowers. Amidst oval leaves, these bracts occur in white, pink, and red. Because white occurs so commonly, pink and red are the more commonly cultivated colors.
The kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) is similar to the flowering dogwood species, but it can grow taller (up to 39 feet) in the wild although it usually only grows to a mature height of about 20 feet tall as a residential plant. Another difference between this dogwood and the Florida type is the pointed shape of the kousa's bracts. Now grown in the United States, this dogwood is originally from Asia, and it is often referred to as the Japanese, Chinese, or Korean dogwood. This dogwood blooms approximately a month after the Florida.
In assessing how to care for a dogwood tree, take into account the age of the tree. Too much fertilizer can cause harm to young trees. Established dogwoods will not need much fertilizer either, and yearly fertilization may be too much. Trunk maintenance is an important part of how to care for a dogwood tree. 3 to 4 inches of organic mulch will help the soil hold its moisture and hopefully protect the trunk and roots of the tree from a lawnmower. Soil requirements for the flowering dogwood include high moisture, low salinity, and an acidic pH of 5.2 to 7.0. Hardy planting zones for the flowering dogwood are 5-9. Soil requirements for the kousa species are similar to those of the Florida, except that this species is the hardier of the two and can adapt to drier conditions and a soil with a more alkaline pH. Hardy planting zones for this species of dogwood are 5-8, similar to the Florida.
Springtime is the excellent season for those wondering when to plant flowering dogwoods. The cool air and moisture in the soil nurture the young tree. Make certain to dig a hole deep enough so that the ball lays slightly above the surface. Expert horticulturalists agree on when to plant young trees and also that dogwoods like somewhat loose soil to grow their roots in. If the ground is compact like clay, one must make sure to dig deep and then fill the hole in with looser soil before laying the ball. This will allow the root system to spread.
Flowering trees bloom in spring and summer seasons. They range in heights from ten feet to more than 50 feet in height. Flowering tree favorites are flowering dogwood trees, magnolia trees, redbud, and cherry. Some of these type trees have a very fragrant aroma like the empress and the magnolia trees.