When it comes to picking the trees to contribute to the landscape, it is great to be able to plant flowering trees to add color at eye level and one popular choice is the flowering dogwood tree.
Dogwood trees, or the European Cornels as others would designate it, create a perfect impact to the environment. They are good choice for your landscape as their brilliant blossoms tend to last long. They are especially wonderful sight during autumn. On the average, a dogwood tree can grow from 20 to 25 feet in height. The spread of the dogwood can also reach as wide as 15 to 20 feet.
The dogwood is part of the Cornaceae family, under the Cornus genus. It is known as the provincial flower of British Columbia in Canada and the state flower of Virginia, USA.
The flowering dogwood trees generally have glossy green color. It has distinct opposite leaves, but there can be found some branches with the alternate order. All species of the dogwood bear fruits that have one or two seeds in it. On the other hand, the flowers of the dogwood have four parts. They usually come in clusters of yellow or white. They are also surrounded by greenish bracts that can be mistaken as petals.
There is a popular story for the flowering dogwood tree. It was said to be the wood used to build the cross for the crucifixion of Christ due to its towering characteristic and hardwood. The tree then won the favour of God that it was turned into a smaller tree with gnarled and twisted trunks so that it will not be used again for that dire purpose. It was also given white flowers resembling the cross. The center area of the flower is reddish and is regarded as a symbol for the blood of Jesus.
Dogwood trees are often used as ornaments. Nowadays, dogwoods can be found along water ways where they best give a natural effect to the landscape. The most favorite choice for this purpose are the species with bright yellow or red stems.
The term dogwood is actually a variation of the word ‘dagwood.’ This latter term is actually used to describe the slender stems that are characteristic of hard wood used for making daggers or skewers. This type of wood is also considered very useful in making tools, shuttles and other pieces that need strong wood.
Dogwoods also bear fruits in bright and cherry red colors. These are very much loved by the birds. Most of the fruits in the genus where dogwood belongs are edible, though they are not found very favorable because it does not contain much flavor. Some berries can only be feasted on by birds as they are toxic to humans.
Cultivating Flowering Dogwood Trees
There are certain considerations to ensure that you grow well a healthy and blooming dogwood tree in your yard. Here are some points to take note of.
1. Characteristic of the Soil
The dogwood can very well adapt to the different soil types that can provide it with basic nutrients. They can thrive in alkaline, acidic, loamy, sandy, clay or drought tolerant soils.
Problems may arise if the dogwood is not given the proper conditions needed. At the least, it is preferable to provide soils that are rich in nutrients and well-drained after sufficient water supply.
2. Enemy Pests
The Dogwood Borer is the main enemy of this flowering tree. This is most common in areas of the United States and Canada. They can cause damage by thriving in the bark of the trees to feast on its tissues.
This pest will cause the tree to grow slowly or at the worst, kill it. Make sure this pests are prevented properly.
3. Preventing Diseases
The flowering dogwood is also susceptible to the disease brought by dogwood anthracnose. The fungus Discula destructiva causes the devastation of the flowers before they can bloom.
There are many things in nature that we can enjoy. One of its clear proofs is the flowering dogwood tree. So make sure you get to enjoy it in your own garden. Bring nature closer to home.