Plants - Trees and Shrubs

Grow dependable, delightful dogwood

By
Stephen Westcott-Gratton

The dogwood family boasts an enviable pedigree. Here are some of the best

C. Kousa and cultivars
Height and spread: 7 x 5 m
Often considered to be the Asian counterpart of C. florida, C. kousa flowers later (midsummer), and although the white—occasionally pink—blooms are smaller (from 3 to 7 cm), they’re longer-lasting. These trees are hardier and more disease resistant than C. florida, and generally have reddish orange berries and red fall foliage. Zone 5

Recommended cultivars:
‘Satomi’
Height and spread: 7 x 5 m Deep pink bracts; reddish purple autumn foliage

‘Wolf Eyes’
Height and spread: 3 x 4.5 m White bracts; white and green variegated leaves   

dogwood-4.jpgDogwood diseases

Dogwood anthracnose
Species affected: C. florida, C. nuttallii
Symptoms: Irregular leaf and bract lesions, six millimetres in diameter, tan to brown in centre surrounded by purple rims
Solutions: Maintain adequate soil moisture, fertile soil and good sani­tation (clean up leaves in fall). Purchase anthracnose-resistant cultivars, such as those of the Cornus florida Stellar Series hybrids

Powdery mildew
Species affected: C. florida, occasionally C. kousa, C. nuttallii
Symptoms: Powdery-looking leaves and stems
Solutions: Good cultural practices (spores primarily released from old leaves on the ground); fungicides, such as potassium bicarbonate. Choose mildew-resistant cultivars such as C. f. ‘Comco No. 1’ (Cherokee Brave), C. x rutgersensis ‘Rutgan’ (Stellar Pink), C. x r. ‘Rutdan’ (Celestial), C. x r. ‘Rutban’ (Aurora)

Stem canker
Species affected: C. alba, C. sericea, C. alternifolia
Symptoms: Dark, sunken lesions on stem close to ground level
Solutions: No chemical controls. Avoid excess fertilizer. Prune out old growth annually

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