Anyone had success with flowering dogwood trees?

hearthside_im_all_inApril 11, 2009

Hi all,

Has anyone been successful in keeping a dogwood tree happy in central NY? My folks have had some lovely ones in California, but I wasn't sure if they can handle actual seasons...

I'd like to replace a sad little Japanese maple planted by the previous homeowners with something that will flower. The poor maple has been a collection of sticks for the past 3 years - I keep hoping each year it will turn around, but no, 15 leaves appear to be its limit! The spot is in direct sunlight and is not protected by any windbreaks.



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tom2112(z5 NY)

Not a dogwood tree, but a dogwood shrub, which I'm gradually training into a tree shape. It's done quite well. If you go with the tree, cornus kousa is less prone to disease than cornus florida, although I believe there are some newer florida varieties that are more disease resistant.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 11:40AM
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Thanks for the tip - is this something I should try to order, or do you suppose I can find one in a nursery? I'll keep my eyes peeled for that variety.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 6:17PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

Hi Emily,
It seems you are writing about Cornus Florida which often is affected by a fungus I read, and I therefore did not buy it.
I live in eastern NY state, zone 5b, north of Albany, and have good success with the Korean Dogwood, Cornus Kousa, for around 10 years. They are profusely blooming white in late May, I believe. One is situated in the sunny open and needed initially much watering, but blooms the most. The second Cornus Kousa is in partial to full shade, never needed much watering, really likes it there. No wonder because they are understory trees. Pink Cornus Kousa are also being sold.
Both of my Korean Dogwoods are trouble free trees, have no dry branches.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 8:09PM
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Thanks for the suggestion, Bernd! Definitly pro-flowers and anti-fungus here, so Kousa it is. I'll stay on the lookout for them. Great news that dogwoods may actually be feasible here.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 8:19PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

I can grow just about anything, but cornus florida died for me 2 separate times. I have several dogwood shrubs that are thriving.

However . . . if your maple tree is not happy because it is too sunny and too windy . . . . then I'm afraid your dogwood may not be happy there either. They are understory trees and really do well with some shade and MOISTURE. Full sun and drying winds will probably make your tree stunted.

How about a sun lover - magnolia or hawthorn or flowering cherry?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 8:53PM
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Good point about the location - I wasn't sure whether a dogwood would work there, but it's a good place for a focal point and I really like the flowers. It sounds like a dogwood can survive in this region, but I should probably find a different spot for it. Thanks for the feedback!

Do flowering cherries produce much in the way of fruit? How much raking am I signing up for to get that fragrance? :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 7:56PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Ornamental cherries do not produce fruit at all, I'm afraid. But that's good if you don't want messy fruit on a sidewalk or driveway. I don't rake, I mow with a mulching mower, and all trees that lose their leaves do about the same.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 7:52AM
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Good news, then - I was afraid we'd need to rake up fruit lest it interfere with the mower. Had this image of pits strafing the front of the house or oncoming traffic, let alone ME while we're out doing yardwork! I had been leery of cherry trees for that reason (although I really like them); now I know they can be sans fruit, and can handle direct sun, it sounds like that should be my new first choice. Excellent!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 1:48PM
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I agree that the Kousa dogwood being a stupendous choice, I find it more dramatic and beautiful than the earlier blooming flowering dogwood!

Disease free too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kousa Dogwood cultural info

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 11:27PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

My Korean Dogwoods are blooming now, June 9, not end of May as I wrote before. I am in Zone 5a, next to zone 4. Korean Dogwoods have fruits which are strawberry like, but do not taste as good. I do not remember any pits. Fruits will dry up between the perennials growing below. Seedlings are few.

This tree is troublefree, is a real good looking one covered with masses of white blossoms as in the picture on above weblink.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 7:58PM
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