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Got Cornus florida instead of Kousa; now what?

Posted by lucretia1 (My Page) on
Sat, May 21, 11 at 9:43

I grabbed what was labelled C. kousa at the box store (yeah, yeah, my bad) and stuck it in the ground, only to take a good look at it and find out that it's not a kousa, it's a C. florida. I've planted only kousas and hybrids for disease resistance. If I took the tree back to the box store, I'd have to 1) dig it back up, and 2) deal with someone saying "well the TAG says it's a kousa. That's what it is. What's your problem?"

So how bad is the disease problem for C. florida? Is anthracnose pretty much guaranteed? I'm trying to decide whether to sit back and wait and give it a shot, or let the darn thing die and then return it under the 1-year guarantee. (They're going to throw it out anyway, and it's easier to convince them that it's dead than that it's the wrong tree.)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Got Cornus florida instead of Kousa; now what?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 21, 11 at 13:13

Last year there was a great flower show on many C. florida here. You might as well keep it and enjoy the years it looks good, shrug off the others.

Unless you bought a seedling, instead of a grafted specimen. That might take a long time to start blooming.

RE: Got Cornus florida instead of Kousa; now what?

Although likely with most florida cultivars, anthracnose is by no means guaranteed. And it is more like a plant cancer rather than a heart attack :-) A slow and rather lingering decline and eventual death....not very sudden and not very likely to happen within the one year guarantee period.

Since you bought it a box store (!!), I'd guess you didn't pay all that much for it. So as previously advised, enjoy for as long as it looks good and then yank it if and when it starts to decline.

RE: Got Cornus florida instead of Kousa; now what?

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Sat, May 21, 11 at 21:30

I agree. Enjoy while you can.

Taking it back and trying to explain it's not what you bought, to a box store employee, is not worth it.

With a wood chip mulch, I get a lot of Kousa seedlings.
Check under yours.

RE: Got Cornus florida instead of Kousa; now what?

Sounds like leaving it in is for the best. I don't have high hopes for its chances of avoiding anthracnose--even my disease-resistant cultivars are showing signs. But it was a bang for the buck--costs less than a grocery store bouquet for a 6' tree. In the meantime I'll look for kousa seedlings.

Thanks all!

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