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Dowoods and Sassafrass in drought. Oh my!

Posted by anntn6b z6b TN (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 13, 07 at 14:26

We've got a couple of miles of fencelines and in with the trees are some unremarkable dogwoods. Until this year. Somehow, the drought has made them look good. Some of the best fall colors I've ever seen on them (maybe there's less anthracnose this year.) Some are even loaded with buds for next spring.
And in with the dogwoods, there are Sassafras with extraordinary woderful fall colors, again something I haven't seen on them before.
And one lonely little phlox coming up in a bed and blooming at about five inches high.
Should I just die my blue jeans poke weed purple?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dowoods and Sassafrass in drought. Oh my!

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 14, 07 at 9:51

You must be getting a lot more rain than us. The only shade I see on Dogwoods around here is crispy brown. I think we've had a LOT of Dogwood deaths in the Knoxville area.

RE: Dowoods and Sassafrass in drought. Oh my!

I didn't talk about what it's taking to keep our transplanted into the yard dogwoods alive. They don't look good.
(My rainfall, if you can call it that is -18+" below normal, with a number of months less than 0.5")
But I think what may be the salvation of the woods edge and field adjacent dogwoods is that they've been competing with their neighbor trees and grasses (and many of the grasses haven't transpired in weeks).
Lots of dogwoods in town were plopped into not great subsoils and may not have sent out the long distance roots that I expect my forest dogwoods to have done.

RE: Dowoods and Sassafrass in drought. Oh my!

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 14, 07 at 20:52

I've got at least 8 to 10 large dogwoods in the woods behind my house. These trees have been competing for moisture all their lives. They looked in very good health until this year. They grew naturally there as understory to the rest of the woods. All have died this year except for 2 which I have watered 2 or 3 times this year. They were the closest to the house, and their loss would have been worse than the others. Even the ones I've watered are just barely hanging on. Not sure even they will be back next year. Many of the natural dogwoods are now dead in this area.

RE: Dowoods and Sassafrass in drought. Oh my!

I'm so sorry for your loss. And next spring's loss.
Maybe some scraggly ones in the forest will have survived.

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