QUESTION: Is the flowering dogwood a good tree? I’m hoping to plant some kind of tree that blooms in my yard, and the photos of this tree looked nice. – Elena K
ANSWER: The flowering dogwood tree is an overall good tree. This plant reaches heights ranging from twenty to thirty-five feet.
Plus, it isn’t considered messy and remains hardy in planting zones five through nine. If you live outside of these planting zones, this might not be a good tree for your landscape.
Take care to provide adequate growing conditions for the flowering dogwood. They prefer to grow in locations with full to partial sunlight.
It’s best to pick a growing location which receives morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Also, provide aerated soil that drains adequately as this tree doesn’t like to be oversaturated.
If you have an area next to a tree line or if you can plant dogwood trees in groups, this is a good way to recreate the tree’s natural growing conditions.
The main thing which this tree faces is pests and diseases. Flowering dogwood trees frequently face diseases such as powdery mildew, cankers, root rot, leaf spot, and blight.
These are typically fungal based diseases and can be avoided by removing diseased portions of the tree and planting in areas with sunlight, well-draining soil, and pruning the tree to ensure it receives appropriate airflow.
Fungal issues grow in cold, wet locations. By providing growing conditions opposite of this, you should be able to keep these problems at bay.
Also, some fungal diseases may be treated with a fungicide.
The flowering dogwood tree also faces issues with certain pests such as aphids, dogwood twig borers, caterpillars, ambrosia beetles, scales, and whiteflies. These pests may be treated with an insecticide.
Ambrosia beetles don’t always respond to insecticides. The best way to deter them is to keep your tree healthy by ensuring it’s watered evenly, isn’t preyed upon by disease, and receives proper nutrition from its surroundings.
When it comes to growing flowering dogwood trees, these are the things you should be most aware of. However, with proper care, this tree is considered relatively low-maintenance.
Trees which don’t require a ton from the gardener are generally considered good trees. If you live in the right planting zone for a flowering dogwood tree, it could be a great addition to your yard or landscaping project.
Learn More About Flowering Dogwood Trees
People should not be advised to spray to deter caterpillars. The flowering dogwood is a host plant for the spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) butterfly/larvae (caterpillar). Butterfly caterpillars eat a small amount of the leaf biomass and do the tree no harm. Further, caterpillars are essential food for baby birds. So much spraying is one reason bird populations are declining. For scientific advice about promoting wildlife visit homegrownnationalpark.org