Appearance

This deciduous flowering tree features attractive green foliage and red fruit that attracts wildlife. With a moderate growth rate, the flowering dogwood reaches 20 to 30 feet tall and about 20 feet wide at maturity.

Use

Be sure to give your new tree adequate room to grow. The tree should be planted away from utility lines, and with at least 20 feet of clearance from buildings and eight feet of clearance from electrical transformers. Once planted, provide a three- to four-inch layer of mulch around the planting area, being sure to avoid the base of the trunk so the bark won’t rot. While it is not advised to fertilize the tree at the time of planting, it is recommended to sprinkle a balanced fertilizer over the planting area the following spring (followed by twice during the growing season). 

Grow

The flowering dogwood produces beautiful fruit and flowers. The tree will take as many years to become established as the width of its trunk in inches. So, a two-inch-wide trunk means your tree will be fully established in two years. During this time, it is important to provide regular watering (about one inch of water per week for about two years). Flowering dogwoods also must grow in acidic, sandy and well-drained soil. 

Learn
Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is the state tree and flower of Virginia, the state tree of Missouri and the state flower of North Carolina.

Lagniappe

Native Americans extracted a red dye from the roots of the flowering dogwood, and used the bark and roots in a remedy for malaria.

Visit the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center at lsuagcenter.com to download the native tree guide.