Two Amazing Dogwood Trees For Year-Around Landscape Beauty

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When you think of dogwood, you may picture the beautiful pink and white spring blossoms of the flowering dogwoods, but they are just two members of a plant genus with dozens of species. While some are known for their showy flowers, some have qualities that shine in other seasons. Landscapers love these beautiful, useful and easy-care trees and shrubs.

Flowering Dogwood

The stunning white flowers of Cornus florida, or flowering dogwood, are not flowers at all, but four bracts which surround the small, yellow true flowers. Native to the Southeastern U.S., it is an essential landscape plant in almost every Southern garden. While there are several cultivars of flowering dogwood with bracts in shades of pink and red, the species plant always has white bracts. Grown primarily for its flowers, this shade-loving understory tree also has striking red fall foliage with red berries that are much loved by birds. Dogwoods grow at a moderate rate, and this species can take 25 years to grow to 20 feet tall. With time, it can grow to 40 feet with an even wider limb spread. Flowering dogwood is hardy to USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9a, but it shows better fall foliage color from 5a to 8a.

Red Twig Dogwood

Native to the northwestern U.S., Cornus sericea is sometimes also called Redosier dogwood. It is not a tree, but a deciduous shrub, which grows to a height of 6 to 10 feet with a spread that is sometimes even greater than its height. It's rounded, spreading habit and its dark green ovate leaves make it popular for hedges. This four-season beauty has lovely clusters of white flowers in late spring and striking purple leaves in fall. As its common name implies, red twig dogwood is recommended by landscapers for its bright red stems, which make it a standout plant to add color to the winter landscape. Hardy to USDA hardiness zones 2 to 9, it easily adapts to many soil types and is used frequently in wetland restoration. It is also used to prevent erosion on slopes due to its ability to form thickets. Unlike its southeastern cousin, the flowering dogwood, this shrub grows best in full sun.

With so many species of dogwood to choose from, there is one that will thrive in almost every area of the U.S., except very hot and dry areas. They come in all shapes and sizes, some with showy flowers and some with strikingly beautiful bark or berries, but they are all exceptional and desirable landscape plants. Talk to your landscape professional—like those at Dansons Landscaping Inc and other locations—about which dogwood will thrive in your yard.