Pink Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Category: Deciduous Trees
Pink dogwood is a small deciduous tree which grows up to 10m tall. It belongs to the family of cornaceae. The trunk has a diameter of 30 cm.
Pink dogwood can grow in full sun though it prefers part shade. The soils should be slightly acidic, well drained, moist and very fertile. In case the soils are not fertile one can opt to add fertilizer to boost them.
When planting this tree you will need a lot of space. This is because the tree spreads at an average of 30 feet. Alternatively, if one does not have that space you can opt to prune to the size you want.
Watering is a must until the tree is fully established. This tree does not do very well in dry conditions so mulching can do it good.
The leaves just like any other dogwood are opposite around 6-13cm long and 4-6cm wide. The flowering starts from April or early May depending on the altitude the tree is grown.
Flowers are small and inconspicuous, with four greenish-yellow bracts. The tree produces around 20 flowers which are bisexual, in a dense rounded umbel-shaped flower-head. This flower head is normally surrounded by four very conspicuous large white, pink or red petals (bracts). These bracts are 3cm long and 2.5 cm broad rounded and have a distinct notch at the apex.
The fruits ripen in late summer and fall to a bright red. They are around 10-15mm long and 8mm wide. They are food to many species of birds which helps in distributing the seeds. The distribution of seeds especially when the tree grows in the forests ensures that other trees emerge.
Pink dogwood is affected by anthracnose. However, before planting this tree it is good to inspect it first in order to be able to identify any disease related problem. This way you will be sure that the tree you are planting will not succumb to this disease.