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Description and Use
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) is a popular small ornamental tree with  four season appeal. Lovely spring blooms are followed by attractive summer foliage, lovely fall color, and interesting bark and branches in winter.
Where to Plant
Dogwoods are an understory tree in nature and therefore grow best in a
protected, partially shaded spot with evenly moist soil.  Dogwoods do not like wet feet!  Select a well drained site and do not plant too deep. Protect from drought. Maintain a three layer of  mulch around tree to conserve moisture and keep soil cool. Dogwoods have a shallow, delicate root system which must be protected. An under-planting of groundcover
is ideal.
Care after Planting
Watering:  Soak root-ball thoroughly once or twice a week, but be careful not to drown tree if planted in a poorly drained soil. Avoid overhead watering which may promote leaf disease. Dogwoods need at least 1 inch of water per week.
Fertilizing: Use only a root stimulator at time of planting.  Dogwoods seldom need fertilizing and bloom better with moderate growth.  Too much nitrogen fertilizer may be harmful to the tree.
Pruning: Dogwoods seldom need pruning except for removal of dead, injured or diseased branches. Prune during the dormant season.
Prevent Bark Injuries: Dogwoods are thin-barked trees and care should be taken to avoid damage from mowers and trimmers. Insects may enter from open wounds on the tree.  To avoid damage maintain a large mulch ring around tree and pull weeds by hand.
Will my Dogwood Bloom
Dogwoods do not always bloom the same amount each year.  If a healthy  dogwood tree blooms extra heavily one year, followed by a large berry crop, the tree may bloom poorly the next year because it has spent so much energy the previous year. Very likely the following year will see another spectacular show.