Officially, Spring has Sprung in my front yard. Take a look at my fabulous southern Dogwood that made it through our recent cold spell in Columbus, GA. Here in the South, there is one tree deserving of all of the springtime adulation it gets – the flowering dogwood (Comus florida). For us, more than any other tree, they herald spring.
No ornamental flowering tree is so beautiful in so many seasons. In spring, cruciform blossoms of white, pink, and red (yes, red) adorn leafless branches. Though summer isn’t its best season, its layered branches and broad, rounded form give it a tidy and classic look. Autumn is high time for dogwood once again. Among the first trees to show fall color, its leaves turn scarlet to deep wine-crimson. And there’s the added benefit of the delightful red berries that turn bright red about the same time as the leaves begin to change. They remain as long as the birds will let them. Believe it or not, the dogwood is beautiful in winter, too, with it’s biscuit-shaped flower buds, tiered lacy branches, and gray-brown, pebbled bark. A dogwood’s silhouette in winter is pure sculpture.
Healthy dogwoods have few problems. Stressed trees sometime fall victim to borers that chew holes in the bark near the base of the tree. But most bark problems come from careless people who mow or weed-whack too close to the tree and strip off the bark. If your dogwood won’t bloom, it’s most likely that it is planted in too much shade. Flowering plants always do better with adequate hours of sunshine.
My dogwood tree is beautiful, indeed, but it’s even more wonderful against that robin’s-egg blue backdrop. Blue skies up above ………..