Dogwood trees (Cornus florida) are flowering deciduous trees which provide beauty year round to the home landscape. Clusters of white or yellow blooms first appear in the spring for two to four weeks, then green foliage delights the senses in the summer, turning to a reddish/purple color in the fall and finally, red berries come out in the winter. Dogwood trees grow anywhere from 20- to 40-feet tall and planting these gorgeous trees is relatively simple. The best ways to plant a dogwood involve preparation of the site and planting at the right time.
The best location for planting a dogwood tree should have at least half a day of shade and moist soil. Plant the tree away from the side of a building or wall in which the reflection of heat can cause conditions that are too arid for a dogwood and also allow ample room for the tree to spread at least 15- to 20-feet wide.
Preparation Of Soil
Dogwood trees need moist soil to grow best and cannot tolerate dry conditions.
Slightly acidic, loamy soil works best for dogwoods. Adding organic material, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to the soil before planting is recommended to create a soil that drains well and has plenty of nutrients for healthy roots.
Plant a dogwood tree in early spring before growth on the tree begins, and while the air is still cool and the soil moist. The planting hole should be about three times as wide and only slightly deeper than the height of the root ball, so when placed in the hole, the top of the root ball will sit a little above the ground's surface. Fill in the hole halfway with soil and water in well to allow the soil to settle around the roots, then finish filling in the hole with soil.
Water the tree well after planting and form a raised ridge around the tree, about 1 foot out, which allows water to collect and provide a deep watering. Provide at least 1 inch of water weekly for a dogwood tree to keep the soil moist and provide sufficient moisture. Use a soaker hose or irrigation system for a slow, deep watering.
Mulch is a essential around the dogwood tree and 2-inch thick layer of organic mulch or material is the best. Apply each spring around the base of the tree, keeping it about 2 inches out from the trunk. Use organic shredded bark, pine needles, chopped leaves or organic compost. Mulching helps to control weeds, retain moisture in the soil which conserves water, keeps the soil cool, and also adds good nutrients to the soil as it breaks down making fertilizer unnecessary.