Dogwood trees are native to North America. These trees can be easy to manage--if they are grown in areas that have the right soil requirements. The tree's flowers are popular because of the unusual time that they bloom. However, areas with soil that is not ideal for the dogwood must be properly prepared. It's also important for the grower to note that a very dangerous fungus exists that can kill, or severely weaken, the dogwood tree.
Dogwood trees have been popular for a long time in the United States, with historians pointing out that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington planted them. These trees are popular because the flowers that bloom on the dogwood tree are usually considered very attractive and because many landscapers like the dogwood’s shape.
The leaves of the dogwood are mid-green in color and 3 to 6 inches long. The flowers, which come in clusters of four, are white, often with pink tips. The trunk of the dogwood is gray. The dogwood produces fruits that look like raspberries. This tree produces yellow flowers in the winter. The foliage of the dogwood is dark red.
The dogwood tree generally thrives underneath much taller trees. This tree prefers areas that are shady and moist. In order to thrive, the soil that the dogwood tree is rooted in must be nutrient-rich. Those dogwood trees that do not have nutrient-rich soil will not be able to flower. The cornus mas, which contains the tree's only edible fruit, is able to survive subarctic temperatures and alkaline soil.
Dogwood trees are adapted to a very specific type of soil and moving dogwood trees to an area where there is a different kind of soil will cause the tree to struggle. Creating soil that is beneficial to the dogwood tree is best accomplished through the mycorrhizae fungi. The dogwood tree survives well when the mycorrhizae fungi is introduced to the dogwood. This fungi forms a symbiotic relationship with the dogwood tree by taking simple sugars from the dogwood and by drawing up minerals and moisture to the tree. During dry periods, water the dogwood tree weekly.
Smaller dogwood trees are somewhat fragile and can be damaged accidentally by landscaping work. However, this tree also has a tendency to survive as long as it is found in colder weather conditions. One of the largest dogwood trees, the Pacific dogwood, is very vulnerable to a disease known as anthracnose. This disease causes leaves to turn brown, causes twigs to die and can also kill the tree. Other species of the dogwood, such as the kousa, are much more resistant to diseases.