The blooming dogwood tree is of the cornaceae family. It is commonly known as dogwood or flowering dogwood. The scientific name is Cornus florida. There are several cultivars of dogwood, some growing better in some places than others. Though most disease and pests do not attack a healthy dogwood, a stressed dogwood is susceptible to cankers, leaf blight, powdery mildew and dogwood blight.
The blooming dogwood grows up to 30 feet in height and 35 feet across, and is considered a small tree. The bark is not all one piece, but broken up into square blocks. The leaves are medium green and grow 3 to 6 inches long. The leaves turn purple and red during the fall.
The blooming dogwood blooms in the spring, and the flowers last approximately three weeks. The petals are white or pink and surround small, inconspicuous yellow flowers. The blooming dogwood also produces clusters of red fruit. The fruit is football-shaped and about a half-inch long.
The blooming dogwood thrives in the eastern United States from Massachusetts to Ontario, Canada, and west to Michigan (USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9). It grows as far south as Texas, Mexico and central Florida. It prefers fertile, well-drained soil provided in most of these zones. In some of the sandier areas (such as Florida), the soil might have to be amended with compost until the dogwood becomes established.
The flowering dogwood prefers partial shade, but some species tolerate full sun in the north. Shade is mandatory for a stress-free tree in the warmer climates. While the dogwood does well in dry spells, it needs extra watering during periods of extreme drought.
The flowering dogwood is propagated via greenwood cuttings during the spring and hardwood cuttings during the summer. Saving and planting the seeds also results in dogwoods. Grafting one cultivar to seedling rootstock of another cultivar creates different cultivars.
There are several reasons that a dogwood might not bloom. A tree could have too much nitrogen. Use fertilizers with lower nitrogen content and higher phosphorus content, or stop fertilizing—trees usually only need fertilizer once every three years.
If the dogwood does not get the right amount of sunlight, it could stop blooming. It should not have too much sun or too much shade. Pruning the dogwood incorrectly could also affect blooming. The dogwood should not be pruned except for dead or decaying wood or plant matter.