The dogwood tree (Cornus florida) is a popular flowering tree in the eastern United States and is the state tree of Virginia. It flowers in late March to early April, producing white, pink or red bracts that surround the true greenish-yellow flowers. In the summer, the tree sports a rich green foliage that turns to a showy fall red or red-purple with red drupes that attract many species of birds to the landscape. Dogwood is a deciduous tree that grows to be 20 to 30 feet tall and just as wide. It prefers partial sun or shade and well-drained soil. Dogwood prefers moist soil, but does not tolerate wet roots.
Mulch dogwood trees with a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch. Mulch will help conserve moisture and help prevent the soil from drying out.
Water newly planted dogwood trees daily for the first three weeks if planted in the summer. Trees planted in cooler months need water every other day.
Soak the ground beneath the spread of the tree to ensure adequate moisture to the roots. Do not allow water to stand. Between watering the soil should be moist but not wet.
Continue watering one to two times a week during the first two summers and fall. Irrigation is not required during the winter months, unless the weather is particularly dry.
Water established trees planted in full sun weekly. Established trees in partial shade or full shade require watering only during dry periods.