Flowering trees are an essential part of any beautiful garden and there are many to choose from, especially in warmer areas. However, most need sunny locations and in any garden with large trees there are going to be parts of the garden that are mostly shady. So a tree that not only tolerates but actually prefers shade is a valuable plant and one that present a gorgeous picture every spring is every more worthy of a place in any garden.
Pink Dogwood grows steadily into a tree that may be 30 or even 40 feet tall in the shade but only 20 feet tall in a sunny location. In shade it develops into a graceful, open tree with broad, horizontal branches, while in sun it will be denser in form. The spread is almost as much as the height, making an elegant beautiful tree for all seasons. Pink Dogwood is a beautiful choice for a flowering tree in almost all areas and it makes an attractive addition to a wooded garden or beside a terrace or patio, especially on the shady side of a house.
Growing Pink Dogwood Trees
Pink Dogwood prefers soil that does not become too dry and it will thrive in damp locations but not in standing water. It will grow in sun or shade but prefers some shade, especially from the afternoon sun. Since it is a form of an American native species this tree cannot develop into an alien pest species, so for many gardeners that is an additional plus for the Pink Dogwood. Pink Dogwood grows at a medium rate, reaching around 15 feet in 18 years, but even when small it will flower and bring beauty to the garden.
The Pink Dogwood prefers slightly acidic soil and a position in partial shade, such as the edge of a wooded area. Although it will grow in sun and even flower profusely there, it will be stunted in growth, dense and bushy and only grow to about half its natural height. It does best in soil that is well drained but not dry, so sandy and loamy soils are best as long as they stay moist. However it will also grow in clay soil that does not stay constantly wet. Plenty of organic material in the soil before planting and regularly as mulch will produce very good results with this tree.
This tree will grow from zone 5 to zone 9, so only in the coldest parts of the mid-west and in southern Florida is the beauty of this tree not available. Because it is a little slower to grow than more common trees it has great status among gardeners and is an investment in the future beauty and prestige of a mature garden.
Choose a place for your Pink Dogwood that receives filtered light from deciduous trees or is in the shade of a house. Morning sun is fine but some protection from afternoon sun is valuable, especially in hot parts of the country. Mix plenty of organic material into the soil before planting. Dig a hole three times wider than the pot and place your tree in the centre of the hole at the same depth that it is in the pot. Replace most of the soil and firm it down around the roots. Fill the hole with water and when it has drained away replace the rest of the soil.
Mulching and Maintenance
Apply thick mulch over the root zone after planting and again each spring. Use an organic material like compost or manure rather than bark or pebbles. The bark of this tree is thin and easily damaged so be careful with mowers and string trimmers. No pruning is needed other than removing any small branches that may die.
History and Origins of the Pink Dogwood
The Pink Dogwood is a natural form of the American Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida). This tree is usually considered to be the most beautiful of America’s flowering trees and grows from Maine to west to Illinois and Kansas and south into Florida, Texas and into Mexico. With such a wide range it can be grown in most of the gardens of America. Most native Dogwoods are white-flowering but the pink form – Cornus florida var. rosea – occurs rarely and it has been collected to produce the beautiful Pink Dogwood we grow in our gardens.
The actual flowers are small, green and insignificant and carried in small clusters, but they are surrounded by four modified leaves, called bracts, creating a ‘flower’ that is 3 to 4 inches across. These appear in spring with the leaves and remain for weeks, gradually fading and dropping. They are followed by clusters of red berries which are inedible but are quickly taken by birds. If they are not taken they will last on the trees until December, making a lovely sight. The tree has simple, oval-shaped leaves that may be up to 6 inches long and are a dark green color. They turn lovely shades of deep crimson in the fall adding to the value of the Pink Dogwood. The bark is smooth and very dark grey in color.
Buying Pink Dogwoods at The Tree Center
Pink Dogwood must be grown by grafting branches of selected trees onto hardy roots of seedling trees. Plants grown from branch cuttings will not survive cold winters and although these plants may be offered by other nurseries, our plants have been produced the correct way to give hardy plants. Seedling plants will usually produce only white flowers.
We sell only trees that are true to the original form and we have a wide range of sizes to give you the best plant for your purpose. However we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this tree may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now. Unfortunately if you live above 2,000 feet in the eastern states Pink Dogwood will not do well due to its susceptibility to disease in those areas.