Sales | Events | Classes | Tutorials | Garden Tips
By Eric Studebaker
When I was young, my grandmother had a giant Pacific Dogwood tree in the front yard. In flower, the tree was magical, with thousands of saucer like flowers held delicately on its wispy branches. Her yard was small, so this huge old tree dominated her front yard. Unfortunately, the tree was also suffering from a dreaded fungal disease called Anthracnose. This made the tree drop leaves throughout spring and summer, and I specifically remember kicking leaves around her yard as a young boy. This made the tree messy, and very unsightly at times when the tree had no flowers. Over the years, I always remember that tree, think of her, and have a particular passion for what I consider the most beautiful flowering trees on earth.
I have now been selling Dogwood trees for more than 30 years, hoping to inspire the passion to customers that I hold to heart. Fortunately, there are breeders with the passion, crossing and selecting the trees for heavy flowering, disease resistance, and better overall performance in our landscapes. I could not be happier, and have come to recognize other attributes of these fine trees. They not only bloom with wild abandon, most have have great fall color, and some even produce beautiful, and edible, bird friendly fruit.
Here are a few great dogwood trees, most rather recent, for you to consider. There are many other great forms available, as Dogwood is a large group of trees and shrubs. I hope they bring you some passion as well.
Satomi Kousa Dogwood
A recent Rutgers introduction with large white flowers, large red fruits, and beautiful fall colors of reds and oranges. The flowers are said to cover the tree, the fruit is large – like a strawberry, and abundant. I have been amazed at the flower production of the young trees I have seen so far. Matures up to to 20ft x 18ft.
Summer Gold Dogwood
I have fallen head over heels for this new Korean Dogwood and had to have one for my garden. It combines foliage, flowers, fruit, and fall color in a way few trees can. The foliage is bright, like sunglasses bright, and refuses to burn, even in the hot sun and heat of last summer. The white flowers take on pink hues as they age and contrast the foliage nicely. The late summer fruit is also beautiful, reddish-orange, and highly ornamental against the foliage. The fall foliage is a riot of different colors and
tones–including pink! The tree is said to be small, reaching 8ft high and 5ft wide in 10 years. I love the variegated plants and think this form is going to be a winner.
Milky Way Dogwood
This is a selected form of Korean Dogwood with flowers as abundant as the stars in the sky. The flowers begin a chartreuse color in late May, then age to white, and finally take on pink hues. Generous red raspberry like fruits cover the tree in late summer. In Fall, the foliage color is orange tones. The tree has a beautiful rounded and tiered form, with cascading outer branches. Mature height is about 15-20ft high and wife. Sun or partial sun is best.