Tree of the Week

White Dogwood: A Crowd-Pleaser

By Sheereen Othman | April 12, 2016

Cornus florida

Did you know George Washington planted a white dogwood at Mt. Vernon? In fact, he wasn’t the only president to plant a white dogwood, Thomas Jefferson planted one at Monticello. Perhaps it was the tree’s unique branching pattern or its compact size that made it suitable for planting nearly anywhere.

Although it was first found naturally in the eastern part of the United States, the white dogwood has made its way to the Midwest and the south, growing its popularity. It has become a residential favorite because of the year-round attractive appearance. Wildlife are fond of all parts of the tree, nibbling from it when present.

Here are a few things to note if you’re considering adding one to your yard.

Environmental Conditions:

  • Prefers moist, well-drained soil (hardiness zones 5-9).
  • Medium growing tree, grows up to two feet a year reaching 20-25 feet at maturity.
  • Does well in multiple sun exposures, both full sun and partial shade.
  • White dogwood is a soil improver because the leaf litter decomposes faster than most other species.

Physical Attributes:

  • Blooms clusters of showy, white, flowers in April-May.
  • Produces a small, glossy red fruit, eaten by numerous animals, including at least 36 species of birds.
  • Has layered branches and an “alligator” like bark, giving it nice contrast against a forest backdrop.

Tag us in a photo of your white dogwood tree!

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