Want a gorgeous tree that blooms on the edge of spring and summer with abundant white blooms, and elegant form and seasonally interesting bark? Maybe you should add a kousa dogwood to your yard. The kousa dogwood is an Asian variety of our own native dogwood, but has its own unique beauty and is resistant to many of the diseases that affect the North American Dogwood. When I think about cornus kousa, I think of beautiful oblong dogwood blooms in the garden in early summer when our native dogwood species have already lost their blooms. The fruit of cornus kousa is larger than that of our native dogwood and edible, making it a bird magnet for a few weeks in the fall. Kousa leaves are smoother and longer than the the leaves of the native dogwood with a deep green in the summer. In the fall, the kousa takes on a variegated orange, red and green that is more symmetrical and organized than the swirling psychedelic displays put on by our native dogwoods. The branch structure of the kousa is also lovely, with six branches appearing at each node and growing upward symmetrically from the stem to create an elegant cascade effect. Care should be taken when pruning as inexperience can result in diminishing, rather than improving, the cascade effect. Kousa dogwoods are resistant, but not immune, to borers and common dogwood fungal diseases. Like with all dogwoods, care should be taken to provide well draining soil rich in organic matter, and trees should receive extra care and mulch if planted in direct sunlight.
|Bloom Period:||Early summer|
|Fall Color:||Red, orange, yellow, green in a variegated symmetrical pattern|
|Foliage Color:||Dark green|
|Genus & Species:||Cornus kousa|
|Mature Height:||15 to 25 ft.|
|Mature Spread:||15 to 25 ft.|
|Soil Type:||Moist, well-drained|
|Sun Exposure:||Partial shade, partial sun. Will tolerate full sun, but mulch and soil quality are important.|
|Zone:||5 to 9|
General care for any tree or shrub is easy, please educate yourself and follow these simple rules.
Caring for Dogwoods - Cornus
With dogwoods care should be taken in selecting an appropriate planting site. The dogwood evolved in the border regions of forests, and as a result prefers soil that drains well, but holds moisture. Standing water or very wet soil will not allow enough oxygen to the roots, and can suffocate the plant. Amending your soil with compost in advance of planting and maintaining a 3-4 ft. ring of organic mulch through each season will greatly benefit your dogwood.
Dogwoods are adaptable to full sun, but a tree in full sun will be under more stress than one planted in partial sun, partial shade, or dappled light. If a tree is in full sun, special care should be taken to provide good soil conditions, remove competitive grass , and mulch in a 3-4 foot ring. Additional watering may be required for a dogwood in full sun and water should be applied slowly and deeply to the area surrounding the tree.