About White Dogwood Trees
By Anna Graizbord
, last updated February 4, 2011
White dogwood trees are known for their remarkable white flowers that bloom in the spring. They are commonly planted along streets, near large buildings, next to patios, along property borders, and even as background trees against evergreens. White dogwoods are typically planted in rows. These trees are native to the United States and typically grow along the east coast, ranging from Massachusetts to central Florida. They have also been found growing as far west as East Texas and as far north as Michigan and Ontario.
Growing White Dogwood
Allow freshly picked seeds to sit for a week or so, until the pulp softens. Then, soak them in a pail of water and squeeze each seed in order to separate the seed from the pulp. Only viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the pail. Dry the seeds in a cool, dry place before pre-treating or stratifying them prior to germinating. The seeds tend to have a hard shell and need to be treated in order to properly grow. Plant white dogwood seeds when the air is cool, there is no threat of frost, and the ground is moist.
- The soil should be acidic, well-drained with plenty of organic matter. Select a location with partial shade to sun for optimum growing and flowering. Do not plant too close to heat reflective walls of buildings.
- The planting holes should be wide with backfill soil that's well worked, though ¼ inch of soil on top is all you want. Place much on top if you’re concerned about moisture retention.
- Water the seeds thoroughly after planting, and then allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
Maintenance & General Tips on White Dogwood
- During the summer, white dogwood trees need water to maintain a moist environment
- White dogwood canopies can reach 20 to 30 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide.
- Pruning is generally not necessary except to remove dead or injured branches.
- Be careful when using lawnmowers or other gardening implements around flowering dogwoods. The bark can be easily damaged, and wounds make dogwoods vulnerable to insect infestations and diseases.
- Fertilizing is generally not necessary unless the soil is very nutrient deprived.
- Dogwood anthracnose, caused by a fungus, is particularly harmful to dogwood trees. You can first identify it by looking for light brown spots on leaves, which can grow into large splotches and may turn purple.
- When leaves of a white dogwood appear small, it can be the result of a root problem due to root injury or pathogens.
- Berries of white dogwoods are often consumed by squirrels, birds and other pests.
- Varieties of white dogwoods include: Autumn Gold (greenish-gold leaves in fall, yellow-orange leaf stems and twigs, good for winter), Barton (flowers early, resistant against mildew), Cherokee Daybreak (fast-growing, pronounced upright growth habit), and Springtime (good in wet and cloudy climates).