Landscapers use the Korean dogwood tree in yards and groves and as individual accents for patios and gardens. Cornus kousa dogwoods are striking with their dark green foliage, white and pink flowering bracts and bold autumn colors. The multi-colored bark and raspberry-like fruits add even more to the tree’s ornamental qualities. Kousa dogwoods are resistant to deer and diseases, making them easy additions to any landscape scene. The ideal site is one that meets the needs of the tree and at the same time, showcases its multi-seasonal ornamental characteristics
Korean dogwoods are more drought resistant than Cornus floridata, the traditional dogwood, but they are only hardy to USDA planting zone 5. They grow in either full sun or partial shade. Dogwood tree are healthiest in fertile, well-drained soil that is high in nutrients. The trees grow to a height of 30 feet at the most, so fitting it under wires and eaves is not usually a problem. The tree has a rounded form with upright branches that become more horizontal as the tree ages. Although the fruit draws wildlife, according to the University of Connecticut Plant Database it is showy and not problematic.
Korean dogwood trees have a number of cultivars and varieties with characteristics that affect their placement in a landscape setting. "Little Beauty" seldom grows higher than 15 feet, making it appropriate for settings such as patios or small gardens. "Summer Stars" grows 25 feet tall and has a vase shape that looks stately at the corner of a building. "Elizabeth Lustgarten" and "Lustgarten Weeping" have arching branches, white blossoms and a rounded growth habit that brings elegance to yards and gardens. "Gold Star", a prime specimen tree, has variegated green and gold foliage that looks good long after flowering.