Category: Flowering Shrubs

Flowering Dogwood Trees

Flowering Dogwood Trees

The dogwood trees also referred to as dogwood arbor in the Latin language is a small ornamental tree that blooms in early spring with blooms lasting throughout the entire summer months and into fall. The dogwood flowers come in a variety of colors including pink dogwood, red dogwood, kousa dogwood, yellow, white dogwood with red tips, red dogwood with white tips and solid white dogwood. Because of their beauty and their long lasting blooms dogwood trees are often used in the landscaping for both homes and businesses but flowering dogwoods trees growing in the wild are more often than not breathtakingly beautiful.

When the blooming season has passed and the weather begins to cool the leaves of the dogwood tree will change color and its pedals will all fall to the ground. Then tiny red berries will grow in their place for the birds and squirrels to enjoy until old man winter comes around and takes them all away in preparation for a new year to begin. The dogwoods natural lifespan is around eighty years, the normal height of the dogwood is about thirty feet but they have been known to grow as tall as thirty feet.

Different Varieties of Dogwood Trees Include:

Pink dogwood
Red dogwood
White dogwood
Satomi Dogwood
Kousa dogwood
Cherokee dogwood

Where and How Do the Dogwoods Grow?

Native to North America the flowering dogwood grows best in zones 1 through 9 which for the most part covers the entire United States as well as Europe and Asia. Dogwoods are pretty hardy trees that will grow in many different types of soil but they grow best in soil that is moist and well drained. Dogwood trees can grow in shady areas or in full sun.

Diseases That Affect the Dogwood Tree

Diseases that are common but not fatal among dogwoods are:
Cankers
Powdery Mildew
Leaf Blight

Dogwood Blight is a common disease that kills dogwood trees within a few years. All of the above mentioned diseases are the result of too much moisture.

The dogwood is most often grown and appreciated today for its beauty but in times past the tree was valued for it incredibly hard wood and medicinal purposes. The dog wood was used by early Americans to make items such as:
Bow and Arrows
Sewing Needles
Daggers
Pitchforks
Mallets
The Uses of The Dogwood Tree

The bark from the dogwood tree was often made into a tea and used to treat fevers, boiled to make a lovely red dye for clothing and blankets, and even smoked during certain ceremonies conducted by the Indians.

Myths and Legends

There are also myths and legends that have been associated with the dogwood tree. One being that a murdered Indian princess used the pedals of a dogwood tree to stop the bleeding when she was murdered by an Indian Brave who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Another legend about the dogwood is that there was a time when the dogwood tree grew straight and tall until it was used as the wood for the cross of Jesus. At that time Jesus was said to have cursed the dogwood so that it would never grow straight or tall ever again.

Forsythia Shrubs

Forsythia Shrubs

When the garden hybrid, the Forsythia was first discovered, there were two major species, the Forsythia Vridissima and the Forsythia Suspensa. Robert Fortune, a Scottish plant-hunter, discovered the Forsythia Vridissma, in a garden of Chusan, before he ever even saw it growing wild in the mountains of Zhejiang. When brought in from the Far East they landed in Western gardens, and played an important part of gardens as a shrub. A Westerner, first noticed the Forsythia Suspensa. When Carl Peter Thunberg, a botanist-surgeon, saw the Forsythia in a Japanese garden, he classed it as a lilac, this was in 1794. The Forsythia was brought into Holland by 1833. This lovely plant could be found at a nursery in England at Veitch Nurseries, and was still considered a rare species. These plants were first grown mostly hanging over retaining walls. In 1861, there was an erect form of Forsythia discovered in Peking, they called this species: Forsythia Fortunei. European gardens had been proudly overtaken by the Forsythia Vridissma. The Forsythia x Intermedia, is a hybrid of the Forsythia Suspensa and Virdissima, it was brought into Europe in 1880. Budding of the Vridissma and the Suspensa, gave birth to the Intermedia. Further species were discovered during the time of World War I, in China. Forsythia Giraldian was discovered in 1910 in Gansu, and Forsythia Ovata was discovered by seed in Korea, by E.H.”Chinese” Wilson. Both of these species have been very helpful as parents for the American Species of modern times. The Forysthia Variabilis was produced by combining the Forysthia Ovata and Forysthia Suspensa. In Chinese herbology, the Forsythia Suspensa, is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. There is a Korean string instrument called Ajaeng, that contains Forsythia branches, that are used as a bow for this instrument. The Forsythia Shrubs are a popular spring flowering shrub, often times seen in parks and gardens. The most common spring blooming shrubs are the Intermedia and the Suspensa, these both are full of beautiful yellow flowers. These are both known for their durabilty. The Intermedia is grown for the upright growing pattern and the very deep colored flowers, while the Suspensa is a larger shrub, that is usually more commonly grown for growing an banks or over fences, because its more of a weeping shrub, it also has a paler yellow flower. Often times, the Forsythia is forced in the early spring to flower. Usually, professional growers use woody cuttings for propagation. Cuttings are normally taken late spring through early summer, although, sometimes the cuttings can be taken between November and February. Often times, gardeners do a common and easy trick, by placing a brick on a low hanging branch on the ground, then it roots, then you cut it from the parent plant, and dig it up, now you have another plant. The Forsythia really brightens up the spring landscape, with its bright yellow “Golden Bells”, which is a common name given to this outstanding garden shrub. The Forsythia was said to cure a disease that caused death, in the movie ‘Contagion’. The Forsythia was also a part of the love story, by Alice Munro, ‘The Love of a Good Woman”. The Forsythia Shrubs are a very deciduous shrub hardy to zone 5. As noted earlier, the Forsythia blooms in early spring, and they have flowers, before they have leaves. The Forsythia Intermedia, is commonly referred to as ‘Sunrise’, because of its arching branches, its spread out like a big sun. Surprisingly, this variety is more compact than some others, it grows about 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. If the Forsythia is not properly pruned, it starts to get out of control, and wild looking. You can shape your Forsythia, if you so choose, by frequent pruning. These plants grow best in a well drained soil and full sun. If you would like to create a beautiful property boundary, you can plant the Border Forsythia, its serves as a beautiful property separation, and its a good hedge for privacy, they are often referred to as a “living wall”. The Forsythia can also be used to help control erosion around your home and on slopes in your yard. The Forsythia is a delight to every garden.

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