Monday, June 15, 2015

Plant of the Week: Kousa Dogwood

Kousa Dogwood (Japanese Dogwood)
'Cornus kousa' 

Hardiness Zones
The kousa dogwood (japanese dogwood) can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 5–8. 
Tree Type
This tree is considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree. It is typically planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.
Mature Size
The kousa dogwood grows to a height of 15-25' and a spread of around 25' at maturity.
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a slow to medium rate, with height increases of anywhere from less than 12" to 24" per year.
Sun Preference
Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.
Soil Preference
The kousa dogwood grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It prefers average moisture but is somewhat drought-resistant.
This tree: 
  • Blooms May–June, with distinctive white bracts surrounding small, greeinish-yellow flowers.
  • Is a good choice for planting near utility lines, buildings or walls.
  • Features dark green leaves that are 2–4" long and elliptic-ovate in shape.
  • Has a beautiful form with horizontal branching.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.
  • Requires mulch around the trunk to protect it from lawnmower or weed cutter damage that could cause poor health.
  • Produces pinkish-red to red fruit that attracts songbirds.
  • Provides great fall color, with leaves turning purple and scarlet.
  • Is tougher than the native flowering dogwood when it comes to disease and pests.
  • Develops a camouflage pattern of tan and brown on the trunk due to exfoliation.
Wildlife Value
Kousa dogwood seeds are eaten by squirrels and birds.