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Chinese Dogwood (Kousa)

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Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa): A stunning specimen tree! With large, showy white flowers in spring and a strongly horizontal growth habit, Chinese Dogwood is a beautiful addition to any landscape. However, it’s quite particular about its soil and siting, requiring rich, well-drained acidic soil and adequate precipitation.

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Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
25 feet
Average Landscape Width:
25 feet
Growth Rate:
medium
Genus:
Cornus
Species:
kousa
Flower Color:
white
Flower Period:
in late spring
Summer Foliage Color:
sea green
Fall Color:
brick red
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
average
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Plant Form:
layered
Canopy:
low
Pruning:
prune after flowering
Pollution Tolerance:
medium
Other Species Names:
Kousa Dogwood
Branching:
multi-stemmed

Ornamental Features

Chinese Dogwood features showy clusters of white flowers with white bracts held atop the branches in late spring. It features an abundance of magnificent pink berries from early to mid fall. It has bluish-green deciduous foliage. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding brick red in the fall. The peeling gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Chinese Dogwood is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a stunning habit of growth which features almost oriental horizontally-tiered branches. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Chinese Dogwood will grow to be about 25 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

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