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Michigan Gardening: Cornus Kousa Over-Winter Deaths

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JohnK43346
Ann Arbor, MI

May 11, 2009
1:38 PM

Post #6533266

I seem to have lost 3 out of my five different Cornus Kousa over the winter, and one of the survivors, "Wolf Eyes," just barely survived. I live in Ann Arbor. Anyone else have similar loses?
Karen4Roses
Traverse City, MI

May 12, 2009
12:47 PM

Post #6538024

This was a tough winter. Are you sure they are dead? Kousas bud out so very late that they often look dead in April and May. Mine fools me every year.
WigglyPaw
Hastings, MI
(Zone 5b)

May 15, 2009
6:58 PM

Post #6552936

I have lost all my cornus kousas over the years.
I have given up on them
Sheri
glevely
Sanford, MI
(Zone 5a)

May 16, 2009
1:24 AM

Post #6554327

okay I can't stand not knowing what the are ;0( I hate being dumb some times ;0)
Gloria
JohnK43346
Ann Arbor, MI

May 16, 2009
3:03 AM

Post #6554689


Uninformed is not the same as being dumb. Kousas are another kind of dogwood that blooms later than the American dogwood. There are a lot of different kinds of variegated ones that also have beautiful leaves. Those are the ones I collected and lost 3 out of five that I had this past Winter. The two that are left have sent out a lot of leaves, but the one called "Wolf Eyes" sent out only about half of what it should have. I had heard from one of my suppliers last year that maybe my slow growth of some of them was due to lack of acidity in the soil, so I added fertilizer last summer that is used on azaleas and camellias that also like acidity. I wonder if I burned their roots, or something. They seemed fine going into the fall, however.
glevely
Sanford, MI
(Zone 5a)

May 16, 2009
1:06 PM

Post #6555670

thank you !! are they the ones like the ones that bloom in the woods in spring all white? if they are we have thousands of them around here I wait for them to bloom every year I just love it when they do
Gloria
Loon
AuGres, MI
(Zone 5b)

May 16, 2009
1:57 PM

Post #6555836

When I used to live downstate I had terrible luck with them. I wanted that varigated one to live so bad. I forget the variety now. It was supposed to be hearty to zone 5 which I was. I lost it every year. After replacing it three times I gave up on it. I as able to grow the pink dogwood just fine in a protected area in a cove by the house. It was beautiful. I wanted to try to buy another pink dogwood here but was told at the local nursery they don't do well here. They guarantee their trees and were having to replace more than 50% of the ones they sold.

If you want to try it again, amend the soil around the tree, plant it where it is an understory tree and close to protection of a building or your house and make a burlap surround for it before winter. For me, I just won't baby anything any more. If it isn't tough and won't fend for itself it can't stay. My only exception is my roses which get a styrofoam cover on them for winter.
WigglyPaw
Hastings, MI
(Zone 5b)

May 16, 2009
3:50 PM

Post #6556191

glevely
those are native dogwoods not C.kousa

do a plant search, in the plant search box just enter flowering dogwood or something like that
and you will find entries similar to I think you are looking for.
Sheri
jazzzy704
Fenton, MI
(Zone 5b)

May 25, 2009
6:16 PM

Post #6595842

Well i also have lost a dog wood or two, or three or 4!!
I just lost two new ones I put in last fall. this sadly is my last attempt to grow them. Some how i have no aspect they will tolerate. i have tried them all. This was my last attempt.
My friend down the road has a beautiful one nestled between her berm and a garage. It is MORE than well protected and gets almost none of the environmental hazards like wind.
I love 'em but I am leavin' 'em!
Julie
LateBloomerToo
Caro, MI
(Zone 5a)

May 26, 2009
10:28 AM

Post #6598884

Has anyone had any experience with Variegated Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus alba 'Argenteo-Marginata')? It says that they are hardy to zone 3.

Mary Ellen
Loon
AuGres, MI
(Zone 5b)

May 26, 2009
1:21 PM

Post #6599277

Mary,

The variegated red twig dogwood bushes are hardy. I had one downstate at my other house. The only care it needed was an occasional pruning out of older canes.
LateBloomerToo
Caro, MI
(Zone 5a)

May 26, 2009
1:38 PM

Post #6599344

Thank you Brenda! Sounds like my kind of plant!! :) I think that they look lovely in the winter landscape.

Mary Ellen
detheo
Macomb, MI
(Zone 5b)

May 29, 2009
11:40 AM

Post #6612997

Mary Ellen,

I have a beautiful one...although the bugs and fungus can get to it.
And that is quickly taken care of...I planted it on the northern side of the house and I shape it up 2x's in the summer...it is very hardy and a beauty in the winter with it's red twigs!
LateBloomerToo
Caro, MI
(Zone 5a)

May 29, 2009
12:13 PM

Post #6613066

I found one stick of the red twig growing down by the creek edge this spring. Our neighbors across the creek have some growing at the bend of the creek. I'm thinking of digging it up and moving it closer to the house so that I can keep a better eye on it and also give it some TLC in hopes of it multiplying. It's amazing what washes up here after some heavy rains! The creek kind of snakes through at the edge of our property so lots of things get hung up at the turns. So far, no lost treasure chests though! LOL

Mary Ellen
detheo
Macomb, MI
(Zone 5b)

May 29, 2009
12:22 PM

Post #6613105

darn...lol :-)
WigglyPaw
Hastings, MI
(Zone 5b)

June 2, 2009
11:45 PM

Post #6633122

I lost a pair of muckshoes. Please look for them.
sheri
LateBloomerToo
Caro, MI
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2009
9:43 AM

Post #6634925

hmmm... What size Sheri? LOL
We've only lost a few balls and one stack of firewood. :)

Mary Ellen
cubbydoodle
Howell, MI

May 21, 2011
7:00 PM

Post #8578395

I live in Howell, MI. I have one dogwood (not cornus alba) which was doing well when I moved in @ 5 years ago. It looks pretty bad this spring, though. Don't know whether it was due to this last winter or another cause. We have woods at the back of our property. I always see dogwoods & redbuds blooming in the woods when we drive through Pennsylvania. I want to get some "common" dogwoods & a couple of redbuds, but I don't know where to plant them or what conditions they like. So, does anyone know what conditions they like?

Many thanks, in advance, Cubbydoodle
nancyruhl
Dearborn, MI

May 22, 2011
4:08 AM

Post #8578877

http://www.ehow.com/list_7545169_flowering-dogwoods-michigan.html gives a little info. Dogwoods and redbuds are understory trees that get leaf burn if planted in direct afternoon sun. Both have high rates of failure, but many of us avid gardeners think they are worth the chance because they are so beautiful. I used to take springtime wildflower trips to the Smokies when they were in bloom. Sooooooo beautiful.
Loon
AuGres, MI
(Zone 5b)

May 22, 2011
6:49 AM

Post #8579143

Cubbydoodle, I'm sorry your five year old+ dogwood is looking bad this spring. It is supposed to be hardy in zone 5 which means the temps can be five to ten below zero if you're in zone 5B. This winter we had a number of nights where it got down well below zero. If it is very windy it can be even harder on our plants and trees. If your tree isn't totally dead try to bring it back some with a little fertilizer and make sure all grass and weeds are out from under it. Maybe give it a nice mulch around to keep the soil moist in dry weather.

Driving around I've noticed the dogwoods that seem to thrive and do best are planted out of the wind and under other trees or up close to your house. They just don't do as well out in the open. They are an understory tree. Don't give up on it just yet. It may rally round and come back. Years ago my friend had a mostly dead flowering plum tree. Her husband was a big believer in Jerry Baker's remedies. Dennis was out there pouring cococtions on and around that tree and beating the hell out of it with a rolled up newspaper. I thought he was nuts...but that tree came back and was more beautiful than ever. I wish I had taken a before and after picture of it. It was truly amazing.

I did what I swore I'd never do again. I bought a very small Kousa Dogwood at Aldi's very cheap. The little thing is leafed out and doing well. I plan to put a burlap wall around it beofore winter and I may even spray it with an anti-dessicant to protect it. It's called "Wilt-Pruf" and sort of puts a waxy covering on the branches to protect them. I've used it successfully on my hydrangeas and roses.

Don't forget to talk to your tree and cheer it on! Good luck!

Brenda
AuGres

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