Cornus Kousa Over-Winter Deaths

Ann Arbor, MI

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?

Traverse City, MI

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.

Hastings, MI(Zone 5b)

I have lost all my cornus kousas over the years.
I have given up on them
Sheri

Sanford, MI(Zone 5a)

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

Ann Arbor, MI


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.

Sanford, MI(Zone 5a)

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

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

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.

Hastings, MI(Zone 5b)

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

Fenton, MI(Zone 5b)

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

Caro, MI(Zone 5a)

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

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

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.

Caro, MI(Zone 5a)

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

Mary Ellen

Macomb, MI(Zone 5b)

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!

Caro, MI(Zone 5a)

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

Macomb, MI(Zone 5b)

darn....lol ^_^

Hastings, MI(Zone 5b)

I lost a pair of muckshoes. Please look for them.
sheri

Caro, MI(Zone 5a)

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

Mary Ellen

Howell, MI

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

Dearborn, MI

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.

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

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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