Would You Plant Cornus Florida (Dogwood) Despite the Blight?

Maynard, MA


I live in a zone 6 area where Cornus Florida (Flowering Dogwood) is native. There's an area in my yard where I want to plant a small, native specimen tree, and this is one of the few plants that fits the bill. But I'm concerned about dogwood blight and wonder what your experiences have been (with this variety, not any other dogwoods, including kousa).

Further thoughts on the subject if you care to read my ramblings: My favorite reference book, Bill Cullina's Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines, says one shouldn't be afraid to plant dogwoods despite the blight. He explains that if you give it the right conditions and tend it properly when there are cold spring rains or summer droughts that could make it vulnerable, it could do just fine. But I find myself nervous. There has been so much erratic weather in the last years...flooding so intense 2 springs ago that our area was declared a national disaster...and the summer right after that so very hot and dry...I just wonder if it's doomed before I start out.

I'd especially love to hear from anyone who's planted a cornus florida in the last 5 years or so.


Mint Hill, NC(Zone 7a)

I had a planted a C. florida about 6 yrs ago in NE CT. It grew nicely. The first one I bought had the blight, but the next one did fine.
I would go for it.

Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

I had decided a few years ago that I would just have to live with memories of owning a C. florida, but I couldn't help myself last Fall when I planted a Cherokee Princess. They are just so beautiful. I planted it in a place where the landscape will not be devastated if it does not make it but I am comitted to doing everything I can to keep it healthy. The one I planted is a white flowering one but the red flowering ones may be more disease resistant. I read some about disease resistant cultivars before buying but I'm not at all qualified to give a recommendation. Good luck.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

This is our fifth spring in our home, and I'd never heard of dogwood blight until now. I feel lucky to have inherited two Cornus florida and proud that they're both flowering beautifully right now. The neighbors say they look better than they have in years.

But as soon as I heard about the blight, I worried that my trees were in danger of getting sick and dying. I did some research and read that the most important prevention involves good air circulation, well-draining soil, and enough sunlight. As long as I had a good planting site, I don't think I'd let worry stop me from planting another one. There's some good information from the USDA Forest Service at http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/foresthealth/pubs/dogwood/r8-pr26/dwr8pr26.htm

And here's a pic of the pink dogwood this year. I think that watering it during last year's drought really helped it on the road to recovery.

Thumbnail by Eleven
Maynard, MA

Thanks, everyone. I think I'll go for it.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I just bought 2 Cornus Mas (a male and a female)... the fruits are edible. The blight is in our area too, but I think it doesn't affect this one much. They are quite small so it will be some time before they grow large enough to bear fruit. Eventually they will be partially understory trees as my antique apples grow.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Quote from ShaynaPearl :

...: My favorite reference book, Bill Cullina's Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines, ....

That's a great book, good reading.
Edited because I am not familiar with the dogwood disease situation.

This message was edited May 26, 2012 7:39 PM

Laingsburg, MI

Eleven, I also have a couple of the C. Florida dogwoods, which I planted around one month ago. Within a week after planting, the leaves developed dark spotty areas, then they curled inward, and a couple have a whitish hue near the point. I posted pictures in the conifer, tree, and bushes forum a couple of days ago if you'd like to see the pictures. Is this also what you are experiencing?

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

HopeSue, sorry but I'm confused. I haven't experienced anything wrong with my dogwoods.

Laingsburg, MI

Sorry, Eleven.

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