A-z - Animals

Meet the 10 Different Types of Dogwood Trees

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  • Dogwood trees are native to Asia and North America, and can also be found in the United Kingdom.
  • Dogwoods are known for their ability to pollinate their own flowers, and their seeds are even more popular with birds.
  • Native Americans are known to grow corn crops when dogwood trees are in bloom.

Dogwood is a beautiful perennial plant that thrives in both summer and winter. This magnificent ornamental tree belongs to the Dogwood genus , which consists of flowering shrubs, woody trees, and some subshrubs.

Dogwood trees are common in different parts of the United States. They thrive in humid climates, and sunlight is essential to the survival of these trees. They also have a dense and fast-growing root system that requires the tree to be on firm ground.

The color of your dogwood tree depends on its species, which have different characteristics. Some species grow as bushes, while others are evergreens with mild deciduous leaves. Here's everything you should know about dogwood trees and the different types.

How to Grow a Dogwood Tree

Dogwood trees are beloved by many gardeners for their beauty, especially during flowering season. They are also a favorite of many birds because they are a source of food and shelter.

While dogwood trees are beautiful and every gardener's wish, you need to plan ahead before planting them in your backyard. It needs certain climatic conditions to thrive and enough space to take root and sprout.

Before digging holes in the garden or picking out the desired dogwood plants, decide where to plant them. Make sure your tree doesn't get scorched by direct sunlight, as this can discolor its leaves and affect its luster.

When choosing a location, identify some shaded spots, but also make sure your tree gets direct sunlight. Remember that the dogwood will grow into a large tree that will provide shade. So, don't plant it near plants that need sunlight.

Soil Types for Growing Dogwood

Dogwood trees don't do well in wet soil, so you have to make sure the soil drains. You can enrich the soil with organic matter and make sure it's acidic. However, if the soil lacks the correct pH and organic matter, you can add compost that contains coffee grounds.

Dogwood Lifespan

Dogwood trees can live up to 80 years. Planting them in your garden is a lifetime commitment. These trees are also easy to care for. Make sure to plant them in a spot with plenty of water and sunlight.

The tree can be used for decorative purposes and shade. Birds benefit from it as it provides food. If you move frequently, you can choose dogwood with a shorter lifespan.

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Choosing Your Dogwood Tree

Once you find the perfect spot to grow dogwoods, you can start choosing the trees that will adorn your compound. Dogwoods come in different sizes. Some trees bloom and some bear fruit.

There are different flowering dogwoods that produce flowers of different colors and sizes. These flowering dogwoods are mostly found in the United States. Pacific dogwood is common among West Coast residents.

Types of Dogwood Plants

Whether you want a shrub, evergreen, or flowering plant, there's a dogwood for everyone. Some types of dogwood you can grow in your garden include:

1. Canadian berry

The Canadian Bunchberry, also known as the Dwarf Dogwood, is a dogwood shrub. The tree spreads by rhizomes and can grow to a height of 4 to 6 inches. Its leaves are dark green with prominent veins.

Most gardeners love its white flowers, which means the plant will bear fruit in late summer. The Canadian Bunchberry is mainly grown in North America, Greenland and northeastern Asia, and its red fruit is edible.

canadian berries
Canadian Dogwood, also known as Canada Bunchberry, grows primarily in North America, Greenland, and northeastern Asia.

©iStock.com/Yves Dery

2. Dogwood

If you are looking for an aesthetic addition to your garden, Common Dogwood is the right choice. This plant grows mainly in Europe and Western Asia. It is a multi-stemmed shrub that blooms in late spring.

The flowers of common dogwood are white and the leaves are oval to oval. The flowers turn into blueberries in fall, but these berries are not edible. They are poisonous to humans. The tree is at its most beautiful in fall when the green leaves are gone, leaving behind a beautiful burgundy hue.

Common dogwood plants grow to 8 to 15 feet, but some are dwarfed. They need full sun exposure to grow perfectly, and gardeners must prune them annually to maintain shape and help the shrub spread.

common dogwood
Dogwood flowers are white and the leaves are oval to oval.

© iStock.com/rbiedermann

3. Flowering Dogwood

Gardeners who are obsessed with flowers in their yard can try flowering dogwood plants. You'll love the plant's look best in the spring, when it's blooming. Flowers are white or pink, some are red.

Flowering dogwoods are common in North Carolina. The plant is characterized by low branches and a flat crown that grows to 15 to 20 feet. The red, pink, or red flowers turn deep red in fall and begin to set fruit.

For flowering dogwood to thrive, make sure the soil is acidic and plant it under another plant that will provide shade. You should also prune branches to avoid infections like dogwood anthracnose.

flowering dogwood
Flowering dogwoods are common in North Carolina. It is characterized by low branches and a flat crown and grows to 15 to 20 feet.


4. Dogwood

People living in Europe and Western Asia have had the good fortune to choose a very attractive dogwood plant – Cornus officinalis. It grows into a large shrub that blooms annually. In early spring, you'll see beautiful yellow flowers.

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By midsummer, the yellow flowers turn into beautiful, delicious red cherries. Cherries are harvested and used to make jams, desserts and sauces. This plant has oval leaves that are 4 inches long.

Dogwoods are beneficial because their fruits are useful. These plants also bloom early and they grow to heights of over 15 feet. Plants will germinate when grown in full sun with some shade.

cornelian cherry
By midsummer, dogwood's yellow flowers turn into beautiful, tasty red cherries.

© iStock.com/RuudMorijn

5. Gray Dogwood

Gray dogwood spreads through rhizomes and grows to form bushes. The plant is beautiful, with white flowers in spring and white berries in summer. Berries are attractive to all animals, but only birds eat them.

Gray dogwood has dark green leaves and grows to a height of 10 to 12 feet. The leaves turn purple in fall, and each year they grow new orange-brown bark that fades to gray as they age. This plant is common mainly in eastern North America.

gray dogwood
Dogwood Tree Blooms Bourbon Warehouse

© iStock.com/kellyvandellen

6. Pagoda Dogwood

Another dogwood plant that is worth the money, time, and space is the pagoda plant. It is also known as alternate-leaf dogwood because of the alternating arrangement of its leaves. This is different from other dogwood plants where the leaves are arranged in the opposite position.

Pagoda is a multi-stem deciduous shrub that you can prune to give it a different shape. However, make sure you have the right type of pruning saw or contact a professional for the job. After pruning, the branches begin to grow horizontally.

Pagoda plants grow primarily in eastern North America and are 15 to 25 feet tall when fully grown. They need full sun and partial shade to thrive and don't need huge spaces to grow.

7. Dogwood

If you don't mind textured foliage, roughleaf dogwood is a perfect plant choice. This dogwood needs a more shady location to thrive. However, if you want your dogwood to flower and fruit, expose it to full sun.

The plant grows 6 to 15 feet and is common in eastern North America. Make sure your space is humid. However, coarse-leaved plants can tolerate dry conditions when fully grown. They bear fruit in summer, while the leaves turn reddish in fall.

8. Brown Dogwood

If you don't like the texture of the leaves in Rough Leaf Dogwood, here's another option. Brown dogwood is also known as smooth dogwood. It is a shrub that thickens to block the passage of people and animals.

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The plant has colorful reddish-brown bark, and the green leaves turn red in fall and white in spring. Brown dogwoods produce blue fruit.

9. Red Twig Dogwood

Also known as red willow dogwood, this dogwood plant stands out among the rest. Its stems turn red sometime in late summer and fall. The red is more vivid in winter, and the stems stay green in winter.

Redtwig Dogwood grows to a height of 7 to 9 feet and is primarily grown in North America. The plant produces small flowers that turn purple in fall and develop white berries that are attractive to birds.

10. Swedish dogwood

If you want a dogwood that's not as tall but can grow up to a foot tall, get Swedish dogwood. It is a subshrub with dark purple flowers. The best conditions for growing this shrub are moist conditions, which are common in Europe, Asia, and North America.

in conclusion

Whether you want a dwarf dogwood, about 1 foot tall, or 15 feet, you'll find something to meet your needs. These plants also bear fruit, but some of the fruit is not edible.


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Dogwood Tree Blooming
Blooming dogwood tree.

© iStock.com/JillLang

about the author

Lex is a green, tree-loving animal lover and mother of 21 felines and a dog. Now, she helps pet owners around the world become the best caretakers for their most trusted pets by sharing experiences and spreading love.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Where Do Dogwood Trees Grow?

Dogwood trees are best grown in full sun or part shade.

Can I Plant a Dogwood Tree Near My Home?

Whichever type of dogwood tree you choose to plant, it's best to choose it at least 15 feet away from your house so the tree can grow fully.

Do Dogwood Trees Have Big Roots?

Dogwood has shallow roots that usually dry out quickly.

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  1. My decorating and designing online magazine, available here: https://mydecorative.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-dogwood-trees/
  2. The Perfect Plant, available here: https://myperfectplants.com/blogs/grow-guides/how-to-grow-a-dogwood-tree
  3. Gardening Knowhow, available here: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/dogwood/common-dogwood-varieties.htm
  4. Worst Room Home Designs, available here: https://worstroom.com/types-of-dogwood-trees/