June 22, 2009

The Tree at My Window, A Dogwood


Perhaps you’ve notice the words of Robert Frost in the upper right corner of my blog. While I love all my trees, the three dogwoods are my favorite. In the front yard we inherited a vivid reddish-pink flowering dogwood, pictured above. On the east side of my home, I planted a small white-flowering tree, pictured below.


The newest addition counted as my Mother’s Day present this year and shows off its soft pink blooms right outside the windows of my living room (see the photo below). Silly me, I was only thinking of the backyard layout when I placed it there. As soon as I walked inside, I realized that it would be the most-viewed tree in our landscape, thanks to the positioning of the couches in the living room. I am so pleased that it has become The Tree at My Window.


Unlike my reddish-pink and white dogwoods, which are Cornus florida hybrids, the new light pink dogwood is Cornus rutgersensis 'Stellar Pink.' Plant breeders at Rutger's University developed the C. rutgersensis hybrids by crossing C. florida with C. kousa (Korean dogwood). The resulting plants are highly resistant to the diseases which trouble so many C. florida types.


Besides my 'Stellar Pink' (flowers shown above), the Rutger's hybrids include 'Aurora', 'Celestial', 'Constellation' and 'Ruth Ellen'. All of these other hybrids are white, though the form of their crowns and flowers differs. They bloom later than C. florida and earlier than C. kousa.


Dogwood blossoms last a lot longer than the blooms of crabapples or flowering cherry trees. The leaves are lovely in summer even when the flowers disappear, and their reddish-burgundy fall color is gorgeous. In the photo above you can see that the new growth is touched with red.


Though my C. florida trees don't produce any fruit, you can see little ones developing on 'Stellar Pink'. I was told the birds love them, so they don't last long when ripe.


Above is another shot of my littlest white-flowering dogwood. The old-fashioned dogwoods are bothered by a number of serious diseases in humid, rainy climates. Thankfully we don't have many of those problems in Spokane. The limiting factors for dogwoods here are that they require plenty of moisture for their roots and do best with protection from afternoon sun. Otherwise I would have filled my yard with them. As it is, I'll enjoy the three I have from indoors and out. What a perfect window tree!

9 comments:

  1. How lovely. I long to have a flowering dogwood, of any variety. Unfortunately, my soil is almost the exact opposite of what they require. It's dry and deeply sandy -- sort of like gardening on a sieve. Anyway, I certainly admire yours. Beautiful.

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  2. VW, both of those pink dogwoods are really pretty. I will read more about the cross between the florida and the kousas. Thanks for showing us these pretty dogwoods.

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  3. Hello VW

    This is an interesting and informative post.

    Aren't they pretty?

    Enjoy the tree at your window.

    Rob

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  4. I love dogwoods! The new one is planted in a great place, and dogwoods deserve to be the most viewed trees. I hadn't heard of the new variety, it's blooms are beautiful.

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  5. Hi Thanks for commenting on my blog.
    I love your Cornus. I bought one a couple of years ago Cornus kousa Chinensis. it will have the most amazing flowers/bracts if it ever does. I have to confess I did not plant it in the best soil it is a bit rubbly so fingers crossed it does ok.

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  6. A perfect dogwood all the way around. Thanks so much for introducing us to it! I am going to look for it. I do so love the cornus kousas much more than the florida ones, so a combination is great. It's beautiful there in its home.

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  7. Lucky you! I love dogwoods, but it's just too hot and lacking in humidity for them to thrive here (not that many of us don't keep trying anyway, with occasional success.) After so many photos of your snowy winter landscape, it's fun seeing everything blooming in your garden.

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  8. Some beautiful dogwood photos, and interesting to hear about the Rutgers hybrids. Some species of cornus fruit are used medicinally, maybe those birds are taking supplements.

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  9. Hi VW, thanks for this. I think dogwoods are quite special, with their distinctive shaped flowers. I have one which is deciduous, but I think some are evergreen as well. Deciduous ones don't mind being transplanted if you decide to change the position - lol!

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