Photo Credits: Julie Morgan
Spring is here! Recently I was heading back to Memphis from Jackson, Mississippi. Along the woodlands edge on the interstate I saw beautiful flowering dogwood trees in their full glory. I was compelled to slow down a bit to get a closer look. It is definitely spring in Tennessee when you see the blooms of the dogwood tree. The blooms are absolutely exquisite!
Dogwoods are found naturally across many of the counties here in Tennessee. Cornus florida, or flowering dogwood is one of the most beautiful small trees in the area. They contribute ornamental value to landscapes all year long.
Dogwoods are native across the Eastern seaboard and are beloved by gardeners and naturalists. Dogwood benefits the wildlife here in Tennessee. Turkey, mockingbirds, cardinals and squirrels all feed on its bright red fruit in the winter.
The flowering dogwood can grow in a variety of soils and exposure. It does best in a well-drained soil that receives sufficient rainfall throughout the growing season. They will grow in sun or shade but rarely grow in full sun. They are normally found at the edge of the woodlands or mixed with other kinds of trees.
In Tennessee, the flowering dogwood tree is grown commercially and is an important economic factor in our commerce. Our state ranks first in dogwood production. Many new disease resistant dogwoods now common in the industry are from the UTIA breeding program. Former Governor Bill Haslam proclaimed April 21st as Tennessee Dogwood Day back in 2018. This emphasizes the importance of dogwoods to the state of Tennessee.
Consider adding a dogwood tree to your landscape. This attractive, low-branching flowering tree shines with delicate blossoms in spring and is sure to impress.
If you are like me, you can’t wait to start getting your plants in the ground. I would advise to wait until after Tax Day to do so. By that time, the threat of a freeze should have passed.
Until next time, enjoy being out in the garden!