|Authors: ||M.W. Burrows, D.C. Fare, C.H. Gilliam, D.J. Eakes|
Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is considered an aristocrat of native flowering trees of the USA and has a broad range extending through most of the eastern states and westerly through Iowa and south to Texas (Dirr, 2009). This species is one of the most beautiful and important small flowering trees utilized in the nursery and landscape industry.
A multitude of species and cultivars of dogwood have been a staple in nursery cultivation.
Today, the demand for container-grown dogwoods has increased as the demand for containerized trees has continued to grow over the last 20 years.
However, dogwoods are a challenging crop to produce in container culture, especially when bare root liners are used as the initial transplant into containers; unacceptable levels of mortality and poor growth occur.
Reasons for poor dogwood growth during the first growing season are anecdotally related to overwatering, underwatering, over fertilizing, poor root structure, environmental stress, or transplanting delay from the bare root harvest.
Flowering dogwoods are considered an understory tree.
Producers are successfully growing other native understory species under shade cloth (Phillips et al., 1991), but most producers continue to grow container-grown dogwoods in full sun.
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