Redbud, cherry dogwood can be focal points of landscape

Published Jun 3, 2018 at 9:00am

Spring is all around us! Wahoo! In addition, the color of the Cercis canadensis, eastern redbud, along with the Cornus mas, cornelian cherry dogwood with the yellow flowers is in full bloom.

I see redbud, although the flowers are fading, the pinkish color throughout my travels in the Oneida County area. The cornelian cherry I see periodically. There is an outstanding threesome along Route 5, in the Westmoreland area, that is very attractive with healthy specimen.

Cercis canadensis, is an understory, deciduous tree, often multi-trunked and reaching 20-30 feet tall in the right conditions. The tree flowers in the spring before the leaves come out with seedpods that may stay on the tree throughout the winter. The pods start green and turn to dark brown in October.

The simple heart-shaped leaves are 3-inches long and 5-inches wide and alternately arranged. The tree is native to eastern and central North
America.

In the fall, the leaves turn pale yellow to brown-yellow, giving the tree year round interest.

This tree is not without problems due to canker, (fungal disease) and other issues.

Keep these trees healthy by pruning out dead branches, fertilize, and water regularly during drought conditions, especially new plantings. Insect pests include: Japanese beetles, treehoppers, leafhoppers, caterpillars, borers, webworms and scale. By keeping an eye on your trees, you will be able to confront any insect problems before they get out of hand.

Cornus mas, cornelian cherry dogwood is easily grown in well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Cornelian cherry dogwood is a deciduous tree that may grow to the height of 15-25 feet.

After the yellow flowers fade, the leaves emerge in dense, showy, rounded clusters of opposite. Leaves are 2- to 4-inches long and ¾- to 1.5-inches wide.

The tree is native to central and southern Europe into western Asia. The fruits are one-seeded berries, which mature to a showy cherry red in mid-summer.

Fruits are edible but sour tasting. Fruits may be used for making syrups and preserves. The fall color is nondescript.

The Cornus mas have resistance to the dogwood anthracnose and dogwood borer.

When the tree is healthy, the dogwood usually has few insect or disease problems. 

Both trees are great for forming a hedge due to the habitat of multi-stemmed branches. In addition, both of the trees can be specimen or focal points in your garden and can be as natural as a grouping of trees.

They are versatile in growth, can fit into various situations in your garden, and are available at local nurseries.

With the wind in our areas, the blocking of a building or other garden material is
suggested.

The natural habitat, especially for the eastern redbud is understory so the tree is naturally protected.

For more information anout redbuds and cherry dogwoods, or for other garden issues, review our website at cceoneida.com/home-garden or call our Horticulture Hotline at 315-736-3394 on Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon.