Here in southwestern Connecticut, the flowering dogwoods are in bloom.
Once a familiar sight in our landscapes, Cornus florida, also known as common dogwood, is frequently being passed over by many homeowners looking for a flowering tree for their gardens. Too common? Perhaps. Victim of some bad press? Possibly. Under-appreciated? Definitely.
Part of the reason for this trend is the fear of planting a tree that may succumb to a known landscape disease, dogwood anthracnose. While dogwood anthracnose is a real threat, there are many simple things you can do to ensure your dogwood remains healthy – a key to fighting most landscape diseases.
For habitat gardeners, a flowering dogwood should be an indispensable part of their gardens. These small understory trees support an amazing array of wildlife - the red fall berries are a favorite of songbirds and small mammals and the leaves are used by spring azure butterflies as a larval host plant.