The red osier dogwood, also known as Cornus sericea or Cornus stolonifera, is a fast-growing shrub that is often used in landscaping. It gets its name from the brilliant red colour of the bark that appears on the plant’s new growth throughout the winter months. Because of its quick growth, some property owners prefer to improve the appearance of their landscapes by routinely shearing the shrub in order to encourage new growth and the display of winter colour that this results in.
Identification of Red Dogwood Tree
In addition to its more common name, red osier dogwood is also known by the names red-stemmed dogwood and redtwig dogwood. It can survive in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 8, although it is more likely to thrive in areas that are cooler and wetter, such as those found in zones 7 and below.
When exposed to temperatures that are greater than normal, the plant experiences stress and becomes more prone to illnesses like canker. The plant may produce white flowers in the summer and clusters of drupes that are either a whitish-blue or purple colour in the autumn, however these characteristics are not what make the plant attractive. To reiterate, the red dogwood tree is more well-known for its beautiful bark than for the dark red osier dogwood berries that it bears.
The Missouri Botanical Garden estimates that the red dogwood tree may reach a height of 6 to 9 feet and a width of 7 to 10 feet over its lifetime. It is not bothered by deer, erosion, clay soil, or damp soil at all and grows well in any of these conditions. It is simple to cut the root suckers if you do not want unrestrained development, and it may survive in environments that are marshy and wet.
Red Dogwood Bush Growth Rate
The red dogwood shrub grows swiftly, reaching heights of at least 6 feet in a short amount of time. It matures at a rate comparable to that of its close relative, the blooming dogwood (Cornus florida), which can withstand the harsh winters of USDA zones 5 through 8 and grows to a height of 2 feet during each growing season.
The red osier dogwood is characterised by its openly branched growth pattern, which has both vertical stems and horizontal branches. As time goes on, newly formed red growth gradually loses its brilliance and fades to a red tint that is less appealing or even a dull grey tone. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, throughout the springtime you should do regular pruning or even cut the plant all the way down to the ground in order to stimulate the development of new red growth.
When trimming red dogwoods, it is essential to postpone the task until after the flowering season has come to a close. If you do not take this precaution, you run the danger of either harming the flowers or preventing them from ever flowering. When the leaves have completely developed, which occurs in late spring or early summer, pruning should be done at its optimum. You may be quite aggressive with the pruning of red dogwoods, so do not be afraid to remove any branches that are broken or dead. However, you shouldn’t prune the tree more than around one-third of its total growth at a time.
Growing and Using Red Dogwood Bush
The red osier dogwood thrives best in full sun to part shade and in soil conditions ranging from mild to damp. It thrives in wet, marshy, or muddy environments, where most other plants perish, and prefers soils that are organically rich and fruitful. The red osier dogwood has the potential to become an invasive species due to the rapidly developing subterranean stems and the thick growth they produce.
When you are cultivating it in your yard, you need take measures like pruning to ensure that it grows just in the locations that you want it to. Leaf and twig blights, canker disease, and leaf spots, in addition to leaf miners and bagworms, can sometimes be a concern. The red dogwood tree and even the redosier dogwood berries are great plants for the landscape to employ for adding seasonal colour. The stems of the red dogwood tree stay a brilliant shade of red all through the winter.
You may cultivate a single red dogwood bush as a showpiece plant or plant a number of them in close proximity to one another to create a colourful display in the shape of a hedge or shrub border. Because of its colourful bark and red osier dogwood berries, the plant is particularly attractive when placed in close proximity to evergreens. It is possible to let red osier dogwood to grow naturally into thickets if desired, or it may be used effectively as a screen along the borders of properties.