Ohio's Dogwood Trees

Updated on December 18, 2017
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Teri Silver is a journalist, commercial copywriter, editor, broadcast anchor, and Public Relations Specialist.

White flowering dogwood tree
White flowering dogwood tree

Flowering Dogwoods

Want to add beautiful flowering shrubs or trees to your yard or landscape? Dogwoods will do the trick. With red, white or pink blooming flowers, dogwood trees and shrubbery thrive in Ohio’s varying climate. If your property has acidic, well-draining soil and partial-to-full sunlight, a glorious dogwood (Cornus spp.) -- or several trees planted together -- will bring color and shade to the yard or tree line.

Tall, Tall Trees?

Dogwood trees actually vary in height; they can grow from 5 to 40 feet tall. The ‘dwarf’ varieties include Weeping Dogwood (it reaches to 7 feet upon maturity), Ivory Halo (known as Tatarian or Siberian Dogwood) and Midwinter Fire -- these grow up to 5 feet tall. Bunchberry Dogwood, with white flowers, is actually more like a plant; it grows from 3 to 6 feet tall and spreads about 4 feet wide. Medium-sized dogwood trees that do well in Ohio’s ever-changing climate (up to 10 feet tall with white flowering blooms) include Pagoda Dogwood, Snow Tower and Summer Gold.

Dogwood tree blooms add color and grace to yards and landscapes.
Dogwood tree blooms add color and grace to yards and landscapes.

Tall, Tall Trees!

Taller dogwood trees suitable for Ohio yards and landscapes include:

  • Summer Stars (white flowers; 20 feet)
  • Miss Satomi (pink flowers; 15-20 feet)
  • Milky Way (pink flowers; 15-20 feet)
  • Chinese Dogwood/Heart Throb (red flowers; 15-20 feet)
  • Giant Dogwood/Variegata (white flowers; 30-40 feet)
  • Cherokee Princess (white flowers; 20-25 feet)

Ohio’s garden stores and nurseries offer selections of dogwood trees with leaf and bloom colors that can light up your landscape.

Dogwood tree leaves turn striking colors in autumn.
Dogwood tree leaves turn striking colors in autumn.

And Speaking of Color ...

Dogwood trees usually bloom in the month of May (depending on Ohio’s ever-changing weather). Flowers are in various shades of white, pink and red. When planting dogwood trees in a color scheme, check out:

  • Cherokee Brave (Cornus florida ar. Rubra ‘Cherokee Brave’; burgundy red blooms)
  • Appalachian Spring (Cornus florida ‘Appalachian Spring’; white flowers followed by red fruits. This tree’s leaves turn dark-red to crimson in the fall)
  • Radiant Rose (Cornus floirda x chinensis ‘Radiant Rose’; red flowers)
  • Stellar Pink Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida 'Stellar Pink'; pink blooms)
  • Pink Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida ‘Rubra’; pink flowers with green leaves and red berries in the fall
  • Cloud Nine (Cornus florida 'Cloud 9'; white blooms)

Dogwood fruits
Dogwood fruits

Leaves and Berries

Similar to most trees, dogwoods produce green foliage but leafy shapes may be solid, variegated or in whorls. Leaves, in dark to light shades of green, depend on the tree type; they turn various hues of red in the autumn (bright-red, orange-red, crimson, etc). Birds and other wildlife will enjoy the autumn berries on some (but not all) varieties. For brightly-colored fall foliage, check these out:

  • Snow Boy (Cornus kousa ‘Snow Boy’; white-edged leaves that turn purple-red in autumn)
  • Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida ‘Appalachian Blush’; leaves turn red with red berries in the fall)
  • Cherokee Daybreak (Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Daybreak’; variegated foliage that deepens in the fall)
  • Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa x chinensis; dark-green leaves that turn to dark-red in the fall. This tree also has deep red-to-black berries that ripen in the fall)

Ohio’s Climate

The great state of Ohio is within the United States Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness zones of 5 and 6. Most types of dogwood trees will thrive in partial-to-full sunlight and acidic, well-draining soil. Test the soil in your yard for alkalinity before planting dogwoods and any other kinds of trees or shrubbery, and then determine the amount of sunlight your chosen location receives during daylight hours. Consult with your local garden store or cooperative extension service for the best advice on your yard or landscape’s special needs.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Teri Silver

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