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Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Posted by toronado3800 Z6 St. Louis (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 24, 10 at 1:39

How would you describe the tree? Is the fall color over-rated? Are the berries a concern? (I barely notice the common dogwood berries in my yard between the walnuts and all) That type of thing.

I'm tempted to plant one of these medium sized flowering trees in my front yard perhaps 25 foot from the house or so.

There is a cultivar "June Snow" which has my attention also. Having trouble even determining if its typically grafted. Darn Google doesn't like me lol.

My yard does well with a couple common Cornus Florida Dogwoods.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

No personal experience with this species, but I've noticed that some of the larger wholesale nurseries are now growing June Snow. You could try contacting the nurseries for their input/opinions. In the pics I've seen the tree looks very similar to the native Pagoda Dogwood (C. alternifolia), and my guess is it has the same cultural preferences (adequate moisture, partial shade).


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Forest Farm sold me one in the spring. It shipped a little earlier than I thought and lived its pot a a few weeks. I visited the Missouri Botanical Garden where they have a mature one which looked pretty good and then waited for an ash tree to be removed and my ACL surgery recovery to plant it lol.

When did I plant it... late April or early May I think.

It has been doing fine and growing.

An unexpected plus is the red on the new growth. Much more pronounced than I expected.

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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

June Snow puts on a great display in our park system. Have never seen any problems with any of them.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Gandle, where in Nebraska are you? Seems a neat and rare tree to have your parks department planting. Do you know who was behind that?

One county west of me in Suburban Sprawl St. Charles they do plant Fagus sylvatica rose-marg. variegated beech. as a focal point in a couple parks.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

I had one for a little over 10 years. I had the variegated version. Berries not a problem . Fall color was beautiful. The whole leaf blushes pink, and the white variegated parts of the leaf were even pinker. Color doesn't last very long though. I really liked the horizontal spread. It gotto be about 12 feet tall, but spread out to over 15, with layers of branches. But about 3 years ago, it started getting dying branches. A few at a time. It would leaf out in Spring, then the leaves would wilt and I'd lose the whole branch. At first, I trimmed them out, but it kept spreading. I assume it was anthracnose. Got so bad I had the tree removed this Spring.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Western NE, right on the line of zone 4 or 5. Soils quite alkaline. C controversa has been a good one for us. Fall color, not so good.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Fella is still growing nicely.

To this point it has not shown any hints of the excellent fall colors of my Cornus Florida "regular" Dogwoods.

Starting to think about pruning off the lowest branch or two. Just in case I decide I want to mow under it in the future no need to have branches starting a foot off the ground. Do they prefer fall pruning or can I prune late winter?


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Now I can agree with fall leaf color not being as spectacular. Online nurseries listed it as red fall or purple fall color....hmmmm. Perhaps I can sell them some beachfront property lol.

Thanks to its similarities to "redtwigs" and other foreign Cornus plants with similar leaves and flowers I will wait until next year before I send an email.

If this is typical of fall color I will call it "ok or acceptable". Still have to see the red it is supposed to have on its young twigs.

Besides that it is a strong growing transplant. Going to research when it wants the first two or three lowest branches taken off.

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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

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Perhaps its due to the deep veins of the juvenile foliage but I find it quite interesting. The effect on a big tree will be impressive.

The little guy made it through the winter with no die back. We had a solid zone 6 winter too. More snow than usual AND it stuck around. No real record lows but steady below average temps.

Our spring has been all over the place as usual. The buds have been opening for a couple weeks.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

toronado -
There is a serious canker disease that affects pagoda dogwood (and likely C. controversa as well) called "Cryptodiaporthe canker" that seems to be most problematic for plants stressed by heat/drought. Maintaining consistent soil moisture may help prevent the disease. Not sure how it performs so well for gandle in NE - maybe there aren't many native dogwoods in his area and therefore the disease is less prevalent(?)
Dirr has this comment on C. controversa: "Safe to say that promotion of this species for "tough" situations was unrealistic for it is neither heat nor drought tolerant. Morton Arboretum reported that considerable dieback occurs, presumably from disease(s)."


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Thank you for the canker tip. My Cornus floridas and cornus whatever red twigs are do great in my yard. When I first read about problems with Cornus florida in the wild it amazed me. We will see about this one.

Little fella is on a bump in the yard so we will see if whenever we have a dry year it is affected. Some other spots lower in the yard are more damp but I admit I was guessing on placement.

BTW I absolutely love Dirr's book. I have a decade old rough second or third hand capy. The man speaks his heart.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

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Wow! The red new stems are really getting my attention over the darker green year old growth. It is like something from a tropical house plant. Even has that tubular feel. Yes I did squeeze one, just couldn't resist.

The red tinge to the new leaves follows the veins in a quite attractive way also. Looks like I might get two feet of growth out of it this year.

So far this year has been WET. The tree is up on a raised are near the house so it has as good a drainage as any forty year old top soil over clay.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Do you have a fall color update for us?


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Slim, so far only a few of the interior leaves have turned for fall. I'll try to get a pic a week up. Last year's peak was mid November. I bet with our DRY summer it hits in a week.

The more I think about it while not blood red like cornus florida the effect of a large tree turning them colors is probably effective.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

  • Posted by jqpublic 7b/8a Wake County NC (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 26, 11 at 0:41

Cool tree. Thanks for the play by play!


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Here are two cell pics from this morning. Next year we loose the fencing and the lowest pair of limbs!

I think the fall color is better this year. More red. Much later start than American Cornus florida.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

More pics. Lighting and the breeze did not help me today even with the "real" camera and not just my phone.

I am thinking the inbound rain will knock off most of the remaining foliage so this might be it for the year.

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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Getting flowers this year. Bet after a normal spring this would happen near May 1st. The Cornus floridas have been in flower for the last month, the Callery pears done for a few weeks for reference.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

  • Posted by jqpublic 7b/8a Wake County NC (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 8, 12 at 16:47

Great pics...it's interesting to see he progression.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

The flower pics I promised. Once again I bet in a normal year it would be flowering a couple weeks from now.

Notice the orientation of the flowers. They seem to all point upwards. IMO this should be taken into account when you plant it. Limb it up and no up close flowers to look at. The bees like it as well.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Oh, and no apparent damage from that little frost we had last week.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Here is the next in a string of updates.

This summer was TERRIBLE! HOT HOT HOT, DRY DRY DRY! On a level not seen since the dust bowl

My Cornus controversa pulled through and even grew a bit but required watering. When it got thirsty there was visible wilting. Unfortunately I did not get to MOBOT to check on the big one there to see how it was doing or if they needed to water it.

The only reason I have some concern is I would hate to have to water a 40 foot tall tree which is not suited to the climate. Then again it was an absolutely terrible summer.

Fall color is subdued unlike Cornus Florida but it does take part in fall and the dark purple seems consistent and fairly long lasting.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

I love dogwoods. But this time of year they get my attention. I'm more of a C.Florida guy but this species is so much more better to me. I may consider getting one soon. Lol my dogoowd which was planted in april dosent have the trademark d.wood bark. What I like about the c.florida is the way you can see the tubular buds when the leaves fall :)


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Thnx Tor for the chronology. Do you happen to know the hardiness rating for this plant? It may be something we could use in a number of settings.

BTW, we're in the very heart of Cornus stolonifera/sericea range. But those are shrubs, not trees. For fall color and then winter-long color with their bright red branches, they can't be beat. Troubles me to think of (And witness) the widespread destruction of their wet habitats. You know, so that new strip mall with car wash can go up.

+oM


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

MOBOT reports zone 5 hardiness. So far it has not been bothered in the least by my zone 6 winters. This is despite its late leaf retention.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

  • Posted by jqpublic 7b/8a Wake County NC (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 23, 13 at 3:27

Any spring updates?


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Between whatever went wrong at photobucket and the photo upload decision here, keeping tabs in pictures is getting difficult.

So here is another shot of the red on the new growth. The late season snow and our wet spring seem not to have damaged it.

Although I do notice it will be flowering a whole month after last year.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

  • Posted by jqpublic 7b/8a Wake County NC (My Page) on
    Thu, May 9, 13 at 3:09

Amazing how cold it's been!


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Well we have come out of our first dry patch into a very mild week with some rain.

The fella looks pretty good and is growing well. A few interior leaves have a bit of color which is actually giving me hope for fall color in the future

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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Hey hey, got some decent colors showing. We have been moist enough this fall and temps have dropped into the high twenties a couple nights.

This summer I had a problem probably with some borer killing a couple foot long branch ends. I snipped and never diagnosed the culprit if I recall. It has been a bad year with the tornado coming through and some late season foliage killers on other trees.

It seems all my imported trees, the Metasequoia, the Acer Palmatums and Griseums, the hated Callery Pear and the neighbor's Euonymus alatus (burning bush's) all retain their leaves late.

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I'm starting to think trees which change slowly or have a more complex blend colors in fall are more pleasing when they are larger. It is still not the in your face deep red of my Cornus floridas but three is probably the limit of those for one yard.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 15:13

This was a fun post to follow. Don't recall seeing it before.

Beutifully canopy that tree has. Put a nice 5' ring of mulch around it to keep the roots cooler. Mulch will add a bit organic matter as well.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 7, 13 at 10:26

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Posted by toronado3800 Z6 St. Louis (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 12:15

It seems all my imported trees, the Metasequoia, the Acer Palmatums and Griseums, the hated Callery Pear and the neighbor's Euonymus alatus (burning bush's) all retain their leaves late.
***

Yup. Don't know why -- climate presumably. But even Siberian elm holds its leaves late & it's from -- uber-cold Siberia. I worry about early snows for such trees -- seen tough-wooded trees like English elm suffer damage from an early Nov snow 'cause it still had leaves.

And I'm getting to appreciate dogwoods other than the standard one. Red-osiers grow on my stream bank & a couple have reached respectable size (for a shrub) and are beautiful. The multiple-flower heads are more interesting up close, attract more bees, and the berry crops more decorative & more preferred by the birds.

Cornus controversa looks good -- the better flowers & fruits of the shrub dogwoods on a true (small) tree. Gotta find a space for one.


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RE: Any Cornus Controversa (Giant Dogwood) experience?

Wow, it came through the severe winter nicely. Its in the fifties and rainy out today so this IS a recent picture. What else is blooming at the same time to help people plan...my peonies, Gibraltar azalea, some of the alium. I'm noticing about a month's variance with bloom time. This being the latest.

FWIW, my regular Cornus florida dogwoods just got finished flowering and they did not flower that greatly, one looks near death. Cold winter or late cold snap I suppose.


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