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Tree of the Month – Kousa Dogwood

As we enter our spring season, we will be highlighting one of our favorite ornamental species: the Kousa Dogwood.

Botanical Name: Cornus kousa

Kousa Dogwood Tree

Characteristics:  Growing only 15-20 feet tall, this small, sometimes multi-stemmed deciduous tree boasts showy blooms. The color on these blooms is from the “bracts” which are leaf-like structures, while the actual flowers are small, yellow, and contained within the bracts.  We recommend the Milky Way variety which blooms white and can turn pink or the Satomi which start with pink blooms that turn purple later in the season. Blooming occurs in late spring.

Kousa Dogwood Fruits

This tree produces eye-catching, red, bumpy fruit which is edible and has been used for making jam but may taste bitter to some. In the fall, the foliage turns a vibrant red color and the exfoliating bark adds interest year-round.


Hardiness Zone: Zone 5-8

Requirements:  Full sun to part shade, this tree likes consistent moisture during hot summers. The Kousa Dogwood prefers loamy, organic-rich soils.

Pest Susceptibility: We prefer the Kousa Dogwood over the Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) because they are generally less susceptible to pests. The Kousa Dogwood is resistant to Dogwood Anthracnose, a fungal disease the Flowering Dogwood is susceptible to. Leaf scorch may occur in trees that are in hot and full sun conditions.

Kousa Dogwood Flowers

The Kousa Dogwood makes a great specimen tree in the landscape with visual interest for much of the year. Give us a call to add one of these great ornamental species to your landscape.