Dogwood shrub: planting and care in the open field, proper pruning of the plant

Dogwood shrub: planting and care in the open field, proper pruning of the plant

Gardeners and landscape designers are happy to plant dogwood in their plots: the early blooming of bright flowers pleases the eye after a black and white winter, and how attractive are the bunches of scarlet or dark burgundy berries in autumn! The name of this tart sweet and sour berry is translated from Turkic as red. Dogwood fruits, indeed, most often have this particular color, however, in some varieties, the berries may also be yellow. One of the main features of the dogwood is that it can be found both as a shrub and as a tree - it all depends on the area and the conditions of its growth. In a word, whatever the dogwood interests you - the splendor of its greenery or the unique properties of the fruit - acquaintance with it will not disappoint you.

Cornel: territory of distribution, description of the plant and berries

In the wild, dogwood is most often found in the Caucasus. Although its seeds were also found on the territory of modern Switzerland in buildings more than five thousand years old, historians claim that the fruits of this plant were used as food by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Modern cultural forms of dogwood are widespread not only within its natural range, they can be found in the vastness of Central Asia and Moldova, St. Petersburg and the Baltic states. There is no mystery in such a wide distribution of this plant. Dogwood is quite unpretentious and is able to withstand frosts down to minus 30-35 aboutMoreover, an adult plant is resistant to drought and feels equally well in the sun and in partial shade. The dogwood is also presented in the State Register of Breeding Achievements for 2017, and the entire territory of Russia is indicated as the region of admission. And how many dogwoods are spread throughout the gardens without any mention in the State Register!

Dogwood is undemanding to the composition of the soil and grows on poor stony lands, sandy soils and loam. However, neutral or slightly alkaline light fertile soils with a high lime content are most suitable for him. Young shoots of dogwood tend upward and, expanding, form a multi-stemmed semicircular shrub up to 3-4 meters high or a tree up to 6 meters high. The root system is fibrous.

With its bright flowering appearance, the dogwood will decorate any area

Dogwood is a very ornamental plant. The yellow corollas of its flowers are collected in inflorescences. They bloom in April and fill the air with a delicate sweetish aroma. The flowering of dogwood lasts up to two weeks, only then leaves appear. Since flowers appear early, this plant has problems with pollinators: for insects, the temperature is + 8 + 10 aboutC, when the dogwood blooms, it is not very comfortable. In addition, dogwood needs suitable neighbors - it is self-fertile. Wood dogwood or any cultivar of this plant can become a universal pollinator for him.

Dogwood flowers are a wonderful honey plant

Dogwood leaves are ovoid, elongated to the top, bright green. The fruits are usually red, but there are varieties with fruits that are white, yellow and even maroon, almost black. The shape of the berries in some varieties is elongated, pear-shaped, in others it is spherical. Weight in the range of 1-9 g. The bone is oblong, easily separated, makes up 12-30% of the weight of the fruit. Ripening of berries occurs at the end of August or September.

In terms of vitamin C content, dogwood berries are even superior to lemon, therefore decoctions of its fruits and leaves are used in medicine as an anti-inflammatory and tonic. An antiscorbutic effect is also attributed to this broth. And in some regions of our country, there are legends claiming that dogwood berries can cure any disease.

Dogwood fruits are usually dark red in color.

The taste of dogwood fruit cannot be confused with anything: it is slightly astringent, tart, sweet and sour or sweet (depending on the variety - as well as the degree of juiciness). The flesh of the fruit can be uniform or grainy. The only thing that does not depend on the variety is the unique aroma of berries. A description of how they are used could form a separate chapter. Cornel is consumed fresh, jams, compotes, jelly are cooked from it, jelly, marshmallows, juices are prepared. The berries are dried and added to tea, like the leaves, and the seeds are used as a substitute for coffee. And what to hide, cornelian vodka is quite popular, which retains the unique aroma of berries and is considered exquisite.

Cornel is not a fast-growing plant: grafted seedlings enter the fruiting period by the fifthsixth year. But the dogwood is fruitful: 20-25 kg of fruit are harvested from ten-year-old trees, and from twenty-five-year-old trees to a centner.

A young dogwood tree is already bearing fruit

Dogwood trees are long-lived, their age can exceed one hundred or even two hundred years. Therefore, by planting such a tree on his site, the gardener can be sure that his grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be able to feast on these berries.

Planting dogwood in central Russia

Cornel is most common in the Caucasus, which means that it prefers a warm climate. But it can and should be grown in central Russia, which many gardeners are successfully doing. The main thing is to protect the plant from adverse factors in the first years after planting, for example, to protect the seedling from drought. Due to the superficial location of the roots, dogwood seedlings in dry years can suffer from a lack of water. Therefore, the plant should be provided with adequate watering, especially when planting in light sandy soils, where moisture does not retain. Does not like young dogwood and too strong sun. If possible, after planting and in the first years of growth, the seedling should be lightly shaded.

Basic landing rules

For those who want to grow dogwood on their plot, experienced gardeners recommend choosing two-year-old seedlings. They should be purchased in proven nurseries. You also need to be mindful of when and how best to plant the dogwood.

  • The best time to plant a dogwood seedling is autumn.
  • Cornel is a self-fertile plant, therefore at least two different varieties are planted on the site.
  • For a young dogwood to take root well, you should choose plants in containers, and not with an open root system.

Two-year-old seedlings are best suited for planting.

Step-by-step process of planting dogwood

  1. Prepare a hole 60–70 cm deep and in diameter. Mix the removed soil with humus or compost (1 bucket), ash (250–300 g) and superphosphate (200 g).
  2. Pour half of the earth into the hole. Place a seedling on the formed mound. Tie it to a peg and cover with the rest of the earth. Make sure that the root collar does not go deep (it should be 2-3 cm above the soil level).
  3. Compact the soil to form a watering hole. Water the seedling with two buckets of water.
  4. Mulch the tree trunk with straw, sawdust or humus.

For the winter, young seedlings need to be covered with burlap, and in order to protect the superficially located root system, experienced gardeners recommend in the early years to fill the seedlings to the grafting site with earth.

Video: how to plant a dogwood seedling correctly

Growing dogwood and caring for it in central Russia

Cases of diseases or damage to dogwood by pests on the territory of the Moscow region and central Russia are practically not described. And recommendations for care are reduced to timely abundant watering and pruning. Watering for dogwood is important: with a lack of moisture, the fruits become less juicy, the taste is mild. Therefore, the plant must be watered regularly, especially in summer (40–50 liters once or twice a week in the absence of rain).

Young dogwood seedlings grow slowly, but then the growth becomes more intense, and some plants are thickened - they need pruning.

If the dogwood needs to be shaped like a bush, then only the growing inward or dry shoots are cut off.

It is with the help of the pruning procedure that the gardener can give the dogwood the shape of a bush or tree. If the shape of the bush is preferred, only misplaced, dry, inward-growing branches are removed. If the dogwood needs to be shaped like a tree, shoots located below 50–70 cm are removed in the first years after planting, and then they maintain the resulting shape by cutting the dogwood according to the traditional scheme for fruit trees.

With regular pruning, dogwood can be easily shaped into a tree

Loosening the soil under the dogwood is carried out carefully, no deeper than 10 cm - do not forget about the superficial location of the roots. As for fertilizers, gardeners do not insist on their introduction, since under natural conditions the dogwood grows and bears fruit even on poor soils. However, if there is a desire to fertilize dogwood, it should be taken into account that nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizers are applied in spring, and potash fertilizers - in summer or autumn.

The main factor complicating the cultivation of dogwood in central Russia is recurrent spring frosts. The plant can only be protected from them by smoking (processing plantings with smoke in the morning). Another problem: with early flowering (and in dogwood it is always early), there may be no pollinating insects. However, when planting several plants in one area, this problem is perfectly solved.

Cornel varieties for growing in central Russia

Dogwood varieties differ from each other in terms of ripening, shape and color of berries. They demonstrate approximately the same yield and frost resistance, so there is no point in highlighting these characteristics. The most popular and recommended by experts are the following varieties:

  • Alyosha: ripens in early August or September, the berries are yellow, pear-shaped, large - 6-9 g, sweet and sour.
  • Vladimirsky: ripens in August-September, large berries - about 8 g, claret-black.
  • Vydubitsky: mid-season variety, small berries, dark red.
  • Elena: the dogwood of this variety bears fruit early - in early August, the berries are like varnished red barrels of medium size with a small bone.
  • Firefly: mid-season, pear-shaped berries, 6-8 g, dark cherry, sweet and sour, tart.
  • Amber: got the name because of the original color, ripe berries are almost transparent, with a thin skin, weight up to 4 g, mid-season variety.

Photo gallery: popular varieties of dogwood


Since the late 90s, dogwood has been growing, brought from Pyatigorsk to the Bryansk region. During this time, the temperature dropped to minus 34. The apples and pears froze. Dogwood, at least that, only increases the harvest.

We decided to grow dogwood ourselves, we like wine and dogwood jam, but we already made several mistakes with our grandmothers at the bazaar, so we decided. Despite the existing opinion that dogwood grows poorly in the middle lane or does not bear fruit, our friends proved the opposite, which influenced our desire to learn from their experience. The landing site was chosen slightly shaded. The land was prepared in the fall: they dug a planting hole with a diameter of about 1 meter and a depth of 80 cm, brought in a little new land mixed with fertilizers (organic and mineral). For the winter, we covered the hole with a film, and at the end of February we opened it. At the end of March we decided to plant our dogwood. They took humus and compost, mixed and divided into two parts. One part was mixed with soil and the hole was half filled, making a small mound. They took a seedling, set it on a mound and covered it with the rest. A young plant requires good watering (30–40 liters). The near-bore circle was covered with sawdust so that the moisture would not evaporate. Our friends recommended cutting the shoots by 1/3 in order to balance the root and aerial parts. We already have leaves here and there. For those who are interested, we took the Primorsky dogwood, it is believed that it is winter-hardy.

I have been growing these delicious and healthy fruits for a long time. Actually, I have already tried all the methods of growing dogwood - both from the stone and cuttings. My dogwood has grown and formed a hedge. I cut it at a level of 70-100 cm. The harvest of this wonderful, I will not name it otherwise, the berries I have, as a rule, are very good. The wife makes jam out of it and spins compotes for the winter.

There are enthusiasts who grow dogwood in the Moscow region. At the same time, even harvesting. Of course, these are not the same southern crops. I will not venture to say that there is already some sort adapted to the middle lane, but I strongly advise you to plant the seeds in the fall, since there is such a desire. It's great to see self-planted plants grow. You just need to take into account that the period of stratification of cornel seeds is more than 800 days, so seedlings should be expected for two winters, but rather all three. Try it, because how many unusual things are already growing in the more northern regions!

For central Russia, the dogwood is no longer an overseas curiosity and not a quivering stranger in need of greenhouse conditions. This wonderful plant with fragrant and healthy berries can be found in many horticultures and private homesteads. And the number of his fans only promises to grow, because the dogwood is resistant to cold weather, is ready to grow on almost any soil and bear fruit for up to a hundred years - why not an ideal tenant for your garden?

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Dogwood: planting, growing, care

What associations do you have with the name "dogwood"? I immediately remember the jam that my roommate from Karachay-Cherkessia treated me to during my student years. This is not just a jam, this is a pure delicacy. Cornel is not only delicious and is used in the preparation of jams and various dishes, but also has a wide range of nutrients that improve blood pressure and aid digestion. In Crimea, there are various legends in this regard, which say that any disease can be cured with the fruits of dogwood and a decoction from it. And in the Caucasus, nutritious "lavash" (thin marshmallow) from dogwood helped to avoid scurvy during the First World War.


Residents of middle latitudes to have such a "handsome" in their garden is problematic, although the plant itself does not require special care. The thing is that the dogwood begins to bloom earlier than other plants, but its growing season is about 250 days in a warm climate - for example, in the Kuban. Therefore, for middle latitudes, you need to acquire a variety with an early ripening of fruits.

Cornel belongs to the Cornel family, represented in the form of shrubs or trees, not exceeding 8 m in height. You can meet him freely growing in the Crimea, Transcarpathia and the Caucasus - in thickets, undergrowth or forest edges. Dogwood has been living for over 100 years. In our country, common dogwood (Cornus mas), or, as it is also called, male dogwood.

Dogwood flowers

The berries of the common dogwood are bright red (during the selection process, varieties with amber-colored berries were bred), fleshy, inside the drupe.

Dogwood fruit

Dogwood tolerates frost well, but at -30 ° C, branches are damaged. Therefore, young dogwood plants require good shelter for the winter. If the temperature is slightly higher than +40 ° C, the leaves on a young tree may dry out, in this case, the first years of life in the garden, the dogwood is shaded with sunflowers, corn.

Dogwood: why it is worth landing

Why bother planting dogwood when there are many other fruit trees and shrubs that are perfectly adapted to our conditions? - you ask. There are some, they just do not have the qualities that are inherent in this southern guest.

First, it has a high decorative effect. And this quality has long been noticed by landscape designers who recommend it for decorating plots.It is one of the first to bloom, back in April. Its bright yellow flowers bloom earlier than the leaves on the plant, and look advantageous among bare trees.

You can grow a hedge from dogwood, which will not lose its decorative effect until late autumn, painting a dull landscape with its bright fruits, which, by the way, are not only red, but also yellow, pink and even black.

However, the gardener, at his discretion, can give this ornamental plant the shape of a bush or tree. It all depends on the pruning. To give the dogwood the shape of a tree in the first few years, all shoots below 50-70 cm are removed from it, and so that the plant looks more like a bush, only diseased and growing branches are cut off from it.

And, of course, the most valuable thing in dogwood is the fruit, which is in no way inferior and even superior to the famous goji berries. They contain more vitamin C than lemon. A large amount of pectin in berries helps to eliminate toxins from the body, and iron helps to increase the level of hemoglobin.

In addition, dogwood fruits strengthen the immune system, normalize blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels, prevent sclerosis, act as an anti-inflammatory agent and normalize metabolic processes in the body. The leaves and roots of the plant also have a healing effect.

Dogwood is undemanding to soil and maintenance, tolerates slight shading. However, there are still some difficulties in growing.

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