Stiff dogwood trees grow up to 15 ft. (4.5 m) high. The horizontal branching creates an attractive rounded crown of oval, pointed leaves. Some spots may have a purple-colored rim to them. Sometimes referred to as the Chinese dogwood, this Asian cousin to our native flowering dogwood can be used as a specimen plant or in shrub borders. Our illustrated, step-by-step process makes it easy to identify a tree simply by the kinds of leaves it produces. The symptoms first develop in the dogwood tree’s leaves. Dogwoods flower every spring and require well-draining soil that is always moist. The dogwood leaves are ovate to oblong shape and grow opposite. The flowers of red osier dogwood are small and white and grow in clusters. They have visible veins that curve parallel to the margins. The green leaves add charm and movement during the growing season and set a perfect backdrop for the bright flowerlike bracts. Dogwoods are beautiful flowering deciduous trees and shrubs with distinctive flowers, berries, bark, and leaves. Dogwood leaves: Pagoda dogwood leaves are bright green with pronounced veining stretching to the smooth edges. Pacific dogwood has the widest leaves of the American dogwoods, with the typical leaf in the 1.5- to 3-inch wide range, according to “Trees of North America.” Flowering dogwood is next in terms of width, with some leaves 2.5 inches wide. Dogwood bark: New bark of gray dogwood is tan-brown that turns to gray as the twigs mature. Many people rate flowering dogwoods as the most appealing of all the native North American flowering trees. Yellow leaves on dogwood trees can be an early sign of an infection. Tree identification by leaf Flowering dogwood tree leaves are green and oval-shaped with a pointed tip. In spring, showy white flowers appear to create an eye-catching floral display. In the fall, dogwood leaves add to the charm of the tree by changing to bright colors. Bloodtwig dogwood grows in warm sunny locations and is native to Europe. Tree Identification Field Guide. Gray dogwood is a large deciduous shrub that is also called northern swamp dogwood and panicle dogwood. Roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii) young tree (left), leaves and flowers (right). In the fall, the attractive large leaves turn a golden yellow color. After flowering, small black drupes on red stalks appear. Some types of dogwoods look like shrubs as they are small shrubby multi-stemmed plants. Although they are classed as a small tree, most specimens grow as multi-stemmed shrubs. Powdery Mildew: Erysiphe pulchra (formerly Microsphaera pulchra) is the fungus that attacks leaf surfaces and tender shoots and causes powdery mildew. Ascochyta cornicola is a fungus that appears on dogwood foliage after unusually rainy springs, attacking new leaves as they emerge. Dogwood leaves: Roughleaf dogwood tree leaves have an oval shape with a rounded base and pointed tip. The simple leaves grow oppositely on stems. By Leaf Structure: Simple and Compound Leaves Mature pagoda dogwoods have a flat-topped crown. Of the five types of trees from the dogwood family (Cornaceae) that have large distributions through portions of the United States, the red-osier dogwood has the largest range. Rough-leaf, alternate-leaf and red-osier dogwood leaves seldom exceed 2 inches in width; red-osier dogwood leaves can be as narrow as just 5/8ths of an inch. The bracts may be pink or red depending on cultivar but the species color is white. The Pacific dogwood has the longest leaves, with the average leaf in the 4- to 6-inch-long range. This is one of the dogwoods’ characteristics that give the tree appeal in a winter garden landscape. Giant dogwood trees are medium-sized deciduous trees with a rounded growth habit. Dogwood bark: The wedding cake tree has smooth greenish-gray bark with shallow grooves. Dogwood leaves are smooth above and below, except for the aptly named rough leaf-dogwood. Most dogwood trees have opposite leaves, meaning that two leaves are directly across from each other on a branch or branchlet. As with all species of dogwood, the leaves have smooth margins and a pointed tip. Bark is dark gray to brown with thin, squarish plates. Compared to other species of dogwood, the Cornelian cherry doesn’t have showy spring flowers. Flowers may or may not feature large bracts like those of the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). A typical dogwood leaf is oval and measures between 3 and 6 inches long. Dogwood flowers are typically white, but some species produce yellow, pale red or pink blossoms. Some say that the leaves of roughleaf dogwood give off a sour milk scent. Examples: Hawthorn, Sycamore, Oak, Sassafras, Mulberry, and Dogwood. Red osier dogwood requires well-draining, rich moist soil, and grows well in full sun or partly shaded areas. A characteristic feature of this dogwood species is its flat, slightly rounded crown. The green foliage turns a spectacular bright red in the fall. Some dogwood species are particularly easy to identify during the spring, while their flowers are in bloom. Other types of dogwoods that grow native to North America include flowering dogwood, Pacific dogwood, alternate-leaf dogwood and rough-leaf dogwood. Infected leaves exhibit marginal leaf scorch, dead patches, reddish discoloration, yellowing and premature defoliation. Dogwood flowers are usually white, but can also be pink or yellow. Dogwood trees are small to medium-sized trees, growing between 10 and 25 ft. (3 – 7.6 m) tall. Flowering dogwood trees bloom from mid-March through May. Growing as a large shrub, Cornelian cherry dogwoods are ideal if you want to plant them as a flowering hedge plant or screen. Fall leaf color of Dogwood is more vivid in USDA hardiness zones: 5 through 8A. By remembering this acronym and the groups of species that goes with each letter, you will … Some leaves could develop necrosis with a weathered look to the outer edges. New growth is covered with a fine, white, powdery coating, typically on the upper surfaces of the leaves. Dogwood bark: Red osier dogwood twigs have bark with beautiful reddish color which adds a focal point during winter time. ‘Wolf Eyes’ dogwood is a small tree or multi stemmed shrub which is a smaller cultivar of the popular Cornus kousa tree. From there they spread to the leaves, young shoots and then the fruits. Also called the European cornel dogwood, Cornelian cherry dogwood grows between 16 and 40 ft. (5 – 12 m) tall. The roughleaf dogwood tree is a small flowering tree with dark green oblong, pointed leaves and white summer flower clusters. Some dogwood types produce pink and yellow flowers. The red-osier dogwood and rough-leaf dogwood leaves fall between 1.5 and 3.5 inches long, with alternate-leaf dogwood slightly larger, some making it to lengths of 4.5 inches. A distinctive feature of the pagoda dogwood species is the layered horizontal branches with upturned tips. Most dogwood species have a rounded to flat crown that requires little—if any—pruning. This dogwood shrub has dark green leaves that turn reddish-purple in autumn. Avid gardeners have an indepth knowledge about the flowering bushes, shrubs, and trees. The ovate leaves are light green with creamy-white edges. leaf scorch of dogwood. Although the small decorative trees thrive in partial shade, they will grow well in full sun if you water them regularly. John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. After flowering, red inedible fruits appear. Mountain dogwood trees grow between 15 and 40 ft. (4.5 – 12 m) tall. Dogwood leaves: Giant dogwood tree leaves are broad oval leaves up to 6” (15 cm) long. Their size is about 3-6 inches long. Dogwood tree leaves are identified by their elongated oval shape, visible curving veins, and smooth edges. Click on leaf images to enlarge. Dogwood bark looks scaly, and it peels easily. The grayish bark peels off to reveal tan or orange patches underneath. The distinctive feature of this small dogwood is the pinkish-white flowers with pointed white petals (bracts). Dogwood leaves: Bloodtwig dogwood leaves have distinctive curved veins in the ovate green leaves. Bark on flowering dogwood trees is one of its distinctive identifying features. Dogwood trees are easy to recognize due to their characteristic bark, smooth oval leaves, and white flower clusters. Dogwood Tree Diseases Flower and Leaf Diseases Spot Anthracnose: This infection is caused by the fungus Elsinoe corni. There are over 50 species within the Cornus, or Dogwood, genus. Sometimes recent tree trimming work can make it more difficult to use other identifiers, which further underscores the usefulness of the leaf. During autumn the leaves turn red-purple in color. Scaly bark of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). The Pacific dogwood has the longest leaves, with the average leaf in the 4- to 6-inch-long range. Bloodtwig dogwood shrubs grow between 7 and 20 ft. (2 – 6 m) tall. Some … Leaf Identification | Identify Trees by Their Leaves. Mature trees can grow to 10m. Dogwood trees burst into life when they bloom in spring with clusters of flowers. The exfoliating bark peels in places. However, the dogwood blooms into life in later winter, producing clusters of yellow flowers before the leaves appear. Flowering dogwoods, Pacific dogwoods, red-osier dogwoods and rough-leaf dogwoods turn red. Stiff dogwood is a small flowering tree or large shrub with multiple trunks. This shrubby dogwood has a rounded habit and it spreads through underground rhizomes that send up suckers. Leaf and flower blight Irregular, brown, wrinkled patches form on flower bracts and leaves in the spring. Dogwood bark: Roughleaf dogwood tree bark is smooth and grayish-brown on immature trees. You can identify a dogwood by looking for smooth-edged leaves with veins that curve parallel to the margins (edges). The ‘Lustgarten Weeping’ Kousa dogwood is a beautiful ornamental tree with a drooping growth habit. The dogwood bark has a distinct scaly appearance. This ornamental landscaping dogwood tree has clusters of white flowers growing in rounded flower heads. Depending on the age of the Kousa dogwood, the trees take on a different appearance. To identify dogwood trees, look for their hard, grayish bark that looks like alligator skin. Dogwood leaves: Mountain dogwood tree leaves are large elongated oval, glossy green leaves with pronounced veins. The alternate-leaf dogwood leaves change to reds and yellows. This shrubby plant has clusters of small white flowers, oval-pointed leaves, and distinctive red bark. Dogwood leaves: The wedding cake tree leaves are ovate-oblong with dark green centers surrounded by cream-colored margins. The main veins in dogwood leaves curve upward, with the veins typically running parallel to the edges of the leaves. The Cornus kousa ‘Greensleeves’ is a variegated variety of dogwood with bright yellow and green colors. On many varieties of dogwoods, the gray-brown bark has an unusual pattern resembling alligator skin. Initial indications include tan spotting along the upper portion of the leaves. The kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) is also known as the Japanese dogwood. Fragrant creamy-white flowers bloom in spring and summer. The small- to medium-sized dogwood tree has a rounded crown that is attractive in all seasons. It spreads quickly by underground runners, so make sure to remove them to control spread. Trees should also be sprayed once in the fall after the leaves have changed color, but before leaf drop. Dogwood leaves: Red osier dogwood leaves are dark green with paler dull green underside and are 2 – 4.7″ (5–12 cm) long. Diagnosing Problems of Flowering Dogwood; Flowering Dogwood Trees: Selection, Care, and Management of Disease Problems; Dogwood … After the large shrubs or small trees are established, you only need to water them regularly on hot summer days. The entire leaf is eventually engulfed, turns … Leaves are opposite, simple, egg-shaped, 3–5 inches long, dark green, with slightly wavy edges. Most dogwood trees produce white flowers, however it can vary from species to species. The pagoda dogwood grows between 15 and 25 ft. (4.5 – 7.6 m) tall. Flowering dogwood tree has clusters of greenish-yellow flowers surrounded by large, broad, rounded white petals which are actually bracts (modifies leaves). Dogwood bark: Evergreen dogwood tree has brown-gray bark with shallow scales. The pagoda dogwood is a large flowering multi-stemmed shrub or small tree. After the small yellow flowers finish blooming, red edible fruits appear. The masses of white flowers contrast with light green foliage to create a magnificent shade tree. Dogwood bark: Kousa dogwood tree bark is thin and smooth that peels to give the bark a distinctive mottled appearance. In the fall, the drupes mature to a bright red color. Leaves grow in an opposite arrangement on branches. The first sign of infection can often be seen on the leaves, where you might see tan spots that develop purple rims. The “berries” on dogwood trees attract birds and small mammals. The flowers consist of four bracts below the small head of yellow flowers. The flowering dogwood tree is a small- to medium-sized deciduous tree growing between 10 and 30 ft. (5 – 10 m). Flowering Dogwood Trees and Shrubs: Types, Leaves, Bark – Identification (With Pictures). One leaf occurs at each node on the limb, rather than two emerging across from one another as in the other dogwood species. Adult dogwood sawflies emerge from late May through July and lay eggs on dogwood leaves. Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ leaves and flowers. Dogwood leaves: Flowering dogwood tree leaves are oval-shaped with delicate noticeable veins. Dogwoods are generally small to medium-sized flowering trees. Additional Resources. "National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees"; Elbert Little; 2008, "Trees of North America"; C. Frank Brockman; 1996. However, for now, let’s start building your identification muscles by looking at the easiest way to identify a particular broadleaf tree: by its leaves. Of the five types of trees from the dogwood family (Cornaceae) that have large distributions through portions of the United States, the red-osier dogwood has the largest range. They also tend to grow in pairs on the stem. Leaf buds are black and look like bristles, forming on short stalks. Flowers from stiff dogwood trees give off an unpleasant smell. Leaves on this dogwood species grow in an alternate leaf arrangement. As the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on foliage between July and September. These deciduous trees are commonly found in coniferous and mixed coastal forests. The “National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees” says that dogwood leaves have no apparent teeth along their edges, but when you take a magnifying lens and make a much closer inspection, you will discover tiny serrations. The leaves grow opposite each other on the twigs on these types of dogwoods. Dogwood sawflies go through several stages of development, or instars, before they molt into adults. Notice the leaf shape and venation which help to identify this medium-sized tree. Pacific dogwood has the widest leaves of the American dogwoods, with the typical leaf in the 1.5- to 3-inch wide range, according to “Trees of North America.” Flowering dogwood is next in terms of width, with some leaves 2.5 inches wide. However, some species of dogwood have leaves that grow alternately. Left to right: Fruits of Cornus mas, C. alba ‘Sibirica’, C. kousa, and C. sanguinea). Dogwood leaves are classified as simple tree leaves that grow in an opposite arrangement on stems. Dogwood bark: ‘Wolf Eyes’ Japanese dogwood bark is scaly and exfoliating. Red osier dogwood is a common ornamental multi-stemmed shrub that provides decorative element with its red twigs in the winter. Gray dogwood typically grows 10 – 15 ft. (3 -4.5 m) tall, with similar spread. Wedding cake tree (Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’). In the meantime, however, a better option might be the Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa), which has better resistance to anthracnose and moderate resistance to powdery mildew.Unlike C. florida, Kousa dogwood "flowers" after the leaves appear, so you don't get that fairyland burst of white that's so welcome on an early spring day. Flowering dogwood is a beautiful shrub to small tree with a straggling, spreading crown. Most dogwood species have opposite leaves, while a few, such as Cornus alternifolia and C. controversa, have their leaves alternate. Dogwoods are elegant, beautiful ornamental trees with several seasonal displays. Dogwood leaves: Evergreen dogwood leaves are dull green and may turn reddish in autumn. Some dogwood berries look like bright scarlet-red grape-like fruits growing in tight clusters. As the dogwood matures, the bark becomes scaly and flaky before developing into block-like patterns. Required fields are marked *, Types of Fruit Trees With Pictures (Including Low Maintenance Self-Pollinating Varieties), Types of Redbud Trees: Eastern, Western, Chinese, and More (Pictures), Sycamore Trees: Leaves, Bark, Types - Identification Guide (Pictures), Maple Trees: Types, Leaves, Bark - Identification Guide (Pictures). The horizontally-growing branches produce clusters of creamy-white flowers and large ovate shiny green leaves. They are ovate to lanceolate, 3 – 4.7″ (8 – 12 cm) long, and arranged in opposite pairs. These dogwood leaves have a somewhat wrinkled look. Dogwood bark: Stiff dogwood tree bark is brown to gray that exfoliates to reveal interesting patterns on the straight, slender trunks. Flowering dogwood trees have a fast growth rate. Leaf scorch is a common problem in dogwood tress, and a sign that your tree is under water stress. Dogwood bark: Red twig dogwood plants have thin stems that become bright red in late fall and winter. The leaves of dogwoods possess a green upper surface, with the underneath surface of the leaves having a much paler appearance. The small-medium tree grows between 15 and 30 ft. (4.5 – 10 m) tall. Clusters of tiny white flowers bloom in spring and summer before producing dark blue drupes. Flowering dogwood trees are popular ornamental trees for residential garden landscapes. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Dogwood leaves help to make the trees popular as ornamentals because of their colors. Rough-leaf, alternate-leaf and red-osier dogwood leaves seldom exceed 2 inches in width; red-osier dogwood leaves can be as narrow as just 5/8ths of an inch. Pacific dogwood has the widest leaves of the American dogwoods, with the typical leaf in the 1.5- to 3-inch wide range, according to “Trees of North America.” Rough-leaf, alternate-leaf and red-osier dogwood leaves seldom exceed 2 inches in width; red-osier dogwood leaves can be as narrow as just 5/8ths of an inch. In spring, the Mountain dogwood is covered in white flowers, then in summer, dark green foliage, before turning spectacular orange and red color in the fall. On these, the leaves grow in an alternate manner on the twigs. Dogwood Anthracnose is caused by the fungus officially known as Discula Destructiva, and it might be helpful if I describe some of the symptoms. Let’s look in more detail at some of the best dogwood trees for growing in front or backyards. Then, see if the leaves are elongated oval shapes with smooth edges and a pointed tip. So, if you have a dogwood tree growing in your backyard and you don’t know its species, you shouldn’t consume the drupes. Kousa dogwood (C. kousa) and hybrids of kousa and native dogwood (C. florida) are resistant to anthracnose and decline and should be used to replace dying trees. Blight begins with small, brown-centered, gray spots that appear on leaf surfaces and distort leaf growth. One of the most common species, and the one about which you’ve most likely heard, is the Flowering Dogwood. Dogwood bark: Flowering dogwood tree bark is dark brown or gray, growing in square patterns surrounded by deep ridges. Missouri’s official state tree, it presents lovely boughs of white inflorescences in springtime forests. Opposite leaves (whether simple or compound) are located directly across from one another on the same stem. Wedding cake dogwood trees are smaller than the giant dogwood species tree and grow up to 25 ft. (8 m) tall. 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