Flowering dogwood tree versus kousa dogwood tree


When I moved to my current home, I was pleased to see the previous homeowner incorporated both a flowering dogwood tree and a kousa dogwood tree in the landscape design. I have come to enjoy one variety over the other. Can you guess which one?

Flowering dogwood

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) blooms in early spring. Often, the first sign of spring color in a wooded landscape comes from flowering dogwood. Notice in the picture above of a flowering dogwood how the branches project out horizontally from the trunk, while many other trees have diagonally upward projecting branches. The roots of flowering dog run close to the ground surface; so close that care must be taken not to nick the roots with the lawnmower. This ornamental tree grows 30 to 35 feet tall.
Birds and squirrels enjoy the tree’s red fruit, which is about the size of a kernel of corn. In the fall, the leaves of this deciduous tree turn reddish-orange.
The bark of flowering dogwood is scaly.

Kousa dogwood
 
Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa), which grows to about 20 feet tall, blooms in late spring. The branches of kousa dogwood are closer together than the flowering dogwood. Stems, or suckers, grow straight up from branches, out from the trunk and even from the roots. There are more blooms on the kousa dogwood than on the flowering dogwood.
 
The spiny red fruit of kousa dogwood is about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Once the fruit falls to the ground, it commences to decay making it a messy tree to have near a walkway. Flies are attracted to sweet fruit.
kousa dogwood with sucker stems
The bark of kousa dogwood peels in late summer. Notice in the picture above the green leaves of suckers coming from low on the trunk of this kousa dogwood. In the fall, the leaves of kousa dogwood turn dark red.

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