Cornus serica (Syn. C. stolonifera)
Dogwood, Red Willow
Height: 2.5 m (8 ft.)
Spread: 2 m (6.5 ft.)
Recommended Spacing: 1 m (3 ft.)
Growth Rate: moderate
Lifespan: 30 years
Red-osier dogwood tolerates a wide range of soils, performing well on moderately wet soils and surviving occasional flooding. It grows best in the open but will survive in up to 75 per cent shade. White, flat topped flower clusters appear in early June, followed by small, white or light blue, persistent fruit.
Planted as an outside row in farmyard shelterbelts, as a single row roadside shelterbelt, or in a multiple row shelterbelt, dogwood reduces soil erosion and traps snow. Dogwood is also recommended for wildlife habitat plantings; provides dense cover for small mammals and birds; is a preferred browse species of deer and rabbits, and provides summer food for robins, cedar waxwings and game birds. In riparian buffers, its shallow and extensive root system helps stabilize streambanks. The flowers are a spring pollen and nectar source for bees and other insects.
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