top of page

Dogwood Anthracnose: How to Keep Your New Dogwoods Safe from this Fungal Disease

Did you know there's a disease caused by a fungus that has been spreading among our native dogwoods since its discovery in 1978? Dogwood anthracnose has caused serious losses to flowering dogwoods found in the forest and as ornamental plantings in the Eastern and Southern United States. The fungus is more prevalent during wet springs/falls, at higher elevations (3,000+ ft)), in shaded areas (especially north-facing slopes), and in cool moist planting sites.


Signs and symptoms of Dogwood anthracnose include:

- Small tan leaf spots, often with a ring of purple, often resulting in leaf mortality

- Leaves are aborted prematurely and might cling to the stems through winter

- Evidence of fungus fruiting bodies on dead stems

- Dieback from the lower branches and progressing to the top of the tree

- Cankers and bark shedding

- Epicormic shoots - young new stems that sprout from the main stem and along main branches


Click here for more information on Dogwood anthracnose and pictures of signs/symptoms.


There's not much that can be done to treat existing Dogwoods in your landscape that are already infected with Dogwood anthracnose, but there are several measures that can be taken to prevent the disease before planting.

Be sure to choose a planting site with:

- Good air flow

- Good water drainage

- At least part-sun if not full sun conditions


An even better way to prevent Dogwood anthracnose from infecting your Dogwood tree is to purchase a hybrid or variety that is anthracnose resistant. There are several different Dogwood selections that have the typical white, spring blooms and beautiful purple fall foliage as found in our native flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida).  You can also opt for a Kousa/Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa) as this non-native species is not susceptible to the anthracnose. 

The following are currently available for purchase at Painters Greenhouse:


Flowering Dogwood ‘Super Princess’

  • Zones 5-9

  • Full sun – part shade

  • 15-20’ tall and wide

  • Extra-large white blooms appear early to mid spring before the tree’s spring flush of leaves.  Foliage turns red-purple in fall.  Red berries persist well into winter, providing visual interest and food for birds.  While this variety is not completely resistant to anthracnose, it was bred for increased resistance in comparison to the straight species.

 

Flowering Dogwood ‘Cherokee Brave’

  • Zones 5-9

  • Full sun – part shade

  • 15-30’ tall and 25-35’ wide

  • Pink-red blooms in early to mid spring before the tree’s spring flush of leaves.  Foliage turns crimson in fall.  Red berries persist well into winter, providing visual interest and food for birds.  While this variety is not completely resistant to anthracnose, it was bred for increased resistance in comparison to the straight species.

 


Dogwood hybrid ‘Stellar Pink’

  • Zones 5-9

  • Full sun – part shade

  • 20-30’ tall and 15-25’ wide – mature form is vase-shaped

  • Developed at Rutgers University and bred to be completely resistant to dogwood anthracnose and dogwood borers.  A hybrid between C. florida and C. kousa.  Large, light pink blooms are similar in appearance to native dogwoods, but bloom in mid to late May (after the native dogwoods finish blooming). Flowers are sterile and this tree will not produce fruit.  Fall foliage is red-purple.  Deer resistant.

 


Kousa Dogwood ‘Scarlet Fire’

  • Zones 5-9

  • Full sun – part shade

  • 20-25’ tall and 15-20’ wide

  • Large, 5” dark pink-fuchsia blooms last for 6-8 weeks in late May/early June – blooms appear alongside the leaves (as opposed to blooms before foliage like the native dogwoods).  New leaf is tinged with purple.  Fall foliage turns red.  Produces round, warty, red fruits edible to humans in August/September, but fruit is ignored by birds.  Fruit tastes like a cross between pumpkin and mango with a custardy texture.  Resistant to anthracnose, deer resistant, drought tolerant once established.

 


Kousa Dogwood ‘Greensleeves’

  • Zones 4-8

  • Full sun – part shade

  • 15-20’ tall and wide

  • Large white star shaped blooms emerge green in early summer alongside foliage and fade to a creamy white.  Mature form is vase-shaped.  Produces red fruits edible to humans in August/September, but fruit is ignored by birds.  Fruits taste like a cross between pumpkin and mango with a custardy texture.  Resistant to anthracnose, deer resistant, drought tolerant once established.

187 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

コメント


bottom of page