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Flowering dogwood is a small tree, up to 30 ft in height and 35 ft across, but the typical size is more like 15 ft tall and 15-20 ft across. It has a short trunk and a full, rounded crown with horizontal branches often in layered tiers, spreading wider than its height. The bark on mature trees is broken up into small square blocks. Flowering dogwood has opposite, deciduous midgreen leaves, 3-6 in long, which turn red and purple in autumn. Flowering dogwood blooms in the spring, as its new leaves are unfolding, and usually remains showy for 2-3 weeks. The inflorescence consists of four showy petal-like bracts, usually snow white or pink, surrounding a cluster of tiny inconspicuous yellowish flowers. The bracts are 1-2 in long and obovate in shape, usually with a cleft at the tip. Clusters of bright red football shaped fruits, about a half inch long, follow the flowers and often persist into winter.
Flowering dogwood is one of the most popular ornamental specimen trees in eastern North America. Use dogwood as a framing tree or as a background tree. They are excellent beneath large oaks or pines. Dogwoods are among the earliest springtime bloomers.
Natural germination of flowering dogwood usually occurs in the spring following seedfall, but some seeds do not germinate until the second spring. Germination is epigeal. Stratification of freshly collected seed at 41� F for periods up to 120 days is recommended for overcoming embryo dormancy . After stratification sow in spring (surface) in a light shady spot. Can be transpalnted well, once seedling is a few inch tall.