Pagoda dogwoods

A ‘Golden Showers’ Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia ‘Golden Showers’, below) is off to a good start despite its miniscule size upon delivery and extreme heat that set in shortly after it was planted. Certainly, I do not have the patience for a tree this small, but the yellow, variegated leaf dogwood is jammed into a space where the mass of a larger tree or shrub is not necessary, so the five year wait for it to develop might not seem an eternity.

The ‘Golden Showers’ was delivered on a hot day while I was traveling, but my wife dutifully unpacked and watered the dogwood and other new arrivals. She informed that none were looking good, so I was relieved a few days later to see no more than superficial damage.  Of course, there is little sense in ordering plants for cross country shipment in the heat of late June. Yes, this was considered, but sometimes an itch must be scratched.

The tiered branching of two larger, green leafed Pagoda dogwoods (above) planted weeks earlier is well suited to corners that demanded taller plantings, but with space below for long established hellebores and Japanese Forest grass. Both dogwoods were planted much too close to pathways, so the plan will be to remove lower branches as these veer over the stone paths. The tiered branching of Pagoda dogwoods should be ideal for selective pruning while maintaining a natural appearance.

The branching and path conflict has been successfully addressed several times over the years, and eventually the effect is quite nice to walk under branches. I must convince my wife to be patient with the few branches that stray over the path, but both dogwoods are in areas she doesn’t travel regularly so it might not become much of an issue.

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