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An interesting yellow version of the dogwood

Driving past Hurley Park along Mahaley Drive in Salisbury, you will notice an unusual tree bursting with bright yellow blooms.

The Cornelian cherry dogwood is adaptable in our landscapes as a large shrub and can be also be trimmed into a small tree.
Photo by Darrell Blackwelder

That tree full of blooms in the park is a Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas). This is certainly not the state tree, the flowering dogwood, that we’re all accustomed to, the one with white blooms later in the spring.

This small tree has a plethora of brilliant yellow flower clusters. The blooms eventually produce small red fruit in mid-summer, attracting song birds, bees and other wildlife.

Another interesting characteristic of the tree is its unusual “flaking” bark.

The Cornelian cherry dogwood is adaptable in our landscapes as a large shrub and can be trimmed into a small tree — however, the small tree version usually grows best as a multi-stemmed small tree.

This early flowering tree does best in full sun to partial shade and adapts to most soil types in our area.

Another asset is that it is easy to transplant, with no serious insect or disease problems.

The Cornelian dogwood is blooming about 2-3 weeks earlier than normal because of our unusually warm weather over the past few weeks.

Go to http://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/all/cornus-mas/ for more detailed information about this interesting dogwood.

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