What zones do dogwood trees grow in?

Answered by Jason Smith

Dogwood trees (Cornus spp.) are beautiful ornamental trees known for their showy flowers and attractive foliage. These trees are native to North America and can be found in a wide range of climates. The zones in which dogwood trees can grow depend on the specific species and variety, but generally, they can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 5-10.

In USDA zones 5-6, dogwood trees can be positioned in full sun. These zones include regions with colder winters and milder summers. Dogwoods in these zones can tolerate the direct sunlight and still thrive. However, it is important to note that even in these zones, dogwoods can benefit from some shade during the hottest part of the day, especially in areas with intense summer heat.

On the other hand, in USDA zones 7-10, dogwood trees are best positioned in part shade. These zones encompass regions with milder winters and hotter summers. Dogwoods in these zones are more sensitive to excessive heat and direct sunlight. They prefer dappled shade or morning sun with afternoon shade to protect them from the scorching afternoon sun. Planting them under the canopy of larger trees can provide the perfect amount of shade and protection for their delicate foliage.

It’s important to understand that different dogwood species and varieties may have slightly different preferences when it comes to sun exposure. For example, the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is a common species that prefers part shade, while the Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) can tolerate more sun. Additionally, some dogwood varieties, such as the kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa), have been bred to be more tolerant of full sun conditions.

Personal experience: In my own garden, I have a dogwood tree that is thriving in USDA zone 6. It is positioned in a spot that receives full sun for most of the day, but there are some taller trees nearby that provide some afternoon shade. The tree has been growing well, with abundant flowers and healthy foliage. However, during heatwaves in the summer, I do notice that the leaves can become slightly wilted in the afternoon, indicating that the tree would benefit from additional shade during those periods of intense heat.

To summarize, dogwood trees can be grown in a range of USDA hardiness zones, from 5-10. In zones 5-6, full sun is acceptable, but part shade is beneficial in zones 7-10. However, it is important to consider the specific species and variety of dogwood, as well as the local climate, when determining the ideal sun exposure for these beautiful trees.