Learn Why You Should Plant a Dogwood Tree in Your Garden
Dogwood has many useful qualities. This unusual ornamental plant not only looks fantastic in your garden but might also contribute to improving your health. Certain species of dogwood bear quite a tasty fruit of beneficial properties. Learn why you should consider planting a dogwood tree in your garden and how to use it in the kitchen.
What is a dogwood tree?
Dogwood is a name of over 40 species of plants belonging to Cornus family. One of the popular types (esp. in central and southern Europe) of this plant is called cornelian cherry (Cornus mas L.), a tree that can reach even 10 meters of height. It is mostly cultivated in Europe and Asia. Certain species of dogwood can be planted in gardens, others grow only in woods. Cornus mas is valued for its sweet-and-sour fruit, rich in polyphenols and vitamin C. Bark of dogwood trees has anti-septic qualities.
What makes cornelian cherry different from other shrubs, is the fact that it is easy to grow, and it has many uses. Cornelian cherry dogwood is not only a beautiful ornamental tree, but it is also beneficial for human health. What’s more, it’s a plant of little requirements – therefore it’s perfect for anyone too busy to take care of their garden.
What types of dogwood trees are best to grow in the garden?
As already mentioned, cornelian cherry, also known by its scientific name as Cornus mas is a popular species, commonly grown in gardens in south and central Europe, as well as in western Asia. The plant owes its popularity to its many qualities, that can be used in the garden and beyond. A characteristic feature of a cornelian cherry dogwood are its small, red, round-shaped fruits. Their red shade can enliven the garden in summer and in winter.
There are many types of dogwood trees, including also ornamental plants which might be beautiful decorations in a garden. The most popular and interesting species are Siberian dogwood (Cornus alba) – which can grow up to 3 meters tall, Japanese dogwood (kousa dogwood) with its original shape, or very tall Himalayan flowering dogwood, resistant to low temperatures and difficult conditions.
How to plant a cornelian cherry dogwood tree?
If you’re wondering how to plant a dogwood tree in your garden, just buy a seedling in a garden shop. Before planting it, make sure to trim all shoots growing right above the ground and any roots that are too long – by 1/3 of their length. A dogwood tree typically reaches up to 6-8 meters of height, forming either a tree or a large bush. For this reason you should provide the plant enough space for growing.
Wondering how fast do dogwood trees grow? The growth rate is quite slow during the first 2 years. The first results become noticeable approximately 3 years after planting the seedling.
Cornelian cherry tree – how to take care for it?
Cornus mas is quite easy to cultivate. Nevertheless, you should follow certain rules to allow the tree for a proper growth and make it a real decoration in your garden.
Two of the major issues are the placement of the dogwood tree and its growth in the right type of soil. A dogwood tree should grow either in full sun or in half shade. The best type of soil for this type of plant is calcareous or slightly acidic and damp ground. A cornelian cherry doesn’t tolerate standing water. For this reason avoid planting it in impermeable grounds.
If you want a cornelian cherry to grow well and healthily, take a good care of it. Two most important aspects of it are regular watering and fertilizing. Although a dogwood tree is quite resistant to droughts, they influence fruition process. Make sure to water the plant regularly and provide all the nutrients it needs. The plant is not very demanding. All you have to do is fertilize the dogwood tree once a year at the beginning of spring, for the proper growth and nourishment.
A cornelian cherry does not need trimming. Any mechanical damage of the plant negatively affects its fruition.
How to use cornus mas in the kitchen? Cornelian cherry fruit properties
A dogwood tree is not only a magnificent decoration in your garden. Its edible species might become real celebrities of every kitchen. Learn several practical uses of a cornelian cherry fruit.
What are the benefits of cornelian cherry fruits?
Cornelian cherry fruits are a good source of many vitamins and minerals, therefore they have health-promoting, or even healing properties. Eating cornelian cherry fruits influences:
- Immunity – a dogwood tree contains high doses of the vitamin C, which can be found in the fruit. For this reason it can be used as a natural remedy for infections and common cold.
- Cancer prevention – because cornelian cherry fruits are the source of flavonoids which combat toxins in the organism, they might be used as a cancer prevention tool. Cornelian cherry fruits are great for reducing oxidative stress.
- Stomach issues – a dogwood tree is also a perfect natural remedy for diarrheas and gripes. It is caused by the high content of tannins in the fruit, substances of binding properties. However, if you suffer from stomach ulcer, you should avoid eating the fruits.
- Urinary tract conditions – cornelian cherry fruit in liquid form (e.g. as juice) has diuretic properties. Moreover, the vitamin C contained within is an anti-inflammatory agent. For this reason you may drink cornelian cherry fruit juice or tea as a remedy for bladder problems.
- Anaemia – due to high levels of iron, cornelian cherry fruit is a good preventive agent against anaemia. It’s also good for treating eating disorders caused by anaemia.
Cornelian cherry liqueur for cold… and more!
A cornelian cherry liqueur is a natural remedy for common cold due to the high content of vitamin C in the fruits. The liqueur treats infections that cause fever. Nevertheless, you should be cautious with this form of treatment and learn all about it – before you even decide to prepare the drink.
The liqueur’s value lies not only in its health benefits, but also in the taste. You can consume it either as is, or as an addition to other drinks. It tastes very good with tea.
To prepare a cornelian cherry liqueur, mix one kilogram of fruits with 5 tablespoons of dried blueberries and pour a lot of spirit. Place the jar with the liqueur in a warm spot and shake it every 2-3 days. After 5 weeks separate the spirit from the fruits and put it into the fridge. Then pour sugar over the fruits and wait until it dissolves completely.
Mix the syrup from sugar and fruits with the spirit, which will begin the clarification process. The last step is filtering the cornelian cherry liqueur by pouring it through a piece of fabric (e.g. a gauze). You can store the liqueur in a cold place even for several years. Remember that such homemade liqueur is for personal use only.
If you like homemade beverages, you can also try to make homemade wine.
How to make tasty cornelian cherry preserves?
Cornelian cherry jam is a perfect bread spread and dessert topping. It has a delicious sweet-and-sour taste that adds a character to meals. What’s more, its rich nutritional values make the cornelian cherry jam not only a tasty but also a healthy food.
Cornelian cherry reserves as well as fresh fruits are harmful for anyone suffering from stomach ulcer.
To prepare cornelian cherry jam, first rinse, peel and pit the fruits. Then prepare a syrup by boiling water and sugar in the proportion 0.5 liter of water and 2 kilograms of sugar. Pour the fruits into the syrup and leave them to soak for 24 hours. Then bring them to boil using medium heat. Pour the hot cornelian cherry jam into jars and close them tightly.
Cornelian cherry is long-known to natural medicine. It can be used both for healing and in the kitchen, therefore it’s a plant that is often cultivated in many parts of the world.
If you want a beautiful garden with more than just one shrubs species, choose also a yucca or pampas grass.
📍 When to plant dogwood trees?
Dogwood tree seedlings can be planted during the whole season, although the best time to do it is spring or fall. Make sure to plant the seedling in the right type of soil – calcareous or slightly acidic. Dogwood trees need a lot of space to grow, as they reach up to 5-10 meters.
📍 When do dogwood trees bloom?
Depending on the weather conditions, a dogwood tree blooms from February to April in moderate climates. One bud develops 15-20 little flowers. They are frost resistant.
📍 How to trim dogwood tree?
Although dogwood trees rarely require pruning, if needed, do it in late autumn or in winter. Use a pruning saw or shears and cut right at the base of the branch. Do not cut in the collar area, as it may lead to an infection.
📍 How big does a dogwood tree get?
Depending on the particular species, dogwood trees can reach up to 10 meters of height. The seedlings grow slow during the first 2 years. The changes become significant in the third year.
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