Dogwood: how to choose the right variety and care for the crop


Cornel is appreciated by gardeners not only as an ornamental, but also as an unpretentious, abundantly fruiting shrub. Its sweet and sour berries are very healthy. In central Russia, it is still not widespread, but the situation is changing, since breeders have already bred a lot of varieties with increased frost resistance.

Description of the plant

Cornel is a genus of shrubs and low-growing trees from the Cornel family. In nature, the culture is widespread in the south and east of Europe, in the Caucasus, in the Crimea, in Asia Minor, it is also found in China, Japan, South Africa, America.

The plant owes its name to the bright scarlet color of the berries - translated from Turkic, dogwood means red. This shade is due to its high content of anthocyanins, which are extremely beneficial to health.

In Russia, dogwood is distributed mainly in the Crimea, the Black Sea region, in the Caucasus

The productive life of a plant extends over 150–250 years. During this time, the dogwood shrub grows up to 3 m in height, and the tree - up to 5–8 m. The first harvest can be expected 10–12 years after the seedling is planted in the ground. Before this age, the shoots differ in growth rate, adding 45-50 cm per season, then it drops sharply, to 8-10 cm per year. After the first fruiting, the dogwood yields a crop regularly, for a start, you can count on 12-15 kg of berries from the bush.

Dogwood fruit takes several months to ripen.

The bark on young branches is green with a yellowish tint; as it matures, the shade changes to gray, sometimes with an olive or reddish undertone. The shoots are thin enough, drooping. Leaves in the form of an elongated oval, with a sharply pointed tip, are located opposite each other. The front side of the front plate is darker than the wrong side, glossy shines.

In the south, dogwood blooms at the end of March or in the first half of April. The buds open earlier than the leaves. Small bright yellow or creamy white flowers are collected in inflorescences in the form of an umbrella or shield with a diameter of 5-6 cm. Depending on the variety, flowering lasts from 15-20 to 60-70 days.

Depending on the variety, the flowering of dogwood lasts from 15 to 70 days.

Dogwood (drupe) fruits ripen for a long time. Usually the crop is harvested in September or in the first half of October. In most natural varieties, the berries are colored deep scarlet or red-orange. Occasionally there are white, yellow, pinkish, purple, almost black. The average length of an oval or pear-shaped fruit is 2–4 cm, weight is 3–6 g. Sweet and sour pulp is very juicy, with a refreshing taste, slightly tart and astringent.

Dogwood does not suffer from autumn frosts. On the contrary, frozen berries only improve their taste.

Most often, the fruits of the dogwood are red, but there are other shades.

Berries are versatile. In addition to fresh consumption, dogwood is dried, frozen, dried, used to prepare sauces for meat dishes, homemade wines, liqueurs and liqueurs, as well as jams and compotes.

Any homemade dogwood products are very tasty and fragrant.

Dogwood is a good honey plant, but at the time when it blooms, it is still quite cold. No particular activity of pollinating insects is observed. Therefore, the culture is considered self-fertile. If the dogwood is planted with the expectation of a future harvest, it is advisable to have at least three varieties of it with similar flowering periods.

Common varieties and varieties

Recently, dogwood has been popular with breeders. They mainly breed decorative varieties that are widely used in landscape design.

Cornel ordinary

The most common type, including in Russia. The average height of the shrub is 2–2.5 m. The flowers are greenish-yellow, the fruits are bright scarlet, elongated. Differs in unpretentiousness, can grow without leaving at all.

Its most popular varieties:

  • Pyramidalis. Shrub up to 4 m high with a pyramidal crown;
  • Nana. A dwarf variety with a height of no more than 1 m, the crown, even without pruning, turns into an almost regular ball;
  • Variegata. Bright green leaves with a wide lettuce or white stripe along the edge;
  • Aurea. Very ornate golden yellow leaves;
  • Aurea Variegata. On the main green background of the leaf plate, golden spots and stripes stand out.

Photo gallery: selection varieties of common dogwood

Dogwood white

It grows mainly in the Far East, China, Japan. The average height of the shrub is up to 3 m, the shoots are thin, drooping. The bark is brick-colored. Young branches cast a silvery gray in the sun. The surface of the leaf is slightly wrinkled. The flowers are white, the buds open in early summer and September, simultaneously with fruiting. The berries are milky white, almost round.

Its varieties:

  • Elegantissima. Differs in high frost resistance. Crimson shoots, dark green leaves are streaked with cream strokes, stripes, a blurred border is characteristic;
  • Siberica Aurea. The height of the bush is no more than 1.5–2 m, the leaves are pale yellow, the shoots are bloody scarlet, the fruits are white, with a bluish tint;
  • Siberica Variegata. Shrub up to 2 m high, coral-colored shoots. The leaves are dark green with a wide white border. In autumn, they change color to purple, but the shade of the border remains unchanged. It does not differ in growth rate, rarely bears fruit.

Photo gallery: varieties of white dogwood

Dogwood blood red

Shrub about 4 m high, intensively branching. The leaves are ovoid, almost round, in autumn they are painted in all shades of scarlet, crimson, crimson, purple. The inside is densely pubescent. The flowers are small, greenish-white. The fruits are purple-black.

Breeding varieties:

  • Vertissima (greenest). The bark, leaves and berries are bright green;
  • Variegata. The leaves are dark green with milky white or salad spots. Green young shoots gradually change color to crimson. The fruits are almost black;
  • Mitchii (Mitch). Leaves are dark green with a reddish undertone.

Photo gallery: selection hybrids of blood-red dogwood

Flowering dogwood

His homeland is North America. The short tree has a very thick, spreading crown. In autumn, the leaves fall off, having had time to change color from green to purple.

On its basis, breeders have derived:

  • Cherokee Chief. The tree is 4–5 m high, flowers of a very unusual scarlet shade;
  • Rubra. The leaves on the same plant are colored in various shades of pink, from pale pastel to crimson.

Photo gallery: flowering dogwood and its varieties

Dogwood scion

Also found in North America. Moisture-loving, grows mainly on the banks of rivers. A characteristic feature is the presence of a large amount of root growth. The height of the bush is up to 2.5 m. Shoots are brick or coral in color, the flowers are milky white, the berries are cast blue.

Decorative varieties:

  • White Gold. Leaves are bright green, with a wide milky-white border;
  • Flaviramea. Differs in growth rate, the crown is almost spherical. Yellowish shoots turn green in summer. In autumn, the leaves (but not all) are cast red;
  • Kelsey. The height of the bush is not more than 1 m, the diameter is about 1.5 m. The bark is green with a reddish tint. In autumn, the leaves stay on the plant for a very long time, changing color to coral or dark scarlet.

Photo gallery: varieties of offspring dogwood

Dogwood Coase

In nature, it is found exclusively in Japan and China. Shrub height - 7-9 m. Differs in decorative flowering. In autumn, the leaves turn crimson.

Popular varieties:

  • Gold Star. The height of the bush is 5–6 m, the leaf plates are bright green with a yellow spot at the central vein;
  • Milky Way. The bush is more than 7 m high, the flowers are large, with snow-white petals.

Photo gallery: Coase's dogwood and its varieties

Other varieties

Among gardeners, not only decorative, but also plentifully fruiting varieties of dogwood are popular. The most common in Russia are those that are bred by domestic breeders:

  1. Vavilovets. One of the earliest, the berries are harvested in the 15th of August. Fruits weighing 6-8 g, pear-shaped. The skin is dark scarlet, from a distance it seems black. The pulp is blood-red, it turns pink closer to the stone.
  2. Grenadier. Differs in stability and abundance of fruiting. The harvest ripens in early August. Fruits in the form of a cylinder, weighing 5-6 g. The skin is shiny, bright scarlet.
  3. Eugene. The variety is of medium ripening, the crop is harvested in the last decade of August or early September. Even perfectly ripe berries do not fall off the bush. Fruits are aligned, elliptical, slightly tapering at the stalk.
  4. Elena. A variety from the early category, characterized by high frost resistance (up to -35 ° C). The fruits are oval, regular in shape. The berries do not fall off, even when they are fully ripe. The average weight of the fruit is 5 g, the skin is dark scarlet (the black undertone characteristic of many other varieties is absent). The pulp is sweet, with a slight sourness. The variety is fruitful (40–45 kg per bush) and fast-growing (it bears the first fruits 3 years after planting).
  5. Kostya. Late maturing dogwood, ripening in late September or October. Berries do not fall off the tree. The average fruit weight is 5.5–6 g, the skin is black-red.
  6. Coral. Depending on the weather, in summer, the harvest is harvested from the last decade of August to mid-September. The fruits are small enough, weighing 3-4 g, but the taste for dogwood is very atypical - sweet, extremely similar to sweet cherries. Ripe fruits quickly crumble. There is a variety of Coral Mark - fruits weighing 5-6 g, similar in shape to cherry plum.
  7. Vladimirsky. Ripens in the last decade of August. Differs in high yield (50–55 kg per adult bush) and large size of berries (8–10 g). Even when ripe, they do not crumble. Resistant to drought, heat, disease. Fruits are cylindrical, slightly flattened.
  8. Lukyanovsky. Fruiting occurs at the very end of August. Berries in the form of a bottle, one-dimensional. Average weight 6–7 g. The skin is glossy, very dark scarlet.
  9. Tender. The berries ripen in mid-August, annually. Fruits are pear-shaped, bright yellow in color. Ripe berries shine through in the sun, the stone is clearly visible. The pulp is very tender, sweet and aromatic. Berry weight - 6–7 g. Average yield - 30–35 kg.
  10. Glowworm. Bottle-shaped fruits weighing more than 7.5 g. Ripen in early September. The skin is dark scarlet, the flesh is even darker, cherry. The berries are very juicy. 50-60 kg of fruits are removed from an adult bush. The variety is resistant to drought, frost, disease.
  11. Semyon. Late ripening variety. The creators are positioned as self-fertile, but practice shows that this is not entirely true. The crop is harvested in late September or early October. Cherry peel, pear-shaped fruit weight - 6–7 g. Frost resistance is not too high, up to -20 ° C.
  12. Exotic. A variety of medium ripening. Berries weigh 7–7.5 g, elongated bottle shape. Dark cherry skin. Ripe fruits do not crumble.
  13. Alyosha. A variety with high winter hardiness and immunity. The berries are pear-shaped, weighing 3-4 g. The skin is thin, sunny yellow. The harvest ripens in the last decade of August.
  14. Nikolka. Very productive early variety. Fruits are slightly flattened; as they ripen, they quickly crumble. The taste is pleasant, sweet and sour. The pulp is not too firm, but very juicy. Cherry peel. Productivity - 30–35 kg.
  15. Elegant. An early variety with high immunity. The berries ripen in early August, sometimes even at the end of July. The weather conditions have little effect on the yield. The fruits are elongated, symmetrical, bottle-shaped. The skin is almost black, the average weight is 4–6 g. The yield is up to 45 kg. Ripe berries not picked in time seem to wither and do not crumble until frost.

Photo gallery: dogwood varieties popular with Russian gardeners

Planting procedure and preparation for it

The shrub is unpretentious to the quality of the soil. The only thing that he categorically does not tolerate is soil acidification. Therefore, dogwood is not planted in lowlands and where groundwater approaches the surface of the earth closer than 1.5 m.It will bring the maximum possible yields when planted in a light, but nutritious substrate that allows air and water to pass through well.

Initially, dogwood is a southern plant, it tolerates direct sunlight well, but adapts to the shade. However, the best option for him is light partial shade. If there is not enough light, the palatability of the fruit deteriorates, the yield drops, the decorative pattern of variegated varieties fades and is erased. You can place a shrub on a slope - in nature it often grows this way. It is advisable to choose a place immediately and forever, the plant does not tolerate a transplant too well.

Dogwood brings the maximum possible yields, being planted in an open place and provided with sufficient area for food

Dogwood is a long-liver. This must be taken into account when choosing a place for planting, placing it at least 3-5 m from other fruit trees, shrubs, buildings. When planting several bushes at the same time for cross-pollination, they are placed a maximum of 5 m from each other.

Selection of seedlings

Two-year-old seedlings take root best of all. The presence of 3–6 skeletal shoots is required. The thickness of the trunk should be about 1.5 cm, the height should be at least 120 cm, the root system should be developed, with several roots from 30 cm in length. The bark should be smooth, without cracks, creases and sagging. The presence of flower buds is desirable. They can be distinguished from leafy ones by their larger size and rounded shape.

It is advisable to purchase dogwood seedlings from a trusted nursery or from trustworthy private producers.

Planting pit

The dogwood planting pit is prepared approximately 1–1.5 months before the procedure. Its depth should be 75–80 cm, diameter - about 1 m. At the bottom, a drainage layer about 10 cm thick is desirable. The top layer of fertile soil extracted from the pit is mixed with humus (20–30 l), as well as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus fertilizers. You can, for example, take urea (50-60 g), potassium sulfate (70-80 g) and simple superphosphate (150-180 g).

If the soil is acidic, sifted wood ash, dolomite flour, fluff lime (200-500 g) are added to bring the acid-base balance to neutral.

Drainage material is poured at the bottom of the planting pit for dogwood - the plant does not tolerate stagnation of moisture

When planting, the root collar of the dogwood must be buried 3-4 cm in the ground, at the end of the procedure, water the seedling abundantly (25-30 liters of water), mulch the soil in the near-trunk circle and cut off the existing shoots, shortening them by about a third.

How the plant reproduces

Amateur gardeners use mainly vegetative methods to propagate dogwood. But you can try to grow a shrub from a bone. True, in this case there is no guarantee of the preservation of the varietal characteristics of the parent.

Rooting layers

The shoots of the dogwood are quite thin, drooping, so bending them to the ground is not difficult. They can be laid in pre-dug shallow trenches or fixed with wooden studs, pieces of wire. The branch is covered with a layer of humus 5–7 cm thick, leaving only the top on the surface. Throughout the growing season, abundant watering is required. By the fall, 6–8 seedlings should appear. After a year, they are carefully separated from the mother plant and transplanted to a new location.

If you cover with earth not the entire shoot, but only its middle, you will get only one new bush, but powerful and developed.

Rooting of cuttings is used by gardeners for propagation of dogwood most often

Cuttings

As cuttings, only non-lignified shoot tops, cut from absolutely healthy bushes at the age of 5-6 years and older, are used. The length of the cuttings is 12–15 cm; at least two pairs of leaves are required. The planting material is cut at an angle of 40–45º. This can be done throughout the summer.

The resulting cuttings are immediately placed in water at room temperature for a day or a solution of any biostimulant (Epin, Kornevin, succinic acid, aloe juice). The lower leaves, if they are immersed in water, are cut off.

Cornel is rooted in sphagnum moss or in a mixture of peat with coarse river sand, perlite, vermiculite. Cuttings are planted at an angle - this stimulates the development of adventitious roots. They are then covered with bags or cut-off bottles (they should not touch the stem), creating a greenhouse. Optimal conditions for rooting are a temperature of about 25 ° C, a constantly moderately moist substrate, a day of light lasting at least 10 hours, and no direct sunlight.

In cuttings planted at an angle, the root system develops more actively

After 2-3 weeks, you can start removing the greenhouse. The time spent without protection is gradually extended from 1–2 to 14–16 hours. After 15–20 days, the shelter can be removed completely.

During the year, the cuttings are kept at home, monthly watered with a solution of nitrogen-containing fertilizer (3-5 g / l). The next fall, the dogwood can be planted in the ground.

Budding

The method requires a certain experience from the gardener. In fact, budding is the same grafting, but in this case, not a whole branch is used, but one growth bud. The stock is wild dogwood species. The probability of success of the procedure, if done correctly, is 85–90%. It is carried out from mid-summer to early autumn.

An X- or T-shaped incision with a depth of no more than 5 mm is made in the bark of the stock with a scalpel or razor blade. The bark is carefully folded back. A growth bud is cut from the scion together with a shield from the surrounding tissues 2-3 mm thick and 3-4 cm in diameter.

The most important thing in the budding process is to touch the growth bud as little as possible.

A shield with a kidney is inserted into the incision in the rootstock, the entire structure is securely fixed by wrapping it with adhesive plaster, tape or special eyepiece tape. The kidney remains open. She should wake up in about a month. If this happens, all shoots above the grafting site are removed.

Growing a bush from a bone

Growing dogwood generatively takes a long time. Such bushes bear fruit no earlier than 8-10 years after planting in a permanent place. However, the method is often used to grow wild dogwood seedlings, which will then be used as a rootstock. Practice shows: seeds taken from freshly picked slightly unripe berries sprout faster.

Dogwood seeds are thoroughly cleaned of pulp in order to avoid the development of rot

The seeds extracted from the drupes (thoroughly cleaned of pulp and dried) are kept in moist moss or sawdust at a temperature of 5–6 ° C for a year. This is necessary, otherwise the germination rate will be no more than 30%, and the appearance of seedlings will have to wait about two years.

Before planting, the seeds are dipped in a 2% solution of sulfuric acid or slaked lime for 3 days, changing it daily. Then they are planted in any universal soil for seedlings or in a mixture of peat and sand, deepening 3-5 cm. Conditions are similar to those for rooting cuttings.

The seedlings do not differ in growth rate. In the first year, they stretch up to 4–5 cm, in the second - up to 12–15 cm. Such plants can already be transferred to open ground.

By dividing the bush

By dividing the bush, only dogwood bushes over 10 years old are propagated, combining the procedure with a transplant. You can get 3-4 new plants from one bush. The roots are untangled if possible, where this is not possible, cut with a sharpened sterile knife. The wounds are sprinkled with crushed chalk, sifted wood ash. Before planting in a new place, dry roots are cut off completely, the remaining ones are shortened by 3-5 cm.

Root shoots

Dogwood readily forms root growth. It is enough to separate it from the mother plant and transplant it to a new place. The method is not suitable for grafted bushes, because in this case the shoots will form a wild stock.

Many dogwood varieties readily form root growth.

Important nuances of care

Dogwood, if you give it very little time and effort, will thank the gardener with annual and bountiful harvests. Care consists of watering, fertilizing and occasional pruning.

Watering

The dogwood root system is superficial, so it may well do with natural precipitation. But with extreme heat and prolonged drought, watering is still needed, especially during the ripening of the fruits. Enough once a week. The norm for an adult plant is 30–40 liters.

A clear sign that the plant does not have enough moisture are leaves curling up along the central vein.

Too much watering is almost the only way to surely ruin the shrub. Cornelian cherry does not tolerate moisture stagnation at the roots.

Water is poured not at the root, but into the ring grooves or furrows between the bushes. If technically feasible, it is advisable to organize drip irrigation. Sprinkling for dogwood is not a suitable option. Each time after the procedure, the soil in the near-stem circle is loosened to a depth of 7–10 cm.

A plant needs moisture-charging watering to properly prepare for winter. You can refuse it if the autumn is very rainy and cold. An adult bush consumes 70–80 liters of water. It is carried out approximately 2 weeks after the end of fruiting.

Fertilization

Cornel survives and bears fruit without additional fertilizing at all, but fertilization has a positive effect on productivity and decorativeness. The plant responds with gratitude to both organic and mineral compounds.

  1. In the spring, for intensive growth of the green mass, the dogwood needs nitrogen. At the end of April, it is watered with a solution of urea, potassium sulfate, ammonium nitrate (15 g per 10 l).
  2. Once every 2-3 years, simultaneously with the spring loosening of the soil, 2-3 buckets of humus or rotted manure are distributed in the trunk circle.
  3. Phosphorus and potassium are important for fruit ripening. In July and August, dogwood is watered with superphosphate and potassium sulfate diluted in water (20-25 g per 10 liters). The natural source of these macronutrients is wood ash, from which an infusion is prepared.

The yield of dogwood is increased if it is planted in a substrate enriched with calcium. Therefore, it is recommended to sprinkle dolomite flour, slaked lime, powdered eggshells every 2-3 years under the bush.

Dolomite flour is a natural soil deoxidizer, at the same time enriching the soil with calcium

Pruning

The dogwood does not need formative pruning. The only exception is landscape design, when an unnatural fantasy configuration is given to the shrub. The plant naturally has a crown of the correct beautiful shape and is able to maintain it without outside help.

Dogwood bushes can be given an unusual shape, but they look pretty enough without it

In this case, do not forget about sanitary pruning. It is carried out annually, in early spring, before the buds wake up. In the process, they get rid of all the branches that are frozen, dry, broken under the weight of the snow. They also remove thin shoots that grow down and into the crown, weak, curved, clearly violating the correct configuration.

For trimming, only sharpened and disinfected scissors, knives, pruners are used. If the cut diameter exceeds 0.5 cm, it is washed with a 2% solution of copper sulfate and covered with garden varnish.

The trimming tool must be clean and sharpened

Every 10-15 years, they carry out a radical rejuvenating pruning, getting rid of all branches at the age of 10 years and older. If there are too many of them, the procedure can be extended for 2-3 seasons. It tolerates dogwood well, fully recovering already the next year.

On the grafted dogwood, all the shoots below the rootstock must be removed. Otherwise, the bush will run wild again.

Video: how to properly trim the dogwood

Typical diseases and pests

Dogwood rarely suffers from diseases and pests. This applies to both natural varieties and breeding hybrids. If summer is very cold and rainy, rust can develop.

The disease is easily recognized by the fleecy patches of bright saffron color appearing on the inside of the leaves. Gradually, they thicken, change their shade to copper or rusty. For prophylaxis, dogwood is sprayed in early spring with a 1% solution of Bordeaux liquid or copper sulfate. Having found characteristic symptoms, any fungicide is used (Skor, Horus, Kuprozan, Abiga-Peak). Usually 2-3 treatments are enough with an interval of 7-10 days.

To combat rust, as with many other pathogenic fungi, copper-containing preparations are used

Of the pests, dogwoods can occasionally infect worms. Insect colonies on a bush can be mistaken for scattered flour. The affected parts of the plant turn yellow, dry and fall off, the shoots are deformed, the bush practically stops growing. For prophylaxis, dogwood is powdered with sifted wood ash, crushed chalk, colloidal sulfur, tobacco crumbs every 12-15 days. Having found pests, they use Mospilan, Konfidor-Maxi.

Worms feed on plant sap

Features of cultivation of dogwood in different regions of Russia

Due to the large varietal variety of dogwood, this shrub can be grown in many regions of Russia, taking into account the following factors:

  1. Dogwood fruits ripen for quite a long time, therefore, for the northern regions of Russia, as well as its middle zone, varieties with early ripening should be chosen (Vavilovets, Elena, Elegant).
  2. The optimal time for planting dogwood in the southern regions is around mid-October (2-3 weeks before the onset of frost). In the northern regions, the event should be organized earlier. Dogwood is rarely planted in spring. This is due to the fact that the vegetative period in a plant begins early; in most regions, the soil by this time simply does not have time to warm up enough.
  3. Bushes grown in regions with a subtropical climate do not need special shelter for the winter. The exception is young seedlings under the age of 5 years. It is better for them to mulch the roots, creating a layer of peat or humus about 15 cm thick at the base of the bush. In regions with a temperate climate, winter can be both quite warm and abnormally frosty, with little snow. To avoid freezing, young bushes are covered with cardboard boxes of suitable size, stuffed with straw, shavings, sawdust. For adult plants, branches are tied in several pieces and the bush is wrapped in several layers of any covering material that allows air to pass through. As soon as enough snow falls, a high snowdrift is raked up. During the winter, it is refurbished several times, as the snow settles. For the northern regions, it is worth choosing frost-resistant varieties of dogwood (Elena, Svetlyachok, Alyosha).

Gardeners reviews

Cornel is an unpretentious plant with very useful fruits. It is also widely used in landscape design. On the basis of an initially heat-loving culture, breeders have obtained frost-resistant varieties, which makes it possible to grow dogwood and harvest in most of Russia. Also, its undoubted advantages include high immunity to most diseases typical for horticultural crops and the absence of problems with reproduction.

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