Dogwood is good and harmful to humans. Simple instructions for growing and caring at home (110 photos)
It is very difficult to confuse the sweet and sour taste and aroma of dogwood jam with other cooked sweets from homemade fruits. This jam is familiar to us since childhood. Mothers and grandmothers always brought a small bucket of berries from the Caucasus, Crimea or Kuban to cook fragrant jelly or jam, dry for compote or eat small tart fruits of the tree in fresh form.
However, modern varieties of dogwood successfully grow not only in the south, but also in areas located much to the north of warm regions. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to this not only useful, but also decorative tree.
Dogwood is a low and spreading tree or shrub that gives healthy and delicious berries with a small stone (photo of dogwood). The cultivation of the culture began more than 5 thousand years ago. Dogwood in translation from the Turkic dialect means "red", however, modern hybrid varieties produce orange, yellow, purple and even black fruits. Dogwood is a long-lived. Many trees yield excellent crops even after 100 years.
In the gardens of the Caucasus, trees reach up to 8 m in height, in the Crimean steppes plants are shorter — they are about 3 m in height. Young dogwood twigs are green, sometimes with a yellowish tinge. Later they acquire a brown or brown color.
What does dogwood look like? In early spring, this is the most beautiful and elegant tree in the garden. Flowering lasts about 2 weeks. Yellow, white or pink lush inflorescences resemble sun caps and look very impressive against the background of other unopened trees.
The flowering of dogwood begins earlier than the opening of the leaves — the petals of the inflorescences crumble at the beginning of their appearance. Dogwood buds, which bear fruit, have a spherical shape of yellow, leaf buds are elongated and green.
Dogwood is a frost-resistant tree and calmly tolerates 30-degree frosts. Dogwood leaves fall late, depending on weather conditions, it can begin from the first days of November.
Planting and caring for dogwood
Dogwood bears fruit annually. The yield of dogwood depends on many factors: starting from the variety, planting site and age, and ending with the presence of another dogwood in the neighborhood. Since the tree belongs to cross-pollinating plants, it is necessary to provide a varietal tree with a neighborhood of wild dogwood, which also bears fruit, or a dogwood of another variety.
Where is it better to plant dogwood? The tree prefers sunny areas with a small penumbra. The intense heat throughout the day depresses him.
As for the soil, dogwood can grow on any soil, but prefers calcareous soil with a sufficient level of manganese. Unsuitable soil for planting is soil with stagnant groundwater or a dense clay layer of earth.
2 and 3 summer plants can be used for planting. It is important that the selected seedlings have at least 3 formed lateral shoots.
Transplanting is normally tolerated by older trees, but with the only condition: before digging, the seedling must be pruned. Such trees begin to bear fruit in a year. You can plant dogwood in early spring or autumn 2-3 weeks before the onset of persistent frosts.
Approximately 7-9 days before planting a seedling, a planting pit should be prepared for it. It is desirable to lay organic and mineral fertilizers in it. To do this, we recommend using the following components:
- about 1 bucket of humus;
- 60-70 g of ammonium nitrate;
- 250 each of superphosphate and wood ash;
- part of the lime.
Pour plenty of water over everything. In a week, the planting pit will be soaked with fertilizers and will be suitable for receiving a dogwood seedling. Immediately before planting, the pit should be filled with water again. Then it is necessary to make a hole around the planted tree, and tie the seedling itself to the support.
After rooting, the care of dogwood is reduced to very simple and habitual actions, as well as for other fruit crops. This is regular loosening of the ground near the trunk, weed eradication, watering as needed and removing dried or damaged twigs.
Dogwood responds positively to mulching with crushed fresh or dry grass, sawdust. Usually, the crown of the tree does not require formative pruning, but the dense interlacing of branches needs thinning.
The tree needs only 2 mandatory annual fertilizing. One should be carried out at the beginning of summer, the second — approximately in the middle of autumn. The first top dressing should consist of mullein diluted with water in a ratio of 1 to 5 or bird droppings, also diluted with water (1:10).
Autumn soil fertilizer usually consists of wood ash and superphosphate. It is carried out after harvesting and helps the tree to regain strength before wintering.
How the tree reproduces
Dogwood can be propagated in three ways:
- Seeds. This method of reproduction is necessary for the cultivation of rootstocks. Usually the seeds germinate 2 or 3 years after sowing. Dogwood trees obtained from seeds also bear fruit, but do not retain the characteristics and valuable characteristics of the variety;
- In a vegetative way. In garden nurseries, a method of rooting with green twigs is often used. Specialists root dogwood cuttings in a substrate of river sand and peat (the mixture is prepared in a ratio of 1:1).
- It is necessary to root cuttings in the spring in mid-May. Cuttings should be kept in a film greenhouse and monitor the optimal soil moisture. Already in autumn, you can transfer young dogwood to the open ground;
The best and most reliable way to get a new plant is to use a shield to fit on wild seedlings.
Some gardeners use the method of propagation by layering. They press the stem of the mother bush to the ground and weigh it down with a layer of moist soil. Thus, the formation of roots is stimulated and, as a result, the appearance of a new seedling. After a year, the young dogwood can be separated and planted in another place.
With the seed method of reproduction, the tree begins to bear fruit for 6-7 years, the vegetative method of reproduction allows you to see the fruits for 2-3 years.
The most famous and popular varieties of dogwood
Vladimirsky is characterized by a consistently high annual harvest and large berries. Frost-resistant and unpretentious dogwood variety.
Tender — yellow berries with tender sweet flesh. High taste characteristics remain even during canning.
Elegant — dark cherry fruits have a bottle shape. A distinctive feature is that the harvest, not picked on time, does not fall off the tree. Early grade.
Exotic is a large—fruited tree with a good and stable harvest.
What are the pests and diseases of dogwood
With favorable care, regular watering, varietal dogwood trees are rarely exposed to any diseases and pests. But sometimes powdery mildew appears on the leaves of young plants, which can be eliminated with a fungicide. Also, sometimes there is such a problem as the settlement of pathogenic fungi on the branches of a tree. Regular pruning of damaged or dry branches will help to cope with fungi.
The benefits of dogwood berries
Dogwood fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, E, and many micro- and macroelements necessary for a person. The berries of the plant normalize metabolic processes in the body, relieve inflammation, have a bactericidal and astringent effect.
The beneficial properties of berries support human immunity, improve digestion, promote weight loss and normalize blood pressure.