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The flowering dogwood is a small perennial tree that is native to the state of Florida in the United States. Most of these trees do not exceed 40 feet (12 m) in height and have branches that may occasionally spread out to a length that is wider than the height. In the spring, usually from May to June, the flowering dogwood produces white or pink colored flowers. In most cases, the flowers stay on the tree for about two weeks before falling off. The leaves are generally a dark green color that usually change to red or purple in the fall.
Flowering dogwoods will normally grow in almost any area that doesn't get too hot or too cold. This tree may withstand cold temperatures to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34.4 Celsius) and can survive in almost any other warm area as long as the climate is not arid. A person who wishes to plant a flowering dogwood should generally choose an area in soil with good drainage in the shade. Flowering dogwoods that are planted in areas with very cold climates should be placed in full sun. It may be beneficial for a person to work some compost into the soil before planting and cover the area around the tree with some type of mulch.
These trees do not usually need much maintenance past the first year after planting and rarely require pruning unless some limbs begin to die. It is not usually necessary to fertilize a flowering dogwood tree immediately after planting or for maintenance purposes. These trees generally need watering on a daily basis for the first two weeks after planting and then at least once or twice a week for the rest of the first year. After the tree is established, regular watering is usually needed only during drought conditions or if there is a lack of rain for more than two weeks.
In most cases, flowering dogwoods do not have a very long life span when compared to other trees. Many of them do not survive past the 80-year mark. Flowering dogwoods may be very susceptible to certain types of pests and fungus, which might contribute to their reduced longevity. The dogwood borer, which lays larvae that feeds on the trunk, are some of the most common insects that attack the flowering dogwood. These trees are also susceptible to leaf spots that are caused by fungus and may eventually result in the flowers not opening during spring. Most pests and disease on flowering dogwoods can be taken care of with pesticides and fungicides.