Gray Dogwood

All About the Gray Dogwood:

Scientific Nomenclature: Cornus racemosa

Common Names: gray dogwood, Northern swamp dogwood, panicle dogwood, stiff dogwood

Mature Height: 8–15 feet

Mature Spread: 8–15 feet

Growth Rate: Slow

Attracts Wildlife: Birds and mammals

Messiness: Gray dogwood flowers will drop in the summer soon after blooming. The tree also drops its berries and leaves in late autumn or winter.

Shape: Spreading

Native to Kentucky: No

Preferred Soils: Gray dogwood can withstand a wide range of soil types. It prefers moist, well-drained clay or loams with high organic matter content. It is generally tolerant of acidic (<6.0pH), neutral (6.0–8.0pH) or alkaline (>8.0pH) soils. While it prefers the above, it is tolerant of shallow rocky soils and occasionally wet or dry soils too.

Screening: Not typically used as a privacy tree. If grown as a smaller shrub it can be used as a border tree or for screening.

Drought Tolerance: Tolerant of dry soils and urban conditions but not tolerant of drought.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous

Pruning: Gray dogwoods should be pruned as suckers can help spread the plant rapidly. This tree is best planted in naturalized areas if you’re unable to prune it. It can be pruned to maintain a more shrub-like appearance if preferred, though if done it’s recommended that you prune the tree regularly to maintain its shape/form.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one gray dogwood will:

  • Sequester ~1,447 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 336 gallons.