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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - June 13, 2010

From: Dallas, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Best dogwood to plant in Dallas GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am interested in how to select the best dogwood (Flowering) tree to plant in Dallas, GA 30157. The location receives full sun, the soil is typical GA clay/?. I found a list of 20+ Dogwood trees on your website. Also, when is the best time to plant?

ANSWER:

Okay, there is good news and bad news. First, the good news: There are 14 members of the Cornus (dogwood) native to North America and 5 native to Georgia. Three of that 5 are adaptable to clay soil. Now, the bad news: Not a single one can tolerate full sun, which we believe to be 6 hours or more of sun a day. They all call for part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) or shade (less than 2 hours of sun). We will certainly list the three that will grow in clay soils. Perhaps you can visit nurseries in your area to determine if there are cultivars (which we would not have in our Native Plant Database) that will tolerate that much sun. Follow each plant link to learn more about the growing conditions, bloom time and culture of that plant.  And if you do find a dogwood you are willing to chance in all that sun, don't plant it until late Fall. Woody plants should never be planted in very hot or very cold temperatures. 

Dogwoods for Clay Soil in Dallas, GA:

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood)

Cornus amomum (silky dogwood)

Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Cornus alternifolia

Cornus amomum

Cornus drummondii

 

 

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