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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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Saturday - November 21, 2015

From: El Dorado Hills, CA
Region: California
Topic: Propagation, Trees
Title: Propagation of Pacific dogwood
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

When do I plant Pacific dogwood seeds? How deep and far apart should they be planted? The elevation will be around 5k.

ANSWER:

Pick ripe berries that are completely red-orange in color and which come off the tree easily. Probably the most authoritative information concerning Cornus nuttallii (Pacific dogwood) propagation, as summarized here, comes from the work of Arthur Kruckeberg.  He recommends removing the fleshy coat from the seed and planting outdoors in the fall. Alternatively, the cleaned seed can be stored overwinter at 30-40 degrees F. and planted in the spring.  Planting depth should be about half an inch.  If planting in flats space the seeds about six inches apart and transplant the seedlings into a partially shaded outdoor site.  But I would recommend planting the seed directly in the soil in your chosen site, because it has been reported that germination can be very slow, even up to 18 months.

This website gives tips as to good planting sites and choice companion plants.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pacific dogwood
Cornus nuttallii

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