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Dogwood Trees





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Manual of woody Landscape Plants by Michael Dirr describes seed propagation as requiring stratification at 41 degrees F for 100 to 130 days. On the chance you want to clone this plant, it roots readily from softwood cuttings collected immediately after flowering. Stick in sand, peat or pearlite for 8 to 10 weeks. Keep moist with mist if possible or high humidity at a minimum. Dirr suggests dipping in IBA rooting hormone. Seed propagation however can work to our advantage in keeping populations genetically diverse and therefore less likely to succumb to catastrophic disease or parasite infestations.

THE MAIN ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF DOGWOODS... stem from their valuable ornamental species, grown for their attractive flowers, flower bracts, fruits, twigs and stems, and colorful autumn leaves. In addition to the species already mentioned, most of which are commercially grown, others commonly found in cultivation include the Cornelian cherry, the red-osier dogwood, the Japanese dogwood, and certain sour gums. The fruit of the Cornelian cherry, a native of Europe, is used in France to make an alcoholic beverage, vin de courneille, and is also used in preserves. Oil extracted from the fruit of the blood-twig dogwood is used in France for making soap. The wood of several species is used in furniture.

The leaves of some varieties of Dogwood were used in smoking mixtures including Red Osier dogwood (C. stolonifera) and the C. rugosa type of dogwood. The root of C. alternifolia was also used in a charm that was applied to muskrat traps.

In some subjects it cures violent toothache, neuralgia and whooping-cough. It promotes sleep and acts as an antispasmodic in asthma. It dilates the pupil and is helpful with dysmenorrhea and nervous debility. In some people it may cause gastric distress and nausea; overdoses produce toxic effects.

C. alternifolia was used to make an eye medicine by the Chippewa. The bark was simmered in water and used on aching muscles and a bark tea was used to promote sweating and break a fever. Technology: The inner bark of Red Osier dogwood was used in mixtures for red, black and yellow dyes. The hardness of the wood makes it good for carving durable items.