Alternate leaf Dogwood Quick Growth Guide

Photo Credit: peganum from Small Dole, England, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Alternate leaf dogwood has, as one would expect, alternate leaves, which turn to maroon foliage in the fall. When it is not competing with nearby trees or buildings, its branches will tier or layer horizontally, giving the appearance of a layered tierred pagoda with upturned branches. It has a fibrous, spreading root system and prefers a cool root zone. This dogwood can reach a height of 15 to 25 feet. It grows in both moist and dry forests, as well as forest margins, stream banks, and fields.

Quick Growing Guide

Botanical Name: Cornus alternifolia

Botanical Family: Cornaceae

Also Called: Pagoda Dogwood

En français: Cornouiller à feuilles alterne



Water: Low water requirement


Hardiness Zones:

In Hardiness zone 5, it fruit will typically mature around august first, at which time a feeding frenzy by Cow Birds might be obeserved.

This alternate leaf dogwood should be pruned every few years as branches tend to grow into available space, perhaps distorting the trees natural shape (of looking like a layered pagoda)

Provides cover and nesting sites. Dry, bitter berries are winter food for birds and mammals. Larval food source for Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta).

Its natural habitat: Understory of deciduous forests, thickets, open woods, hillsides and ravine slopes, along streams.



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