How to Grow Japanese Kousa Dogwoods in Your Yard

Japanese Kousa dogwood blooms are like a starry night sky.

If you’re looking for a perfectly shaped tree with year-round interest, try planting a Kousa dogwood in your yard! Also called Japanese or Chinese dogwood, these Asian cousins of the familiar native flowering dogwood offer a unique look, and they’re resistant to many of the diseases that frequently plague flowering dogwoods.

Here’s what you need to know to grow Kousa dogwoods in your landscape.

Beautiful exfoliating bark on Japanese Kousa dogwood provide winter interest.

About Japanese Kousa Dogwoods

Japanese Kousa dogwoods (Cornus kousa) are small deciduous trees that reach about 15-30 feet tall and wide, depending on the variety. They naturally grow in a pleasing umbrella shape that works well as a specimen or border tree.

Like other types of dogwoods, the spring blossoms are fairly insignificant – it’s the large, creamy leaf bracts around the blossoms that are so distinctive. Kousa dogwoods have creamy-white to pink, pointed bracts that arrive after the tree has leafed out, giving a deep green backdrop to the star-like blooms.

Japanese Kousa dogwoods offer beauty during all seasons:

    Creamy bracts in spring.

  • Spring: Kousa dogwoods bloom in the spring about a month after flowering dogwoods. The blooms last about six weeks and gradually fade to pink, giving a long season of color.
  • Summer: The deep forest-green foliage and elegant arching and horizontal branches make Kousa dogwood a favorite for outdoor seating areas, large containers, and border plantings.
  • Fall: Foliage turns a brilliant reddish-purple, and the branches become laden with unique red fruits. The fruits are edible, but the birds find them more palatable than we do!
  • Winter: Kousa dogwoods show off their naturally pleasing shape, along with showy exfoliating bark that peels back to show rich grays and browns. They make a dramatic silhouette in the winter landscape.

Japanese Kousa Dogwood Growing Conditions

    Low-maintenance shape.

  • Hardiness: Kousa dogwoods are hardy to zone 5.
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil: Kousa dogwoods do best in well-draining, moist rich soil that’s not too heavy.
  • Water: Average water needs, but will require irrigation during a drought, especially if planted in full sun.
  • Environment: Kousa dogwoods aren’t known for being particularly drought or heat tolerant and can become stressed in constricted or harsh urban settings. Give your Kousa dogwood plenty of space and good soil in which to grow.

Berries in late summer grace Japanese Kousa dogwood.

Japanese Kousa Dogwood Growing Tips

Overall, you’ll find the slow growing Kousa dogwood pretty carefree, boasting:

  • Resistance to anthracnose and powdery mildew, two diseases that often plague flowering dogwoods.
  • Low risk of breakage.
  • Minimal litter, other than the fall leaf drop.

For best results, follow these tips to grow Japanese Kousa dogwood in your yard:

    Fall fruits from Kousa dogwood.

  • Mulching: Kousa dogwood benefit from a layer of mulch to hold in moisture.
  • Watering: Irrigate your Kousa dogwood during drought.
  • Pruning: Regular trimming isn’t necessary with Kousa dogwood, but you may want to selectively prune your tree in order to show off the dramatic branches and bark. If the tree is planted near a walkway, you’ll probably need to remove some lower branches in order to walk underneath it.
  • Show off: Kousa dogwoods are showpieces, so let them shine! Try landscape lighting to highlight the branches at night, and place them strategically within the landscape for maximum enjoyment.

Further Information


  1. planted a large caliper Kousa (2.5 inches) in last fall. It has done well through the Spring and early summer. However, it is showing signs of some leaf browning especially at the top of the tree. I have watered it during the recent heat wave in Boston, but did not water it over the last week of really hot weather since I was away. My wife thinks it may have a fungus or something, but I am not sure it is other than the extreme heat. Please advise about caring for the tree and whether it may be more than heat for a newly planted tree and what to do if it has a fungus. Thanks, Joe

  2. I have a five year old Kousa Dogwood. It is about 10 feet tall and is now covered with red fruits. Can these fruits be planted and will they make more trees? Inquiring minds need to know. Thanks,

  3. I have a kousa dogwood that I took with me when I moved. I had it in a container. I would like to plant it but where? I had it in full sun and it showed signs of leaf burn. I live in southern calif. zone 9. Can I plant in full sun?

  4. In East Tennessee we have many native dogwoods, not Kousa’s, however. I wrote earlier about possibly planting the seeds to propagate more. Here, our native dogwoods grow under larger trees, in filtered light. I think maybe the Kousa’s should be grown that way, too. Mine also looks like it suffered from heat even though the sprinkler system watered it well. It bloomed heavily in the spring. And two weeks ago, it bloomed one more big bloom.

  5. my 5 year old kousa dogwood was attacked by storm athena. i awoke this moring to see it totally filled with snow and the branches were as far bent to the ground as it could be………i went out and gently removed the snow and helped lift the tree back up. the tree is about 10 feet tall and fairly round and full. to my horror i saw a crack in the center, it looks like a 5 inch gash straight down. if i chop off that section, it would be at least a third of the tree. this sounds crazy….bu, i want to tape the base for support. i am in new jersey… has been wacky ….helpful ideas are appreciated. thank you

  6. I have a Kousa that is 6 years old. It was lovely this spring and even had more blooms on it in late September. I am trying to picture your tree after the snow and from what I see in my mind, I somehow doubt that taping it will work long time. Perhaps if you do trim away the part that is affected, it will fill in on it’s own over a year or so. Good luck. My tree was given to me when my mother died and when it blooms I always think she is sending me a Hell-o message. Good luck after all you have been thru in NJ. I am in East Tennessee.

  7. thank you dianne………i am sure your mom is always saying hello…
    my tree is standing tall now and still has most it’s leaves . but, i think you are correct and will have to chop……… much hardship in this area and this is minor i know. i just love that tree. i will let you know what happens. cathy

  8. Thank you, Cathy. Please do let me know how the little tree does after you prune it. I’ll bet it will surprise you and turn out just as beautiful as it was before the storm. Hang in there………..things will get better. And when your little tree blooms again next spring, it will remind you to stay strong in the face of adversity.

  9. Dianne, the tree is trying so hard …….there is a was at least 6 inches wide and now it is about 2 inches……will keep you updated. i am asking the Angels to help all of us. Thank you again for your kind words. Cathy

  10. We planted a Kousa Dogwood about 5 years ago. It is a beautiful tree but rarely blooms. I have 3 green flowers this year. One year it had about a dozen white flowers, but it has never bloomed like the pictures I see of a tree in bloom. Is there something I need to do to get it to bloom?

  11. Lenor, the blooms always start out greenish colored, then turn white and sort of pink before the petals fall. Was the tree terribly stressed for any reason last fall. Drought? I know here in East Tennessee where we are known for native dogwoods, some years they are covered with blooms and some years they just have a few. My tree looks very healthy and in full leaf but so far not a bloom. The native trees have just stopped blooming and the Kouss blooms after they do. I will let you know if I have a good bloom or not. IN what area of the country are you located?

  12. Cathy, how is your Kousa doing this year? Mine is lush and lovely but has not bloomed so far. But I think it will. I wondered if your tree made it where it split or if you had to prune that part away? Hope all is well in NJ!

  13. Thank you so much for remembering me and my pretty tree. So far so good. I supported the two limbs that had the split with stretch wrap…..i made a figure 8 around the limbs to give it strength. i always fertilize in spring and fall. the tree is covered in leaves but is always one of the last trees to bloom. Yours will be stunning in a few weeks….as will mine. Please stay in touch, thanks again.

  14. Diane, I live in East TN. Our Kousa looks great but no blooms yet. I will keep watching as I may be expecting blooms too early especially since we have had a particularly wet and cold Spring this year.

  15. I have a 3 year old over 6 foot kousa with 5 branches/bush. It started bending over this winter with the weight of the snow but came back upright on thaw. But now with every heavy rain it is bending over to the ground and not returning upright less and less. Can I support it some way or remedy the situation?

  16. I am certainly no expert on Kousa Dogwoods but I am wondering if maybe some light pruning might help. Also have you checked to see if the tree cracked/split anywhere from the weight of the snow. If it has cracked or split, you might be able to wrap something around it at the split (fabric) and then wrap wire/rope around that for a while to see if it mends. I hope this might be helpful to you. Mine was in full bloom a month ago and was quite lovely. We had several days near 90 degrees and the blooms all dried up and were history. They do not like heat. The leaves on mine curl up here in the East Tennessee summer heat. But the tree hangs on and blooms again the next year. Good luck with yours.

  17. hello, my kousa is looking great…….still has many blloms left and the tree looks fuller and taller. the split is still a concern to me but the tree has not suffered as of yet. thanks for your idea dianne about using fabric to bind cut….may give it a try as summer ends…….at the moment the supports seem to be working……enjoy the week

  18. I wrote in early May that my Kousa didn’t show evidence of blooming. It is a beautiful tree but probably only had a dozen flowers. It has never had a lot of flowers. Any thoughts? Does it need pruning or fertilizer? When to prune?

  19. i fertilize in spring and fall. really believe it helps, they sell fertilizer for dogwood trees……worth a try. the nursery we bought the tree from said it would be helpful to do this for our tree. good luck.

  20. I planted 2 Kousa’s this year before they had leaves. One is on the west side of my lawn and the other on the east. Both have all their leaves, no flowers yet, however the one on the east is losing some leaves. It’s not a lot, as it has twice as many as the one on the west. Why would it shed some leaves? We are in northern Georgia.

  21. Are these very small trees? Mine when planted was about 15 inches tall and bare root. I was given it when my mother died and frankly I never thought it would survive. But it did. It is now almost 8 years old and is about 10 feet tall and about 8-9 feet in diameter. This year it was absolutely beautiful, covered with blooms. Then we had a few 90 degree days and the blooms dried up. Looks like I will have lots of red berries though. If your trees are small, they just may be becoming accustomed to their home. Have you watered them regularly…….both the same? It is not unusual for any tree to lose a few leaves but if the leaf drop is severe then maybe you should ask an expert……………of which I am not. Heat seems to make mine suffer the most. As the heat of July, August and September arrives, the leaves on mine suffer and curl. But it does not seem to hurt the tree. Hope I helped a bit. Maybe someone who knows more than I do will help you. Have a nice day.

  22. My neighbor has a kousa dogwood that grows really well in our area and I want to reproduce it. Can cut a twig or branch as a starter; should I put it in water first to sprout some roots. Or can I try planting the berries? What method is best.

  23. I had many berries last year and am going to again this year. So I read all about propagating them. Trying to do it by seed is almost an impossibility from what I read. And I am not sure that a twig will root in water. There is no harm in trying. Should I ever have one come up from seed under mine, I will let you know. Most of the seeds just dry up or have worms in them. Sorry I could not be more positive about your getting a tree of your own. They are lovely.

  24. Just bought a bare root Kousa dogwood this spring. Soaked the roots for 24 hours like it said before planting. It’s about 4 foot tall. Still has not leafed out — and it’s June. It’s been planted for about a month now. Seems green still but the buds never seem to open. I’ve watered weekly or more. Is in protected area — but still gets 12 hours of sun. Can anyone give me suggestions as to what I need to do? I’m worried if it does not leaf out soon — there will be no food to have it survive the fall/winter. Thanks for helping me—

  25. My Kousa was also bare root and pitiful, frankly. It was planted in the heat of early August and it made it. Keep it watered, don’t let it dry out. Mine is 8 years old now and quite lovely. I cannot remember all the particulars of how long it took it to show signs of life but I do remember thinking it was not going to make it. BUT, it did. Don’t give up.

  26. I have a Kousa dogwood that is about 10 years old. It was given to me by my son and planted at our previous home. We made a move 7 years ago and transplanted the tree with success. This year it was covered with potential buds but when all the other Kousas in and around us started to bloom my Kousa buds and early leaves started drying up. It is sitting bare and it is June 20. I cut off one of the bloom stems and it and the tree under it look very green. I have no idea what is wrong or what to do. We live in Virginia and had a strange winter as did everyone. Do you think I should just cut it down and start over. The tree is about 10 feet tall.

  27. I am not sure what to tell you about the tree. If the wood underneath a bit of the bark looks wet and green and alive, maybe you should let it try to revive. Does it look like there is any disease on it anywhere? I have a Foster Holly that is about 8 years old and 15 feet tall. It was absolutely covered with berries……… looked red when you saw it……….but during the terrible weeks of temps near 0 degrees, it suffered and it looked like the top third simply died. But, even though it looks terrible, I have left it alone and some leaves, however sparse, have come out and it looks better. Cutting the top third off of it would have ruined the shape. If your Kousa should get brittle where a small limb snaps off, you may be losing it. I hope not. Mine outdid itself this year…… was covered with blooms and now has the big round seeds all over it. They are still green, of course. But I do find that they suffer in the summer heat and some leaves roll up and get brittle. I love it though. I know this answer is not much help. Maybe someone else will answer with a better idea. Happy summer, almost!

  28. Thanks for answering, Diane. Nothing else about the tree looks diseased so I think I’ll wait awhile to see what happens. This tree has been a favorite place for hummingbirds to sit and guard their “personal” feeder so I’m not sure they will be happy with the no-leaves look. Hope someone else has some ideas.

  29. Becky………..I am in East Tennessee and I had to smile when you mentioned that your hummingbirds use it as a rest stop. So do mine. I love my Ruby Throated Hummingbirds. I used to live in VA……Clifton… but we retired 18 years ago to TN. I hope someone else can help you with a better answer than I was able to give.

  30. I love all the great information in this column. I too have been given a large 8 ft Kousa in memory of my mom who died this past May. I want to plant it in my front yard for greatest enjoyment but it would get full sun for most of the day (10 am until 5 pm) in Wilmington DE. I can keep it well watered. Is that too much sun? A traditional dogwood in the same location didn’t make it after about 5 years. Thanks so much!!

  31. Christine,
    My Kousa gets about the same amount of sun and though the tag on it said full sun to partial shade, I am wondering if too much sun is the problem. I watered it regularly since it sits in the middle of my perennial cottage garden next to the back of our house. Good luck with yours. Mine is still showing no green so I cut about a third of it off hoping it would get a jolt and put out some leaves.

  32. When my Kousa was given to me after my mother died, it was a stick about 15-18 inches tall and bare root. I thought it was just a native dogwood. And I truly did not expect it to survive. But survive it did. In Tennessee where I live the native dogwoods are undergrowth trees and do best in some shade. But my neighbor has one that gets full sun and it is old and doing well. My personal opinion concerning Kousas is that they do better with some shade. Mine is beautiful and blooms prolifically but as it gets hotter and hotter, it suffers and leaves curl on the edges. Christine, if your tree has not leafed out by now, I do not feel good about it. That should have happened a long time ago. This last winter was very hard on even established plants and trees and yours may have been one that did not make it. I have a Foster Holly that really suffered and still looks terrible but it is alive. I think I am going to have to hire someone to shape it and cut out the dead as it is 20 feet tall.

    Have a good day…………keep cool! : )

  33. Thanks for the help -the tree is fully leafed out and did flower appropriately in the nursery this spring.. The owner guarantees it for 13 months so that is good! Maybe I will select a site with more shade but still in the front yard. Thanks so much!!

  34. I planted a Kousa this spring. It is about 4 ft. tall. It’s now July and the leaves seem very droopy. Does it take a certain amount of time to adjust to being planted? Not sure if its going to make it?

  35. Did the leaves just get droopy after the weather turned so hot? I personally think they suffer if planted in full sun. I know mine suffers as it gets hotter and hotter and more humid. But, so far, other than some dry curled leaves, it is still growing and is now about 10 ft. tall. Had I known when I planted the bare root stick I was given that it was a Kousa, I would have found a more forgiving place to plant it…..away from the afternoon/evening sun. I hope yours is as tough as mine. In what part of the USA do you live?

  36. Hi. My kousa is about 25 to 30 feet tall. It is July 13 2014 & my flowers are already falling & they have not turned pink yet. I thought they fall around August. Even the fruit which are small & green are falling off. It had been windy here in RI. I feel this is quite early for the mess. Any ideas of why this happening or is this normal & I just forgetting?. Lol

  37. Mykousa dogwood is three years old. It bloomed this year, but after a heavy rain all the flowers were on the ground and now the leaves are turning brown. What happened? I live in Massachusetts. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  38. I wonder if you have had intense heat in your area. I know when we have had really hot, dry summers, my Kousa suffered. My tree is 8 years old now and it was a thing of beauty in the spring. Right now it is lush and green and covered in large red berries from all the blooms. It has not been as hot as usual this summer and we have had lots of rain. Not being an expert on these different trees, I can only hope it is a temporary problem with yours and next year it will be fine.

  39. I have a Kousa dogwood that I planted last spring. It is about 7 foot tall now. Every year it starts out with beautiful green leaves. Every year they start to turn purple/ brownish and feel really dry. It never bloomed yet so I am kinda stumped. Any help would be appreciated.

  40. If it has not bloomed so far this year, it won’t. I do know that some years dogwoods have more blooms than other years. I believe the Kousas suffer in hot summer heat. So far this year, mine is holding it’s own. It is full of large red seed pods/berries and is beautiful. The hummingbirds use it for a rest stop and the other birds that eat at the suet feeders also rest there. I think Kousas really need some shade to perform their best. I wish I had known that before I planted mine where it is.

  41. The NPR garden show I listen to (Mike McGrath) had some advice for me – I emailed with my question about where to plant my kousa and the response was be sure ti have morning sun and at least 6 hours of sun per day. I was going to plant in a shadier spot but I picked a spot that definitely gets morning sun from 10 am on and sun until at least 5 PM – I didn’t have a place that was sunny from lets say 8 am until 2 pm then nice and shady. SO it may end up be a bad spot but maybe not.

  42. Christine………………….good luck with your tree. They are so pretty and so cantankerous. And a bit picky as to where they want to live. But that’s what we get for wanting to grow trees/plants that are not native to our areas.

  43. HI I have a kousas dogwood tree that appears to have damage in the middle of it and never grew leaves and looks dead, but the outside branches are green, do we trim down the middle or hope it comes back or treat it? Please help,we love it and not sure what to do. thank you!!

  44. I am not an expert on Kousa Dogwoods. It sounds as if something happened to kill some of the middle part. Were it mine, I would trim it back, cut out all the dead. If the limbs are dead, no leaves or flowers will ever appear. Maybe trimming back all the dead parts will encourage new growth. Mine is gorgeous this year, just covered with the big red seed pods. It is the best it has ever looked.

  45. Chrissy, Sounds like you have a problem similar to what I had with my Kousa given to me by my son about 12 years ago. We had transplanted it 8 years ago when we made a move and all seemed to be fine until this year. It was loaded with flower buds and leaf starts but just as they should have been opening everything started withering. At first we seemed to have a lot of green left in the stems but eventually that went too. I first cut it back to see if that would help but no luck. My husband cut it down and dug out the roots this past week. There was no evidence of disease–just demise. The tree was planted with a southeastern exposure with afternoon shade when I first received it but at this house we planted it as the center of a flower bed I made at the back of the house which is a southwest exposure and it had sun most of the day especially the hot afternoon sun. This may have been my problem. I am wondering if there is a difference in the Japanese and Chinese Kousas that would make one more tolerant of this exposure. I think my tree was Japanese.
    By the way, Diane, my hummers are still coming to my feeder but resting and guarding in a native dogwood that is not quite as close. If no Kousa will fit this location, does anyone have a suggestion for a small tree to center a flower bed in this location?

  46. Becky…………one of my neighbors has a tree called a weeping mulberry. It is kept trimmed like an umbrella. It has never gotten much over 8 feet tall and about 5 feet wide. Another has a weeping cherry and it blooms a bit and it not as dense as the mulberry. One not to get is a Smoke Tree. It looked so pretty in the catalog but it grew in strange shapes and was not attractive……..more of a conversation piece. I regretted buying it but I had it so I put up with it. Beavers came to my rescue, chewed it down and carried it off one night along with two of my neighbors plum trees. People seem to be having a lot of problems with their Kousas this year and mine is just perfect for once. It has not been as hot in East Tennessee this summer and I think that is why!~

  47. Diane,
    Thanks for the advice. I was actually considering a Smoke Tree. Glad to get your input. I’m going to search for the Weeping Mulberry. I am familiar with the Weeping Cherry but this one is new to me.

  48. Thank you for the info. We have not had hardly any temp over 90’s. In fact it has been very mild summer. We will see next year. It seems the tree is fine.

  49. My Chinese Dogwood is about 10 or 12 yrs old and this is the first time I have red seed pods. Is this something only a mature tree produces?

  50. I have a 7-8 foot Kousa Dogwood that has not grown or filled out in the 4 years I’ve lived in my home. It flowers every year. Every year I have a branch or two that dies & has to be cut off. The trunk is only about 2″ in diameter. My husband always thinks it’s sick, but a landscaper told me it was perfectly healthy. Any ideas on how to make it grow?

  51. I planted a Japanese flowering dogwood this last spring. It has developed a disease called black spot. I read where if you use Liquid copper Fungicide spray after the tree goes dormant. Then in the spring use Monterey 70% Neem Oil. I need help to keep this tree alive.

  52. I just planted a Kousa about two months ago. It looks very healthy, but I was wondering if Kousas set their buds in summer or fall like my other dogwoods that are loaded with buds right now. If it doesn’t have buds on it now will it not bloom this spring?

  53. I received my beautiful 4 foot Kousas 2 yrs ago. My cat decided to climb it and broke one major branch completely. So the canopy is only 1/2 of the tree and does not seem to be filling out properly. Can I trim it and if so how? It has been growing well and is probably close to six feet but unusually shaped. I love my tree

  54. I got a Kousa from my brothers yard it was a seedling about a foot high, it was under the parent plant. It took three years to show a just a few blooms, and few berries. Every year after I had a few more than the year before.i used to think that I’ve planted it in the wrong place (I thought about transplanting it somewhere else but the Kousa doesn’t like to be moved) then I read that it tolerates shade and that it can take up seven years to fully mature and establish itself. Before it is covered from limb to limb with blooms so I figure I have 3 and 1/2 more to go. My husband found me a seed from a Kousa at a work site and brought it home and I planted it today and I’m keeping it outside this fall to see what happens next can’t wait!!

  55. My Kousa is over 10 years old and I love it. Except for the berries that drop early every fall. Every site states that birds eat the fruit but I have never had one bird eat a berry. Are there only certain birds that dine on the berry? Or do I live in the wrong area (mid-ohio valley) for birds to carry these away? Any information would be appreciated.

  56. I have been looking for a Dogwood tree that would grow in my area (South Dakota, zone 4). I notice some of you tell us where you live, but not your zone. that would be helpful for me. Everything I see and read of the Kousa makes me like it more. I don’t think I would have benefit of micro climate, any thoughts out there on my luck with this Dogwood?

  57. I have a Kousa Dogwood that the funeral home sent to me in the fall after my Moma died in 2003. We planted it that fall and it has NEVER bloomed until Spring 2014. Very few blooms, but then in the fall, those red balls appeared for the first time. That is when I found out it was a Kousa Dogwood instead of a Pink Dogwood. Never had had pink flowers, just white. I have mine planted in the front yard on a bank and it gets full sun all day. The leaves do curl during the summer. I looked on Easter and no blooms, but there are a few coming out now. I want to try to root some cuttings from it. What time of year should that be done? I am going to sell the house next door where it is planted and it is way too tall to move. Probably 18-20 feet tall now in 12 years.

  58. Annmarie, I wouldn’t worry to much about it not blooming yet. I had heard that dogwoods didn’t bloom for 8 years, so I wasn’t too worried about mine until it passed that point.

    I live in NE Georgia.

  59. I had one of these beautiful dogwoods at my other house. If you let the seed pods go into the soil by themselves, they sprout like crazy on their own. I moved several years ago, had it on the northeast corner of my home and it was incredibly beautiful to where everyone wanted one. I kept giving away the sprouts when they were about 18-24″ tall and some made it some not. I found that the organic mulch and soils I grew it in did wonders.

    When I moved, it was December and couldn’t get one at that time. The new owners were asked to not remove any of the starts, but they didn’t keep any of them and then trimmed my beautiful and unique shrub to oblivion two years ago. I can tell you, it did not survive the mis-treatment they did. We all about died seeing what they did to it.

    I have since found another, planted it this early spring, and it has already grown a good foot. My friends (one a botanist and her hubby a horticulturist) suggested I only feed it early/mid spring with organic type fertilizers. Organic rich soils and mulches produce growth and flowering of massive amounts. I pruned mine very little and when I did, it was very lightly.

    I suggest to anyone that owns one, find a good botanist or horticulturist to help you if you’ve never owned one before. It will be well worth the investment to your future beloved prize of your yard.

    As for Cathy…I had a similar issue with mine. Get some tree tar and some wide rubber straps, coat the area with tar, then tightly wrap the two sections together. In about a year or so, remove the straps. It should mend itself within that time frame as mine did. If it doesn’t, trim off the weakest part, leaving the rest, tar it (the wound) and it should be fine.

  60. I have a Kousa about 4′ tall. It blooms very nicely. The leaves are verigated but crinkely at the edges. Is this natural or is it being stressed?

  61. Hi….I live in southwestern Pennsylvania. I purchased the Kousa Dogwood about three years ago. It was a scrawny tree that no one wanted at the end of the spring season, and I thought I would save it. It has healthy green leaves, but has never bloomed even though those in our area have. The other issue is that it is still scrawny, approximately 15 ft tall, fuller at the base but very thin toward the top (and the poor thing leans). Do not know if I should prune the top off so that it can grow fuller or if that would be a bad decision. Is there a reason why it does not bloom? Many thanks…..Cathy

  62. Hi,
    I live in south central NY state. I planted a Kousa several years ago. Chose the one I did because it was just my heigth, 5′ tall so I could easily judge each year how much it had grown. It’s now about 15′ tall and I just love it. This year’s flowers are not as plentiful as other years, possibly because we had such a cold, long, lo-o-o-ng winter. Should I be giving it some kind of fertilizer? I have it well mulched, but wondered if there was something else I could do to help it along for next year. Also, I did have to trim a branch off a couple years ago after it had started to split. The trimming doesn’t seem to have hurt it other than being a little sparce on one side, which I hope will eventually fill in.
    Thanks, Roxanne

  63. I lost my husband a yr and 1/2 ago and his favorite tree was his Kousa Dogwood that’s in our front yard. I sold my home and I really want to take the tree with me, but of course it’s way to big to move. So my question is can I plant the berries in pots to grow new trees and then transplant once they are well established? If so, how do I go about doing so? Also do the berries have to be red before planting? Thank you for your help.

  64. The nursery planted a beautiful established Kousa Dogwood near my house. We have a service come out and fertilize the lawn. My question is about lawn fertilizer…Is it safe to use this near the tree? Will it damage or kill the tree. Thanks

  65. Today I planted my kousa Dogwood in my backyard is about 3 to 4 feet tall location brooklyn NY everyone which good luck to my kousa Dogwood.

  66. Karen, the fertilizer is fine. Don’t use weed killer around trees and ornamel things, roses etc. Dogwoods need water in dry weather to keep the hot afternoon sun away. My one is happy on south side of house but it gets shade from pines after 2 pm.

  67. This is in answer to Karen’s question. The following is from a lecture given by a certified arborist, Joseph Murray.

    Fertilizer for your lawn is not necessarily good for your trees. If you give a tree nitrogen and it doesn’t need it, you are going to be generating a shoot system, not a root system. So now if there’s a drought you have all this extra foliage holding water that the roots can’t get. Excess nitrogen also accelerates any decay-causing fungi already present in the tree and it openly invites insect pests.

    So, if you do something to the lawn, and you have tree roots growing underneath the lawn, are you doing something to the tree? Absolutely.

    This is from me:
    Also, from an ecological standpoint, non-native trees are not productive. They can’t support the insects that are vital to the food web. The berries of the kousa dogwood are pretty useless, too. They do not have the nutritional value of our native dogwoods.

    From “Our native birds co-evolved with much smaller berries, like the size of the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) or the pagoda dogwood (C. alternifolia) berries—berries small enough to just swallow whole, which they do. When you think about all the millions of kousa dogwoods planted all over instead of native dogwoods, you can imagine the loss to our birds.”

    Back to me:
    Gardeners should start thinking about the opportunities they have to help our environment and decide to garden not just for themselves, but for wildlife and ultimately humans. It took me a long time to see this and my native plant garden is fabulous. Beautiful and functional. You can be a steward of your little piece of land.

  68. Planted our trees about 4 years ago after buying from our local nursery, but they have never bloomed since planting. We have a wooded lot but they do get partial sun, what can we do to make them bloom? They are very green and healthy looking just don’t know why they have never bloomed.

  69. I am concerned with my Kousa Dogwood, in two days it just started getting sun scorch on the leaves and the beautiful blooms are drying up fast and leaves are falling off. I want to save this tree, please inform me, I must water more often and keep leaves moist as it is newly planted and six feet tall? How do I get irrigation to it when it sets just in front of my rear yard garden bed with mulch around, I am concerned to water for five minutes straight 3x a day. At 9 am and 1pm and 4pm daily to keep the leaves moist in summer sun of 84 degrees? Please help me save this beauty. Will transplant vitamins help if it is not a transplant to establish roots as a new planting tree?

  70. I saw a corpus kousa “wolf eyes” and loved it. I would like to know if it
    grows as tall as other dogwoods. I don’t have a place for a tall tree, but
    would love to have a wolf eyes if it doesn’t get too tall.

  71. My tree is awesome planted in the 50, s…..gets morning sun only….its at its peak right now.white flowering blooms it’s may 1st…about 20 ft tall

  72. I have a Kouza about 6 ft tall and 5 years in the ground . It blooms very nicely however, the leaves are crinkely on the east/south side of the tree . It is clear it is being stressed but I can’t figure out why. Our extension service here is Maryland suggests that our crazy hot weather in February of 80-90s may have impacted the emerging leaves.

    Can you help me?

    Thank you for your consideration

    Maggie McDowell

  73. I just purchased a pink kousa dogwood about 4 feet tall. The leaves are variegated and a bit burnt on the edges. The nursery sold it to me 1/2 price. I have repotted it in fresh soil and did a bit of pruning. It does have some new growth. Is it normal for the tree to have variegated leaves?

  74. I purchased a very very young(6inces) white Chinese dogwood and it gets all day sun and leaves are turning yellow. Am I over or under watering this tiny plant?

  75. I have a very small Chinese dogwood planted in the back of our garden and I am wondering about putting it along the front corner of our house in our flower garden a few feet from the foundation. Is it okay to plant this near the house if I plan to keep it small? (I’m hoping to keep it about 5 feet tall.) What will the root system do? I need to move it from where it is and it’s either in the front corner or I toss it out (which I really hate to do as it’s a beautiful tree!)

  76. Our 15 year old Kousa dogwood has started to ooze an odorless and colorless liquid on some of the main branches. Can anyone tell us about the cause and if there is a remedy? Thanks.

  77. Just bought a Milky Way Kousa Dogwood. It is about
    4ft tall, full of leaves. BUT the leaves go all the way to the ground. I want it to be a tree not a bush. Should I prune the botton or wait until the fall.

    • Hi, Dorothy!

      Gardening questions can be tricky since the rules can change based on the region. We would suggest contacting your local Master Gardeners association.
      Master gardeners train on a range of topics so they can provide advice, at no charge, for people in their area.

      Thanks for your question!

  78. I want to buy a Japanese Kousa Dogwood tree. Where can I find a gardener closest to Bethpage, Long Island, NY that would deliver and plant one for me?

    • Hi, Muriel,
      We don’t offer information on home builders, repairers and suppliers, as this varies by location, but we encourage checking your local phone listings for this information.
      Good luck!


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