Little introduction is needed for two common trees that are found in our Appalachian region. Anyone who lives here can’t help but to notice the spectacular displays of the flowering dogwood, Cornus florida, and the eastern redbud, Cercis canadensis. These species of trees are native and are also commonly planted. In order to maintain genetic diversity, it is best to stick with straight species of plants when re-naturalizing disturbed areas, but for a specimen tree in the garden setting, often a cultivar is a better choice.
Flowering dogwoods are wonderful trees but can suffer from diseases, especially an introduced one called anthracnose. Cornus fl. ‘Applachian Spring‘ is a selection that was introduced as the most disease-resistant cultivar on the market. It has the typical form and habit of a common dogwood, but the white flowers (really just bracts; the true flowers being the small ones that make up the yellow center) are a little larger and creamier in color. It also has excellent red color in the fall accompanied by red berries that birds find irresistible.
Eastern redbuds look stunning with dogwoods, which bloom around the same time. A fine cultivar to try is Cercis canadensis var. texensis ‘Oklahoma‘. This tree was a favorite of plantsman J.C Raulston, and for good reason. ‘Oklahoma’ has a lusterous leaf and consistent deep purple flower color, with the shape of the tree being generally wider and more compact than the straight species.
If you are looking for special trees to plant in your garden or yard, these are unrivaled in their beauty. Since both are native to our region, they are well-suited to our climate and offer benefits to wildlife as well.
We have dogwoods and redbuds in stock. Give us a call – 828.687.1677