IMG_4558 Photo courtesy Clemson University

The City of Stamping Ground has acquired Flowering Dogwood trees from the Arbor Day Foundation for all residents of Stamping Ground. We urge every resident and business owner to plant at least one of these seedlings street-side to help beautify and add to the charm of our little town. As with all good things, it will take a few years for these trees to mature and bloom.

Consider where you plant your tree. A mature Dogwood may reach a height of 15 to 25 feet and spread to a similar diameter. Therefore, you may wish to ensure that the tree is not planted underneath utility or electrical lines nor too close to the street or sidewalk. Dogwoods prefer a partially sunny area with minimal exposure to the strong afternoon sun. They should be planted in well drained, moist soil; but not overly wet. The root system of a Dogwood is shallow so watering at least twice a week may be required during dry spells.
Though the Dogwood is a native species of Kentucky, it is at risk for fungus and pest infestations. Planting in the late spring can help mitigate fungus growth which thrives in cooler, wet weather. Dogwoods are delicious to wildlife, so the seedlings must be protected from deer, rabbits and other critters who snack on tender trees.

Some fun facts of the Dogwood (http://facts.net/dogwood-tree-facts/) —

• The bark resembles alligator skin when mature
• Dogwood wood is ideal for golf clubs and tools
• Native Americans planted corn when the Dogwoods bloomed
• Brightly colored dyes come from Dogwood roots
• The bright red fruit provides food for birds and mammals
* 36 different species of birds feed on Dogwood fruit
* The fruit is high in calcium and fat
* The Dogwood fruit is NOT for humans
• The spring ‘flowers’ are not actually a bloom, but a type of leaf called a bract
* The flower is a yellow cluster in the center
* The leafs, or bracts, open when the flower cluster do
* Bees and other pollinators are attracted by the bracts
* The flowers contain both male and female reproductive parts
* The flowers produce the bright red berries found in the fall
• Dogwood trees have medicinal properties (Do NOT attempt to make your own medicine!)
* Native Americans used the root to treat malaria
* Ailments such as insomnia, asthma, whooping cough and canine mange have been treated with Dogwood
• The leaf litter decomposes more quickly than other trees and therefore improves the soil
• Victorian gentleman callers would give dogwood flowers to a young unmarried woman
* The lady would keep the flowers if she requited his feelings
* The flowers would be returned if she didn’t share his feelings
• Christian symbols are found in the Dogwood tree
* Legend states the Cross was made from the Dogwood
* The four bracts represent the Cross
* The red stamens in the flower centers represent the Crown of Thorns
* Each bract is tinged with red at the tipssymbolizing blood
* Often the Dogwood flowers during Easter