Gray Dogwood

Product Code: crace

Cornus racemosa (Gray Dogwood)
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Details

The Gray Dogwood is a native, gray-stemmed, thickly branched shrub. It has a round headed with a profusion of creamy white flowers followed by white fruits borne on bright red bracts. This plant then transform come fall showcasing purple foliage in fall. This shrub adapts to dry and sandy soils. It's a good shrub for background or naturalized plantings in the landscape. Small side note, this plant forms colonies in the wild. Mature size is around 6-8' tall and wide.

Planting & Care for Deciduous Shrub – Dogwood

Preparation

  • The Gray Dogwood is a native, gray-stemmed, thickly branched shrub.
  • It has a round headed with a profusion of creamy white flowers followed by white fruits borne on bright red bracts.
  • This plant then transform come fall showcasing purple foliage in fall.
  • This shrub adapts to dry and sandy soils.
  • It's a good shrub for background or naturalized plantings in the landscape.
  • Small side note, this plant forms colonies in the wild.
  • Mature size is around 6-8' tall and wide.  

Opening Plant Material

  • Bare Root - Cut open the bundle (top and roots are tied) and separate all the plants. Soak roots in buckets of water until planted. Each plant type will be labeled separately for identification. Do not expose the roots to sun. They should never dry out. Keep roots covered. All bare-root plants must be trimmed when planted. 
  • Containers - Completely saturate all container plants by putting in a larger container of water until stops bubbling, remove. Now ready to plant. Dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container and 6" or more, making sure it’s wider on the sides.
  • B&B - Soak root ball very well. Dig a hole at least 6" wider and no deeper than the size of the ball on the plant. Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move trees by the tops.

Planting Bare Root

  • Plant Bare root in fall. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 6" wider and the same depth as the root mass. The crown or graft of the plant should be slightly higher than ground level where it was grown at the nursery.
  • Trim off the broken roots and branches.
  • Place fertilizer packets in hole (if purchased). Do not place other fertilizers in the planting hole. *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Spread the roots and fill halfway with soil, then water until soil settles completely saturating the soil and planting pit.
  • Re-adjust plant and fill the hole with the rest of the soil.
  • Back fill the balance of the soil and water well. 
  • See our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” for illustrations on planting.   

Planting containers

  • Plant in spring and fall
  • Slide plant from pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • With shovel or knife trim bottom 2" off of the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
  • Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.

Planting B&B trees

  • Plant B&B trees in spring or fall. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer
  • Backfill ½ of the hole with soil and completely saturate the soil with water.
  • Once the tree is straight and located as desired, cut and remove twine. Then, remove or bend back top ⅓ of metal basket. Lastly, remove exposed burlap from top of ball
  • Fill the hole to the top of the ball with soil, then soak well with water and let settle.
  • The top of the root ball should be visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Add mulch on top of soil making sure to not put mulch against the trunk or stems.
  • See our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” for illustrations on planting.

Pruning - After Planting

  • Bare Root - Prune ALL bare root plants to reduce transplant shock and ensure success. Pruning should occur either before or as soon after planting as possible. All pruning should be done with a sharp pruning shears.
  • B&B & containers - Although it is not essential for B&B or containers to be pruned after planting, a light pruning for shape, to remove any broken branches from shipping, or to thin out a heavily branched plant will help in the transplanting process and in the appearance of your new planting.

Pruning - Through-out the Season

  • Prune late winter to early spring - Encourage bright red stems, annually prune a third of oldest stems to six inches, leaving strong young whips. Pruning will greatly improve this plant's overall shape and form through-out the years.
  • Winter pruning to remove old stems and a light summer trim will keep it looking fresh.

Watering - After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Watering - Through-out the Season

  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

 

Go to our "Plant Features & Video Tab" for more information & tips on caring and maintaining this plant.

Handling & Planting Guidelines

Special Features & Videos on Deciduous Shrubs - Dogwood

Special Plant Features & Tips

  • The Gray Dogwood is a native, gray-stemmed, thickly branched shrub.
  • It has a round headed with a profusion of creamy white flowers followed by white fruits borne on bright red bracts.
  • This plant then transform come fall showcasing purple foliage in fall.
  • This shrub adapts to dry and sandy soils.
  • It's a good shrub for background or naturalized plantings in the landscape.
  • Small side note, this plant forms colonies in the wild.
  • Mature size is around 6-8' tall and wide.
  • Prune late winter to early spring - Encourage bright red stems, annually prune a third of oldest stems to six inches, leaving strong young whips. Pruning will greatly improve this plant's overall shape and form through-out the years.
  • Winter pruning to remove old stems and a light summer trim will keep it looking fresh.

How to plant containers 

 

Watch our Video on how to plant & care for a bare root plant

Popular Sizes
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Container  10 8" 10" FedEx
#3 Container/Grow Bag 25 10" 15" FedEx
2' - 5' Bare Root 5 - 35 5 - 15" 2 - 5' FedEx
Containers/Grow Bags
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Container  10 8" 10" FedEx
#2 Container 15 12" 12" FedEx
#3 Container/Grow Bag 25 10" 15" FedEx
#5 Container/Grow Bag 40 14" 10" McKay Delivery*
#7 Container/Grow Bag 35 - 50 14 - 16" 1 - 2' McKay Delivery*
#10 Container/Grow Bag 55 - 70 18" 1 - 3' McKay Delivery*
#15 Container/Grow Bag 65 - 80 22" 2 - 3' McKay Delivery*
#20 Container/Grow Bag 100 - 160 24" 7 McKay Delivery*
#25 Container/Grow Bag 130 - 200 24 - 30" 8' McKay Delivery*
Bare Root
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Bare Root 5 5 - 8" (no soil on roots) 5 - 10" FedEx
12" Bare Root 5 - 10 5" (no soil on roots) 10 - 12" FedEx
15" Bare Root 8 - 10 10 - 12" (no soil on roots) 12 - 15" FedEx
18" Bare Root 10 - 15 10 - 15" (no soil on roots) 15 - 18" FedEx
2' Bare Root 15 12" (no soil on roots) 2' FedEx
3' Bare Root 20 15" (no soil on roots) 3' FedEx
4' Bare Root 25 18" (no soil on roots) 4' FedEx
5' Bare Root 30 20" (no soil on roots) 5' FedEx
6' Bare Root 35 22" (no soil on roots) 6' McKay Delivery*
8' Bare Root 40 22 - 24" (no soil on roots) 8' McKay Delivery*
9' Bare Root 45 24 - 30" (no soil on roots) 9' McKay Delivery*
1 3/4" caliper Bare Root 50 30" (no soil on roots) 5 - 6' McKay Delivery*
1 1/4" caliper Bare Root 55 32" (no soil on roots) 8 - 11' McKay Delivery*
1 1/2" caliper Bare Root 60 32" (no soil on roots) 10 - 12' McKay Delivery*
2 1/2" caliper Bare Root 65 32 - 35" (no soil on roots) 10 - 16' McKay Delivery*
Balled & Burlap (B&B)
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
2' tall B&B 50 12 - 16" 2'  McKay Delivery*
3' tall B&B 60 - 250 22 - 24" 4' McKay Delivery*
4' tall B&B 250 22 - 24"  5' McKay Delivery*
5' tall B&B 325 16 - 24" 5' McKay Delivery*
6' tall B&B 150 - 325 24 - 30"  6' McKay Delivery*
7' tall B&B 500 - 700 30"  7' McKay Delivery*
8' tall B&B 600 - 700 30 - 32" 8' McKay Delivery*
9' tall B&B 700 30 - 35" 9' McKay Delivery*
1 1/4" caliper B&B 250 - 700 22" - 28" 8 - 11' McKay Delivery*
1 1/2" caliper B&B 350 - 600 24" - 30"  10 - 12' McKay Delivery*
2" caliper B&B 600 - 700 28" - 32"  10 - 14' McKay Delivery*
2 1/2" caliper B&B 700 - 1,000 30" - 36" 10 - 16' McKay Delivery*
3" caliper B&B 850 - 1,200 34" - 38" 12 - 18' McKay Delivery*
3 1/2" caliper B&B 1,000 - 1,200 36"  3' McKay Delivery*

*McKay Delivery - This shipping method can only be used when your delivery address is within 60 miles of Waterloo, Wisconsin. McKay will hand delivery your nursery stock. We can delivey any size, but typically this shipping method is used for oversize items that FedEx cannot ship.

Growing Zones: 3-8

Bloom Time: June
Color: Green, Purple, Red, White
Plant Size: 6-8' tall x 6-8' wide
Flower Color: White
Fall Color: Purple
Fruit: White
Sunlight: Full Sun to Full Shade
Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Wet, Dry
Low Maintenance: Yes
Deer Resistant: Yes
Attracts Butterflies: Yes
Attracts Bees: Yes
Attracts Birds: Yes
Edible: No
Native: Yes

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