Greetings from Seattle

Monday, June 2, 2014


Just when everything is looking so pretty in the yard, the native Pacific Dogwood trees (Cornus nuttallii) start to drop their leaves.

 Our native dogwoods are beautiful trees, but since late in the 1970's they have been under attack from the fungal disease anthracnose.  The trees leaf out and bloom in April, and then the fungus attacks and the trees begin to defoliate.  There is no real cure or treatment.
 We had a number of young native dogwoods on the property when we had our house built here, but slowly they have been killed off and have had to be taken down.  We appreciate native species, and especially the lovely dogwoods, so we do not remove them until they actually die.  We just rake up the mess and dispose of the leaves.

Where we have lost some trees important to the landscape, we have replaced them with Korean dogwoods (Cornus kousa), which are resistant to the disease. Below you see a native Pacific and a Korean dogwood side by side.
 The Korean dogwoods bloom in May/June and are in full bloom now.

 We got a heavy set of blooms this year on our two kousas.

The blooms don't quite live up to the beauty of the natives, but they'll do. And look at those healthy leaves, which turn red in the fall.


  1. Pretty tree, but it so sad that native plants seem to be so vulnerable everywhere these days. That can't be good.

  2. That Korean dogwood with the row of green and white Hostas under it makes a great combo!

  3. You have found a resistant strain, at least, but it is sad that the native dogwood is so vulnerable to disease. The Korean variety is really pretty, though. :-)

  4. With world trade and travel we native species tend to pick up diseases. It's the same wherever man travels.

  5. landscape gardening is like life, full of challenges!

  6. I have considered adding a Kousa to my yard, but I really have not room for more trees!!

  7. How sad to see the native dogwoods dying. Still this fungus resistant variety really has elegant blooms. I really like it. Gorgeous!

  8. I like to put in as many natives as possible, as non natives can become a problem.
    Love the ol native dogwoods, and they are doing fine here, thankfully. Sorry the Kousa does nothing for me.


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