Common Dogwood

Common Dogwood are a form of plant that can be found in many parts of the world. They have medicinal properties and grow in the same locations year after year. Stinging nettle stems and leaves are coated in structures that resemble hairs but are soft and hollow.

There are many forms of dogwoods, but in this article we will be looking at the invasive weed only and none of the tree variations.

This blog post will provide an in-depth guide on what Common Dogwood are, how they grow, and how to eradicate them from your garden.

Quick Facts

Common names: white or flowering dogwood, bullock’s heart, bloodtwig dogwood or Euroean dogwood, Cornus florida and Cucumber tree.
Scientific name: Cornus sanguinea
Family: Cornaceae
Origin: native
Flowering season: April to June
Habitat: woodland edges, lawns, forests, hedgerows
Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) growing at the edge of a property
Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) growing at the edge of a property

Common Dogwood Identification

Dogwood is often confused with Japanese knotweed. They both have the same type of leaves and green colour.

But if you look at them closely, dogwood has opposite leaves instead of alternating ones. If you see a tree that is 20 feet tall that has a spread at maturity, it’s probably not Japanese knotweed because they don’t grow as tall or wide as Dogwoods do.

Dogwoods like cool places by the forest to live in and on hillsides where it’s shady.

Common Dogwood is an evergreen shrub that will maintain its green leaves year-round.

What does Common Dogwood look like?

Characteristics that make up the Common Dogwood leaf, stem, root and flower are detailed below.

Dogwoods are small trees or shrubs with alternate, simple leaves with serrated edges. They have catkin-like flowers that form in the early spring and can range from white to pink. The fruit is a capsule of two winged seeds.

Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) leaf with its deep veins and small serrations on its edges
Common Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) leaf with its deep veins and small serrations on its edges

Leaves: The fresh green, oval leaves are 6cm long, have smooth sides and characteristic curving veins.

The leaves are very broad with serrated edges that usually have three prominent veins which run parallel down either side of it as well as a central vein that runs down its centre leaf axis.

Common Dogwoods have four leaves per cluster (versus five) which are deeply lobed. Leaves are either green or light green and oval-shaped with pointed tips.

The leaves emerge from buds near the end of winter or early spring and are typically green with fine hairs (pubescent).

As the season progresses, they turn yellow to red before falling off later in summer- though this colour change may not happen if it’s too hot outside; for example, during an August heatwave you might see plants where crimson petals have replaced many bright green leaves.

Close up of the Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) red stems
Close up of the Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) red stems

Stem:  Common Dogwood is a multi-stemmed hedgerow shrub and has a striking claret coloured stem.

Fruits of the Common Dogwood Cornus sanguinea.

Roots: Common Dogwoods can be found in clusters and their roots will grow up to 20 feet deep into the ground which makes them difficult to remove or treat from an area.

Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) flowers blooming
Common Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) flowers blooming

Flowers: They produce small white flowers about ¾ inch long during springtime and drop all foliage during winter months for dormancy.

Dogwood is hermaphrodite, meaning the male and female reproductive parts are contained within the same flower. The flowers are small with four creamy white petals and are produced in clusters.

The flowers from the plant carry white petals which often produce red berries or seeds inside; these fall off during late summer and persist throughout other seasons too.

Fruits/Seeds: Common Dogwood is spread via the wind and birds eating the fruit in late summer.

Bark: Common dogwood tree bark is smooth and greyish-brown on immature trees. As the dogwood matures, the bark becomes scaly and flaky before developing into block-like patterns.

Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) stem with leaves and flowers attached
Common Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) stem with leaves and flowers attached

Common Dogwood Seasonal Changes

The common dogwood plant begins in spring when it grows green leaves and produces clusters of white flowers, which turn into dark-purple fruit in the late summer/autumn months.

This weed loses its leaves during wintertime so identification may be difficult unless you can find a cluster of small yellowish-red berries on branch tips as seen below.

Common Dogwood in Spring

In spring, showy white flowers appear to create an eye-catching floral display. After flowering, common dogwood produces berry-like fruit.

Blossoming branches of common dogwood in May
Blossoming branches of common dogwood in May

Common Dogwood in Summer

In summer, the underside of these leaves may be covered in velvety hairs whereas during the autumn time they turn brown before falling off.

Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) leaves changing colour in autumn
Common Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) leaves changing colour in autumn

Common Dogwood in Autumn

The leaves turn yellow during these months.

Common Dogwood in Winter

Its green twigs turn purply black during winter months before sprouting new buds for next season’s growth.

In cooler climates, this weed tends to die out during winter months because these regions have cold winters; however, when warmer weather starts making its way back into our lives, this weed will start to grow again.

Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) leaves with their deep veins
Common Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) leaves with their deep veins

How to get rid of Common Dogwood

If you’re looking for an easy way to remove common dogwoods permanently from your garden or garden then look no further than our professional-grade spray treatment option.

This product is specially designed to destroy common dogwoods by attacking and eradicating the entire plant.

Method One – Herbicide Treatment

There are many methods to use to remove common dogwood from your home landscapes. One of the most popular is the application of a herbicide that contains either glyphosate or triclopyr as its active ingredient.

Use a herbicide containing glyphosate (e.g., Roundup) sprayed on the leaves in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges.

Glyphosate-based products have been shown in studies to be less effective than triclopyr-based ones, but may require fewer applications because it takes longer for them to work.

Products containing this type of chemical can also leave a residue on plants and lawns after they dry which will prevent other types of vegetation nearby from growing well until it has dissipated over time – typically about six months later when all trace amounts would disappear completely.

Triclopyr does not have these issues and often only requires one application to be effective.

The most important thing when using herbicides is that you always follow the instructions for how much product should be applied and in what amount of water it should be diluted, as this will vary depending on the active ingredient being used.

For example, a typical mix would have about two tablespoons of concentrated glyphosate-based material mixed with one quart (or four cups) of water, but if you are using triclopyr instead then eight teaspoons could also work well instead.

In general, these additives must never exceed more than 30% by volume or concentration so useless rather than risking harmful side effects like plant damage and run-off into natural waterways where they can affect wildlife populations downstream from your property line.

Never apply herbicides to any part of the plant that is in contact with soil or water, especially if it has not rained recently.

As always, avoid spraying herbicide directly on edible plants and shrubs as they may be harmed by exposure too.

Keep pets away from freshly sprayed areas for at least 24 hours after application since many products can be toxic to animals when ingested so keep them out of reach until you know the area is safe again.

Finally, take extra caution during warmer months with more rainfall because this will increase your risk for runoff into waterways like streams and rivers.

Method Two – Digging it out

It is also imperative that you don’t just pull out one plant because its root system may still remain in the soil and most likely take over again as long as there are other plants left behind.

In order to properly get rid of a whole cluster, dig down at least 12 inches while removing all visible traces below ground and then fill in the hole If a large number of dogwoods have popped up, consider using a herbicide in your yard as this weed is very difficult to remove by hand.

Remove the plant from your garden and destroy it. This will prevent new roots from growing in future seasons, which can lead to its re-emergence.

Closeup shot of a common dogwood twig with white blossom
Closeup shot of a common dogwood twig with white blossom

Common Dogwood Management

The best time for control is during late winter or early spring when dogwood shrubs are dormant but before they push out leaves.

Common Dogwoods thrive best under moist conditions because they are susceptible to drought stress when their roots become severely dehydrated due to lack of moisture for long periods of time.

In Conclusion

Common Dogwood is a tough plant but with this guide outlining all areas for attack, we hope you’re ready to fight back against this enemy before they get too far into your garden again!

Common Dogwood is a very adaptable weed that grows in our gardens today and is one of the most resistant. However, using one of the products mentioned below will eliminate it.