At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Cornaceae
Latin Name: Cornus racemosa
Foliage: Grayish-green
Fall Foliage: Reddish-purple
Bloom: White
Bloom Time: May to June
Shape: Spreading
Bark: Red to gray
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 4 to Zone 8
Size: 10 to 15 feet
Spread: 10 to 15 feet
Care: Medium, well drained soil

Cornus Racemosa, commonly known as the Gray Dogwood, is sometimes thought of as the underdog of the Cornaceae family. At first sight, it’s not as attractive, nor as tame or ornamental, but it grows gamely on its own without particular care and is a definite survivor with underrated and subtle beauty. Reaching a height of 10-15 ft., the shrubby tree’s straggly spread reaches a respective 10-15ft.; like most other dogwood varieties, the Gray Dogwood prefers full sun to partial shade and medium, well-drained soils. The Gray Dogwood is also more tolerant towards dry soil and air pollution, and is not known to need fertilizer.

Being native to southern Canada and the northern United States—with a 4-8 hardiness zone rating—the Gray Dogwood isn’t considered an invasive species, and is in fact often favored over more invasive shrubs such as the non-native honeysuckle. It can, however, become aggressive if not occasionally pruned, with its multiple stems branching out to create a thicket due its sucker tendency; many such trees planted together can create the perfect rough hedge. With careful treatment, however, you could also fashion and align a Gray Dogwood to grow as a small tree.

The Gray Dogwood brightens the landscape with its reddish-gray trunk and its thick grayish-green foliage. In May and June, panicles of tiny creamy-white flowers emerge to decorate the tree, giving way to gleaming green berries that whiten later in the summer. In the autumn, the Gray Dogwood’s smoky-green leaves darken to muted shades of red or purple, painting the tree with splashes of warm color without being too showy or dramatic. The Gray Dogwood furthermore serves as a habitat and food source for a variety of wildlife; many birds—bluebirds, downy woodpeckers, flickers, cardinals, and more—favor the Gray Dogwood’s berries.

Mature Tree Photos: