a fallen kousa branch (and no vase big enough)

fallen kousa dogwood branch
THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD HAVE MADE THIS MISHAP a little more bearable: if I’d had a vase big enough for the spectacular flower-covered branch I lost to storms from one of my Cornus kousa, or Korean dogwoods, last week. Come to think of it, I don’t even have ceilings tall enough to accommodate the 11-foot consolation prize indoors, vase or no vase. In other current Cornus kousa calamities here, the little variegated beauty called ‘Wolf Eyes’ has finally given it up to dogwood anthracnose, the devastating fungal disease that has taken out so many of our native flowering dogwood, Cornus florida. The kousas are typically a great disease-resistant alternative to C. florida–except for a few varieties, including ‘Wolf Eyes.’ Oops. Guess I found that detail out a little late.

  1. Maureen says:

    I lost my beautiful Kousa dogwood too…..it bloomed beautifully this spring and then soon after I noticed it too had that dreaded fungal disease…..but ever since I read your post on your pseudocamelia, I will replace my dogwood with that

  2. Steve Nartowicz says:

    I enjoy reading your blog, it’s informative yet fun, and your pictures are beautiful! Sorry to hear about your Kousa – I was visiting my Mom yesterday and hers are in full bloom. Gorgeous! Thanks for a great blog!

  3. connie mcgehee says:

    if it is any consolation, you took a beautiful photo of this lovely branch for us to see! so sorry for your loss.

  4. Casey says:

    Do you have a rain barrel, that would make a good vase. Sorry for your losses. Could you use the branch as part of a trellis, that would be nice if it has the exfoliating bark.

  5. A white cloud says:

    Awww, what a loss! Such beautiful flowers!
    Though the whole thing is too big for any vase, I hope you were able to make some cuttings to put into vases. With any luck, some of these cuttings might root, giving you more kousa dogwood!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Darlene. I am Zone 5Bish. I have to do homework to see which ones if any would grow where you are.
      Welcome, Nancy. The pond! What a great idea (where were you when I as oblivious over here)?
      Welcome, Jen. Yes, nobody mentioned the ‘Wolf Eyes’ susceptibility and mine just kept declining (along with two C. florida — next year I will be down to none).
      Welcome, Steve. The kousa are so breathtaking in bloom — glad you got to say hello to your mother’s.
      Welcome, Casey. Rain barrel…another good idea I didn’t think of!
      Welcome, A White Cloud. I did enjoy a few pieces, yes.
      Hope to see you all again soon and thank you for your sympathy. I seem to be on a bit of a challenging skid here at the moment. Gardening!

      1. Kitty Forseth says:

        Next time put it in the bathtub then list it for sale on Craigslist. Bet a florist would jump at the opportunity!

  6. Linda Pastorino says:

    A fifty foot tree fell yesterday taking with it two specimen 50 year old dogwoods lattice fencing and alot more . It makes me sad as those were always first to bloom and were seen out of the second story windows of the house.

    I have a pink kousa with gold leaves but will now try and buy a white variety as they seem to be stronger and make for a better display. I’ll not have enough time to see them mature unfortunatly well enough to enjoy the same show each year.
    Its’ terrible that I let the problem of that fallen tree go too long. One has to be up on tree care and removal if seeing a problem. Putting off the expense of dealing with a large problem usually ends up causing more issues down the road.

  7. Sharon says:

    I have a question. We have 2 Kousa dogwoods that are about 10 feet tall and very bushy. We planted them several years ago. They’ve never bloomed. Do they need sun? They’re beneath huge oaks. They show no signs of disease. I actually bought them thinking they were pink Cornus florida, since they were labeled as such.

    1. Margaret says:

      Hi, Sharon. Yes, they like sun or part shade — but good bright light, not the kind of spot you are describing. Besides competing for light, they are probably being beat to the available nutrients, soil moisture and even the literal space by the big root systems of the oaks. So not enough light and not getting the rest of what it needs otherwise could certainly make a flowering tree sulk.

  8. Terri H. says:

    Linda, oddly enough there was an article in my local paper today about our City Council considering adding a regulation that the city would be able to give notice to a landowner that if they don’t remove a dead or dying tree, the city will do it and bill them.

    Theoretically they would only use this power if the tree were threatening power lines or structures… but still… sounds rather Big-Brotherish to me. And there was a comment in the article about, what if the person hasn’t done it because they can’t afford to? Will the city help them with that?

  9. Melissa says:

    What a shame! I had a storm take out my black eyed susan patch- just days after it started blooming! I had a really awesome huge bouquet of black eyed susans for a week or so. The patch is slowly coming back, but oh what a disappointment days after it started blooming!

  10. Michele says:

    Sigh. I suppose some things are meant to simply be experienced and not “grasped at,” like an exquisite, flowering Kousa branch. Looking forward to hearing you speak at Spencertown Arts this Saturday.

  11. Liz says:

    Oh how sad to have such a gorgeous blooming branch get ruined! I gave my Cornus Kousa, Florida to my neighbor since it didn’t get enough sun at my house…it’ blooming like crazy for them…at least I can see it from a window!

  12. Evi says:

    You are so right ” things will die” or as in my case things will be killed by hailstones the size of ping pong balls,as was he case last evening in my area of rural Bavaria. My much beloved polygonum polymorphum suffered a lot. I love it because of its habit of fading gracefully. In contrast to other white flowering shrubs or perennials it does not get brown and an eye-sore but it fades into an elegant light-pink. At least the” branches” I had to cut are not as large as Your cornus branch. I filled several vases with the stems and will test their qualities as cutting floweres.The polygonum has unfortunately a slight disadvantage- the smell is not too pleasant.

  13. Richard Sault says:

    I have several 15 year old Cornus Kousa var. chinensis. I’m not positve but they look like Milky Way. I’m almost certain they are not the Weeping Lustgarden variety. A few of the largest horizontal branches on one of the trees (12′ tall) has started to droop significantly and some of the branches are starting to twist so that the leaves are upside down. At the moment they are loaded with fruit. Any ideas? I’ll be glad to send pictures, if you would like more info.

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Richard. The Lustgarten is very distinctive, not upright but a mounded small thing, more shrub than tree in appearance. What you describe sounds like my regular Kousa dogwood — tree form, not a named or special one at all — whose branches get weighed down by fruit, snow (if leaves still on it) and so on. Sometimes I wonder how they manage to spring back after stresses like last October’s heavy snow with all their leaves on, but they do. I don’t know why they have such flexible branches (less so as they age).

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