Posted by ILPARW
(southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Oct 9, 2018 2:25 PM concerning plant:
What is good about the Kousa Dogwood tree that is native to China, Japan, and Korea is that it has pretty, mottled, smooth bark; good red fall color; and pretty, white flowers with sharp-pointed petals that appear with the leaves in late May and June. What is bad about this species is that it bears lots of the large, soft, red, multiple-drupe fruits that make quite a mess on lawn or especially on paved surfaces. The only animal that I've seen feeding on the fruits, as they are rotting, are Yellowjackets. One woman told me she thought her squirrels ate some. The stiff branching habit of this bushy small tree is not nearly as nice as the sort of roller coaster branching of the American flowering Dogwood. This is commonly planted in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast US. I've seen only a few specimens in the Chicago, IL area. There are several cultivars commonly available also.
A new canker-leaf blight disease (Discula destructiva) was discovered in 1987 in the South that at first devastated many American Flowering Dogwoods in the 1990's and into the next century a little in the East US. It did not really affect the Kousa species; which probably means the disease came from East Asia. Everyone panicked and replaced many Flowering dogwoods with the Asian species. However, I am happy to say that there are still a large number of the American Flowering Dogwoods in southeast Pennsylvania in yards and some in the woods. I prefer the native species as it does provide beneficial insects and birds with food, the little red berries are fantastic for birds, and it looks better to me.