Plant ID forum: What kind of tree is this?

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Massachusetts
Emmajk
May 24, 2018 8:11 PM CST
Hi, I'm new to gardening so I apologize if this is a stupid question. We bought our house two years ago and in the back was what looked like a newly planted tree about 3 feet tall. Now it has grown to well over 10 feet and I'm wondering if anyone could tell me what it is. This year is the first year it has flowered. Thank you!
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
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Calif_Sue
May 24, 2018 8:12 PM CST

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Dogwood
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Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
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quercusnut
May 24, 2018 8:38 PM CST
Dogwood, yes. But doesn't look typical of Cornus florida. Could be, I suppose. Or a hybrid since it's blooming while in full leaf?
Massachusetts
Emmajk
May 25, 2018 7:23 AM CST
Thank you, that's what I thought but it doesn't look like the other dogwoods in my area..it's planted directly in the middle of where our patio will go but I wish I could figure out how big it will be ...it's a single trunk(?) but it did have smaller branches growing out towards the bottom that we trimmed. We would need to trim more bc people would be walking in to the lower branches but I read you shouldn't trim more than 25% of a tree at one time. I'm wondering if it will produce berries and if that will be a bit of a pain on the patio..I really like the idea of a tree in the middle of the patio. The rest of our yard is shaded by a big oak tree so if this one got big too we'd have no sun in the yard at all? It's hard to decide what to do :(
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
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quercusnut
May 25, 2018 9:02 AM CST
I think you would be safe pruning up to maybe 50% but only those branches that will be in the way. I would prune only those that absolutely have to go this year and prune a few more next year and the years after until you get it like you want it.
If it does produce seed and the birds don't get them there shouldn't be so many that it would be that big a chore to just sweep them away.
I doubt if it will get big enough to produce a very dense shade. Dogwoods are relatively small trees.
I think you have a winner there. I would love to have it in my yard.
Massachusetts
Emmajk
May 25, 2018 11:57 AM CST
Thank you! I am going to keep it 😊
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
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ViburnumValley
May 25, 2018 9:39 PM CST
That is a Japanese (or Kousa) Dogwood - Cornus kousa. This species of Dogwood blooms after the leaves have emerged, rather than before like the native species Cornus florida.

This is a very nice tree to have in one's landscape, not only for the flowering you see but also for fruit characteristics and generally excellent fall colors with oranges, reds, yellows, and burgundies in its repertoire. It is not small, but can slowly reach dimensions of 20 feet tall by 20 feet wide - or possibly greater given high quality growing conditions. Depending on where you are in Massachusetts, you should visit the Arnold Arboretum in Boston and see what mature Kousa Dogwoods can become. I think you will be impressed and pleased.

As mentioned in this thread, prune slowly but regularly to remove branches that will eventually be in conflict with where you want to be able to walk. You can cut back part of a branch at a time, and take several seasons to fully remove a whole branch. Fruit will form, but not drop until fall. It is such a good plant, I think you will overlook any temporary inconvenience that any fruit might cause. It also happens to be edible; you may develop a taste for its fruit and compete for its flavors with any pesky wildlife.

Here's some idea of what your tree may aspire to:

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John

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