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Dogwood Trees

These fruiting dogwood trees (Cornus mas) bloom and bear an edible fruit in summer that is astringent when unripe, but tangy with a bit of sweetness when ripe. The dogwood berry, commonly called a “cherry” – which resembles the cherry that yields the coffee bean – is dark or bright red, or even bright yellow, depending on the cultivar. The fruit’s flavor is reminiscent of tart cherry, cranberry, or lingonberry. It is primarily enjoyed in jams and sauces. Dogwood trees are native to parts of Western Asia and Eastern Europe where they were prized in ancient times for their wood, used to make tools and weapons. Even today, the dense wood from dogwood trees is considered to be superior in quality; valued for crafting tools, handles, and other durable woodworks. Dogwood trees are easy to grow and have an attractive spreading branch structure in the landscape. These trees make excellent focal points in the yard, provide a food source to birds and other wildlife, and are hardy enough to grow successfully in northern gardens.

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