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Lawn & Garden

Empress of China dogwood, Cornus angustata 'Elsbry'

Common Name: Empress of China dogwood

Type: tree

Family: Cornaceae

Zone: 6 to 9     Find Your Zone

Height: 15 to 18 feet

Width: 13 to 15 feet

Bloom Time: May to June

Bloom Color: white

Sun Exposure: full to partial

Soil: well drained

Leaves: evergreen

Fertilizer: Vigoro Tree, Shrub and Evergreen or Miracle Gro Evergreen Tree Spikes

Deer tolerant: yes

This tree will bloom far more than any other dogwood, as it will become completely covered in blooms (bracts). Unlike other dogwoods, this tree is evergreen. It is a great addition to a landscape as a specimen tree. The white flowers of Empress of China have pointed petals unlike those of the regular flowering dogwood.

This tree displays beautiful purple foliage in the fall and will remain on the tree until the new growth pushes it off in the spring. This tree will also get get translucent fruit on it in the summer and fall. This tree also has better resistance to powdery mildew than other dogwoods.


STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type. 
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.
  • When planting trees, a tree stake kit may be required to prevent the wind from blowing over or breaking our newly planted tree until it becomes established.

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Posted 2018-02-01T15:13:50+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL
Thank you Ingar! 

"The Empress of China" is a Dogwood that I was not familiar with, the blossom are spectacular and the foliage procession sounds amazing! The tree thrives out of my zone that is why I did not recognize it. Thank you for that post and all the recent posts that add to the wide collection, data base, in the plant library!

Keep them coming, Maureen
Posted 2018-02-01T18:12:32+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS
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