A beautiful small tree with a wide canopy and interesting, multi-trunk form. White, four-petal blooms appear in early spring before the leaves emerge. The summer leaves are a crisp green. The foliage turns red in fall and is accompanied by bright red berries.

One of the best ways to know where and how to plant a dogwood is to look at how it grows naturally. The flowering dogwood is indigenous to woodlands, so it likes a little shade. And it also prefers acidic and well-drained soils. Dogwoods are also very shallow rooted, so make sure you don’t plant them too deep.

If you’ve had difficulty growing the native American dogwood, you might try growing its tougher cousin the Chinese dogwood, Cornus kousa var. chinensis. The flowers bloom later, after the tree has already leafed out. And the petals on the blooms are pointed, and it has an interesting fruit that looks like a raspberry.