[NAFEX] Cornus Mas in New Mexico

Martha Davis martha_davis at earthlink.net
Mon Feb 1 20:17:01 EST 2010

 I live in New Mexico at around 7,000 feet.  While I have not gotten my
Cornus mas in yet a friend in the same area has.  She grows hers on the
north side of her 2 story house.  The ones in the shade have twice the
growth that the one in the sun did.  After she put in an artificial (astro
turf) lawn, it acted as a mulch and water sink for the plant in the sun and
it's growth is much improved and it is catching up to the other two.  She
doesn't have named varieties, but general landscape run.  Most years the
bushes set and mature fruit here, but not always. In Illinois the bloom was
able to tolerate what the Chicago suburbs could hand out, but the amount and
severity of temperature swings here in New Mexico are more extreme. When I
grew Cornus mas in Illinois it was considered an indicator plant for when
the garden in general needed water so water is likely to be a major issue.
 The soil my friend has, has been managed organically for a long period and
she collects rainwater so I think at this point the sodium salt levels are
likely to be low.

Martha Davis
Los Alamos NM

  *Sat, 1/16/10, Jay Cutts <cutts at cuttsreviews.com>* wrote:

From: Jay Cutts <cutts at cuttsreviews.com>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] cornus mas
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Saturday, January 16, 2010, 5:09 PM

Because of the very early flowering, I tried it here in NM at 7000 feet
most trees get subjected to late frosts and don't set fruit. I assumed that
it blooms that early, it must have built in resistance to frosts.

Unfortunately, it seems to be susceptible here to a strange syndrome which
affects certain plants that are unrelated to each other.  Part way through
season the leaves begin to die back from the edges, turning brownish and
drying up.  Eventually this works its way to the center of the leaf.  It
affects all the leaves on the plant and I have never had a plant recover
from it.

I have theorized that the cause could be high ultraviolet or perhaps the
mineral content of the soil or the irrigation water.  The syndrome has
affected Cornus mas and kousa, pawpaws (which are notoriously susceptible to
direct sun in their early years), hardy kiwi, sweet cherries, among others.
Some other cherries seem to be mildly affected but survive.  My
leaves get a bit ragged on the edges by late summer.  My chokecherries
much have their leaves destroyed by late summer but survive anyway.

I'd love to grow Cornus mas but haven't figured a way around this.  By the
way, sometimes people say to grow it in some shade but we don't have shade
here.  At least any shade that exists is under very competitive pines and

Any ideas?
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