hedgerow plants

Guy Clark guyclark at socket.net
Wed May 27 12:10:00 EDT 1998

Cornus mas is the botanical name for the Corneliancherry Dogwood which is a
beautiful tree/shrub that can achieve 20-25 ft high by 15-20 ft wide.  It
is hardy to -30 degrees F (Zone 4 in the U.S. to Zone 8), but it does not
do well in the deep south.  It is a large multi-stemmed shrub or small tree
of oval-rounded outline that often branches to the ground making grass
culture impossible (always a plus in my book.)  You can prune it to make a
tree and it can sucker profusely.  It has a medium growth rate and medium
texture.  The bark is a flaky, exfoliating grey to cinnamon which is quite
nice.  It has dark green summer foliage and rarely good fall color
(purplish to red).  Yellow flowers open in late winter/early spring which
are effective for about three weeks on last year's wood.  They are yellow
in umbels about 3/4 inch across with individual flowers about 1/6 inch
across.  The real show are the bracts which surround the umbels before they
open.  They are quite spectacular considering how early they flower.  The
fruit is a drupe about 5/8 inch long and 1/2 inch wide, bright cherry red
in July (midsummer).  They are used for syrup & preserves.  The tree
transplants well when young (balled and burlapped) and is adaptable
regarding soil and pH.  They prefer rich, well-drained soil in sun to
partial shade.  They have no real disease or pest problems and are sadly
underutilized in landscapes.

Autumn Olive is Elaeagnus umbellata.  I would warn you up front that this
plant is considered to be a pest itself just a step below Kudzu,
Loosestrife and Crown Vetch.  Produces abundant fruit which bird spread
with abandon.  Its virtue is its ability to fix nitrogen and withstand
salt.  In fact you can pour salt directly on the ground around the plant
and it will grow on unfazed.  The foliage is a nice green with grey
undersides and the flowers are wonderfully fragrant in May.  I would advise
you stay away from this plant unless you want it all over your, hopefully
large, property and your neighbors.

	I took much of this information from Michael Dirr's Manual of Woody
Landscape Plants:  Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics,
Culture, Propagation and Uses which is the Bible for trees.  Along with
fellow University of Georgia professor, Dr. Armitage's perennial guide
which is equally exceptional.
Guy Clark
Fertile Crescent Farm
310 Hartley Court
Columbia, MO  65201
guyclark at socket.net

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