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The classic and trusted book “Fifty Common Trees of Indiana” by T.E. Shaw was published in 1956 as a user-friendly guide to local species.  Nearly 70 years later, the publication has been updated through a joint effort by the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Indiana 4-H, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and reintroduced as “An Introduction to Trees of Indiana.”

The full publication is available for download for $7 in the Purdue Extension Education Store. The field guide helps identify common Indiana woodlot trees.

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the book, paired with an ID That Tree video from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee to help visualize each species as it stands in the woods. Threats to species health as well as also insight into the wood provided by the species, will be provided through additional resources as well as the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest exhibit of the Purdue Arboretum, if available.

This week, we introduce the flowering dogwood or Cornus florida.

This small native Indiana tree has beautiful white blossoms in the spring, and red to maroon foliage in the fall. It has opposite leaf arrangement with simple leaves featuring a venation pattern that sees the veins angle and sweep along the edges of the leaf and curve to the tip. The bark is a rough alligator hide texture that ranges from light to medium gray.

 

The showy white flowers, which appear in April or May, are followed by berry-like fruit clusters that are green at first, later turning red.

Flowering dogwood is the largest dogwood in the state of Indiana. It is shade tolerant, but it prefers good soil drainage and protection from the wind.

Flowering dogwood is a great alternative to the invasive callery pear.

According to Morton Arboretum, the flowering dogwood grows to 20 to 40 feet tall.

According to the Wood Database, flowering dogwood is commonly used in golf club heads, textile shuttles, bows for archery, mallets, pulleys and turned objects.

For full article with additional photos view: Intro to Trees of Indiana: Northern catalpa

Resources:
Flowering Dogwood, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel-playlist
Woodland Management Moment, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel-playlist

Wendy Mayer, FNR Communications Coordinator
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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