Flowering dogwood trees are natural understory trees, growing under tall pine trees or at the forest edge. This protects them from extreme weather and supplies filtered sunlight or semi-shade. They grow in shade or full sun, and tree characteristics depend on the amount of sunlight received.
Sun and Growth Patterns
Dogwood trees grown in full shade will be tall and less dense. Trees in full sun grow slowly and form more branches than shaded trees. The best tree structure is found in partial shade.
Sunlight and Flowering
Sunlight promotes flowering. Trees grown in full shade produce poor flowers. For best flowering, dogwoods need partial shade or protection from the afternoon sun.
Sunlight and Fall Color
Dogwood fall colors are dependent on the variety, but those grown in full sun or partial shade have better color than those grown in full shade.