What: Cornus kousa var. chinensis “Milky Way” was selected for is large flowers and prolific bloom. In June, star-shaped flowers open lime green and quickly change to a creamy white. The flowers can be so numerous you can hardly see any green leaves! In late summer, bright red strawberry-like fruits hang from the branches until autumn turns the leaves deep red and scarlet. This small- to medium-sized tree has a graceful and refined layered branching pattern and older trees show a flaking patchwork of gray, tan and green on the trunk. This Chinese dogwood is resistant to dogwood anthracnose, the disease that affects our native dogwood.
Where: Plant this slow growing tree in a moist, well-drained soil with full sun to light or open shade. It can be adaptable to sandy soils and clay with regular watering during dry weather.
Size: Chinese dogwood will grow to be 30 feet tall with a spread of 25 feet when mature.
Care: The lovely layered form of “Milky Way” can easily be ruined by pruning. Consult an experienced pruner or take local classes before attempting to prune.
— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks