Published: Jul 28, 2012 12:00 AM
Modified: Jul 27, 2012 12:16 PM
HILLSBOROUGH - The Hillsborough Tree Board has selected a flowering dogwood as its sixth treasure tree.
The tree, nominated by Tree Board members, is in the 100 block of North Wake Street – a main street in the Historic District.
The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) was designated the North Carolina state flower in 1941. The tree, which grows to a height of 10 to 40 feet, is valued because of its exceptional flowers and wildlife usage. Its range is Southern Ontario and the Great Lakes states to Maine and south to Northern Florida and Central Texas.
Flowering dogwoods perform best in well drained, evenly moist, acid soils and partial shade. They will survive in less than perfect conditions. In nature, the tree tolerates moist and dry soils of valleys and uplands in the understory of hardwood forests. It also can be found in old fields and along roadsides.
The flowering dogwood blooms after the redbud, spreading its white bracts in early to mid-April ahead of and overlapping with leaf development. The true flowers, which are yellow, are centered at the base of the four white bracts. The dogwood is possibly the finest small flowering tree and is a welcome sign of spring in the East, the Tree Board noted.
The tree serves as a host plant for the Spring Azure butterfly, and 43 bird species eat the fruits and buds. Its shiny red fruits ripen in September and October and may persist into winter. Its foliage turns scarlet in autumn.
The dogwood’s hard wood is extremely shock-resistant and useful for making weaving-shuttles. It also is used to make spools, small pulleys, mallet heads and jeweler’s blocks. Native Americans used the aromatic bark and roots as a remedy for malaria and extracted a red dye from the roots.Nominate a Treasure Tree
The Tree Board encourages residents to look for trees with exceptional qualities such as superior size, color, shape, flowers, fruit, winter interest, historic value or any other exceptionality.
Nomination forms are available on the Tree Board page of the town website. A copy of the nomination form also may be obtained by contacting Public Works Interim Director Ken Hines by e-mail or by phone at 919-732-1279 Ext. 78. Hines is the town liaison to the Tree Board.
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