Trees to look for in January — Dogwood

Photo credit: Tamsin Bent

Where to look

It is mainly found in hedges and on the edges of woodland. It grows best on calcareous (chalky) soils.


Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) is a native shrub.  In the spring it has clusters of creamy flowers and in the autumn small black berries (sometimes called ‘dogberries’) and bright red leaves. Its insect pollinated flowers are hermaphrodites (made up of both male and female parts). 
However, dogwood is best known for its brightly coloured bark in winter. The bark on the new growth stems is red but only on the stems which are in sunlight. Those in the shade are green! Bark’s job is similar to that of our skin. It protects the tree from the weather, making sure that it doesn’t get scorched from the sun or dried out by the wind and keeps animals and fungi away from the sugary sap underneath.
It’s thought that its name has nothing to do with dogs but is from the word ‘dag’ which means skewer or spike because it was used by butchers for skewering meat!


“Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs”
“Spotted by ilse”
class 4
Year 6
class 4
“It is red and pretty”
“Spotted on a lovely sunny walk today.”
“Spotted in Treglines, Cornwall.”
Tamsin Bent
Ilse L
“I saw some more dogwood today”
Edie L
“I saw this on my way to school”

Where we've found Dogwood

Dogwood spottings journal (22 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
28 Mar 2024 Rodborough Leafgatherers Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
31 Jan 2024 Stroud Valleys Project
7 Jan 2024 Spillmans Ilse Leafgatherers Spotted by ilse
22 Mar 2023 Stroud Valleys Project
15 Mar 2022 Stroud Valleys Project
31 Jan 2022 conservation area class 4 Foxmoor Primary
28 Jan 2022 Year 6 Foxmoor Primary
17 Jan 2022 class 4 Foxmoor Primary
14 Jan 2022 Selsley Ethan Foxmoor Primary
4 Feb 2021 CasparB Caspar B
1 Feb 2021 Front garden Stanley Brimacombes It is red and pretty
23 Jan 2021 Stroud Gavin Blended Spotted on a lovely sunny walk today.
11 Jan 2021 Stratford Park Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
7 Apr 2020 Garden Jo The Weaver's
30 Mar 2020 Ceplsmmil and gardn Ella The Weaver's
24 Mar 2020 Treglines, Cornwall. Gavin Blended Spotted in Treglines, Cornwall.
12 Mar 2020 Blended
12 Mar 2020 Blended
11 Jan 2020 Tamsin Bent Stroud Valleys Project
8 Jan 2020 Ilse L Leafgatherers I saw some more dogwood today
7 Jan 2020 Edie L Leafgatherers I saw this on my way to school
6 Jan 2020 Buckley-Nolans


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