Name: Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’ aka the pink kousa dogwood.
Type of Plant: Kousa dogwoods are lovely small trees that are hardy in Zones 5-8. Most have ivory flowers, and are attractive trees, but ‘Satomi’ has pink flowers that have darker edges and lighter centers.
Why I love this: These trees are moderate growers, commonly reaching 20 feet high and 15 feet wide. So they are well-sized for the average landscape. They have attractive fruit later in the summer and early fall as well. I also love the fact that these trees don’t bloom in the early spring, but in the early summer.
A Word to the Wise: Cornus kousa likes a consistently moist soil…not soggy wet, but this isn’t the tree to plant in a landscape that never gets watered either. They grow best in full sun.
Does anyone know why the Satomi dogwood doesn’t seem to be available in nurseries? Most of the nurseries around me in Portland Maine carry them every year but this year no one has them and they don’t seem to know why
Plant availability in nurseries depends on what the growers are growing and many factors go into what they raise and why. Sometimes the source of cuttings or stater plants for a particular variety is all coming from one place and if that source closes down, is closed due to weather, has a fire or some other situation then that variety might drop from the market for a few years. Sometimes it’s a matter of consumer demand…and if not many people know that a particular plant exists they can’t ask for it. Since a grower might have to tend plants for several years before selling them, they pay great attention to what is likely to sell, since they don’t want to end up with a field full of unpopular trees and shrubs the garden centers don’t want. So you can see it’s pretty complex and sometimes some very good plants get lost in the shuffle.
That said, I bought my Satomi three years ago from Hyannis Country Garden on Cape Cod. You might call other large nurseries in MA to see who carries them, and make a trip down when you find one. I’d suggest calling Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Mahoney’s in Winchester, MA, Corliss Brothers in Ipswich, or Katsura Gardens in Plymouth.
Do hungry deer like to eat kousa dogwood trees leaves/branches? I live in Marion MA and the deer down here are ravenous!
Deer seldom damage Kousa dogwoods, but that doesn’t mean that you might have one that develops a taste for it. If you live in deer country, as I do, you should spray any newly planted plant with deer repellant immediately to tell Bambi that it’s not on his menu.
Hello, my Kousa Satomi is developing flowers for the first time. At this point the flowers are green. Do they start out green and then turn pink? Or could it be too shady for it to bloom properly? Thanks
Not to worry, Annegret – they start out green and then change to their final color as the flowers mature. If your plant is in deep shade it’s likely to mean a paler pink color, and fewer flowers, however. But wait and see what happens because the color does change.
I have several of these trees and love them. I assume they are hybrids and any seedlings they throw will not be pink?
Yes, Martha – their offspring will most likely be one of the parent plants and not pink.
what is the real difference between a pink satomi dogwood and a stellar pink dogwood? I wanted the satomi pink dogwood, and I ordered the satomi, but the nursery got the stellar pink. please tell me what is the difference between them. they are saying they are basically the same. now I live in north east Pa. and to where we want to put the dogwood has sun all day long our house faces south so we have the sun in morning, afternoon , and evening till sun goes down. Thank you for your time in answering this question.
These are not the same plant at all. The Stellar Pink is Cornus florida – the early spring flowering dogwood. Satomi is Cornus kousa, which flowers in early summer not spring. Your nursery isn’t giving you the whole story.
Should a Satomi tree have lots of leaves and flowers when purchasing from a nursery? Does it depend on how young the tree is? I purchased a satomi that’s about 4-5 feet tall and doesn’t have many leaves, it’s pretty sparse or any flowers/buds for that matter. It’s the end of May. Should I be worried that I didn’t choose a healthy tree?
The amount of leaves on a new tree depend on where you are and if that plant was in a container or was a balled-and-burlaped plant. If you’ve planted it, take a photo and go into the nursery where you bought it and talk with their nursery manager…express your concern, and tell him that you’ll give the plant a few weeks to get settled, but if it doesn’t continue to leaf out you might want to review the guarantee policy of that nursery. Then be sure you’re watering it deeply with a sprinkler – not by hand! – every five to seven days, making sure the sprinkler is soaking well beyond the dripline of the tree. A deep soaking less often is better than a little every day.