Robert´s NOW. Notes On Wildlife

Dogwood in the organic orchard

Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) is a small tree that can reach 4-6 meters high, belonging to the family of Cornaceae native to Europe and Asia. It is a deciduous tree. Its leaves are opposite, dark green. It is relatively late flowering, blooming in June. It has white flowers grouped in small clusters.

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Dogwood with ripe fruits

The flowers are visited by numerous insects in search of pollen and nectar.

Hoverflies flock to the flowers for pollen. It remembers that hoverflies are important pollinators of our fruit trees. Besides the larvae of some species feed on aphids.

 

Chrysogaster solstitialis  feeding on pollen of dogwood flower.

Chrysogaster solstitialis feeding on pollen of dogwood flower.

Towards the end of August, you can see its fruits, small and black, rounded shape and a unique and “large” seed. Many birds eat these berries.

Surprisingly, many of these birds are reputed insectivorous, hunting many enemies of our vegetables, as larvae of butterflies and moths, wire worms, etc.

Robin eating a berry of dogwood

Robin eating a berry of dogwood

Hidden in a cache we could get these photographs and also we have observed that these insectivorous birds alternate between prey and small breaks to ingest dogwood berries. Later investigating the behavior of these birds have known that the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) approaches the high fat content of these berries to regain strength in their migratory journey to Africa.

Birds eat the whole berry and expel the seed for the peak. When we were shooting the scene we did not know what expelled by the peak. But we were fortunate to pick up one of those expelled pellets on the floor of our deck. So we saw that it was the seed of dogwood.

Birds eat the whole berry and expel the seed for the peak. When we were shooting the scene we did not know what expelled by the peak. But we were fortunate to pick up one of those expelled pellets on the floor of our deck. So we saw that it was the seed of dogwood.

The seed of the fruit of the dogwood is very large when compared with the fleshy part.

Dogwood fruit and seed.

Dogwood fruit and seed.

Its wood is very hard and tough, appreciated in gardening. In our garden we use to make handles for tools and guardians for vegetables (peppers, tomatoes …).

Thanks to the reddish color of its young branches is worth having in mind to create flower beds and hedges in our orchard.

This tree needs soil loose and fresh. They can reproduce by seed but also occurs with great ease of root shoots, which can cut and remove to make new copies of very simple and effective way.

Visit us to do birding and insecting!

 

Contact us:        robertelefonica@movistar.es

 

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robert

I am a biologist specializing in ecology. I am a nature photographer and organic farmer.I am trying to understand the role of the species in the agroecosystem, to get quality food while preserving the environment. All this I try to convey in my organic farm school. Our website: www.areitzsoroa.com

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