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Pisidia piscipula, Jamaica Dogwood

A great deciduous tropical tree virtually ignored by the mainstream industry. This is a wonderful shade tree for sub-tropical and tropical landscapes where there is room for a medium-sized tree. Should be an easy tree to grow quickly into a nice nursery specimen.

Prune to maintain a dominant leader (one main trunk) by cutting back or removing competing leaders. Do this every 3 years for the first 15-20 years after planting. Do not allow branches with included bark to grow too large because they could split from the tree. This is best accomplished by removing some secondary branches (especially those toward the edge of the canopy) along those branches with included bark in the branch union. Regularly reduce the length of low aggressive branches by making reduction cuts if these branches will be in the way later and have to be removed. This will prevent having to make large pruning wounds later because the pruned branches will grow slower. Large pruning wounds can initiate decay in the trunk and branches, and decay can advance rapidly.

This is one of the most outstanding woods for wood working. It turns nicely making wonderful bowls, ornaments and furniture. Plants are part of the upper canopy in the Florida keys. Trees are tolerant of drought partially due to their deciduous habit and are salt tolerant. Few leaves are on the plant toward the end of the dry season (April). Foliage in winter is often flecked with white or tan spots. All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. Wood is very resistant to decay. Logs can be found on the forest floor intact several decades after they have fallen.

Trees serve as larvae hosts for the hammock skipper (Polygonus leo) butterfly.

Jamaica Dogwood Photos

Jamaica Dogwood Bark

Jamaica Dogwood Leaves

Jamaica Dogwood Flowers