Upcoming Events

‘Fall Gardening Extravaganza’ Coming September 29th

We are pleased to announce that our ‘Fall Gardening Extravaganza’ will return in September!

After much success in 2014 and 2015, the Tallapoosa County Extension Office and Tallapoosa County Master Gardener Association have decided to host another grand event.  The 2017 event will be on Friday, September 29th at Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City.

We are very excited to offer another slate of well-known horticulturists and gardeners that have all agreed to come to Alexander City to speak at our 2017 “Fall Gardening Extravaganza.”  Get ready for this amazing 2017 all-star lineup of speakers as featured in the “2017 Fall Gardening Extravaganza” Event Pamphlet:

butterfly adorns the brochure cover for the "Fall Gardening Extravaganza" September 27, 2017 in Alexander City, ALChris VanCleave, speakers at the "Fall Gardening Extravaganza," Chris Van Cleave, Sara L. Van Beck, Felder Rushing, and Carol Reese“The Redneck Rosarian”, is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. His writing is seen at HomeDepot.com and on his popular website, RedneckRosarian.com.

Sara L. Van Beck currently serves as a Corresponding Member of the Royal Horticulture Narcissus Classification Advisory Group. She has recently published Daffodils in American Gardens, 1733-1940 (2015), co-authored, with her mother Linda, Daffodils in Florida: A Field Guide to the Coastal South (2003), and has written articles for numerous other publications.

Felder Rushing is the international founder of Slow Gardening, a highly satisfying approach that focuses on finding and following personal garden bliss. He is author or co-author of 18 gardening books and a former Extension Service urban horticulture specialist who actually started the Master Gardener program in his home state of Mississippi. Felder has written thousands of gardening columns in syndicated newspapers and has had hundreds of articles and photographs published in regional and national garden magazines.

Carol Reese is an Ornamental Horticulture Specialist with UT Extension. She is a contributor to several garden magazines and writes a weekly gardening and nature column for the Jackson Sun in Jackson TN. Her talk – Take a Walk on the Wild Side –  will discuss how to create fabulous habitat and wildlife garden alive with birds, bees, and butterflies, yet have a sense of strong design and year-round appeal for the humans and other critters that enrich and entertain.

The 2017 ‘Fall Gardening Extravaganza’ will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Betty Carol Graham Technology Center located on the Central Alabama Community College campus.  Cost is only $25 per person and includes a lunch. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

“2017 Fall Gardening Extravaganza” Event Pamphlet

Must Register by calling the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050!


Registration Deadline is Friday, September 22, 2017

2018 Chick Chain Registration

Registration for our 2018 Chick Chain Project is going on now! Registration is $40. See this pamphlet for the registration form.

What is Chick Chain?

The 4-H Chick Chain Project teaches young people the recommended management practices for growing and raising chickens. Participation will help you do the following:
• develop poultry management skills
• learn to produce healthy chickens
• develop awareness of business management
• develop record-keeping skills (income and expenses)
• contribute to your home food supply
• realize the pride of accomplishment

Who can Participate?

Any young person ages 9 through 18 as of January 1 of the project year can participate.

What will Participants Do?

After initial registration, you will attend a mandatory meeting on the designated date. You will then receive 10 pullets (female chicks) of two different breeds that you choose on the scheduled pick-up day. You will care for your chickens for approximately 20 weeks. At some point during this time, you must schedule a home visit with us. At the end of the 20 weeks, you will bring 2 of your chickens of the same breed to the Chick Chain Show and Auction on October 6, 2018. You will show your 2 birds and auction them at the end. If you meet all of the requirements, you will receive a full refund of your registration fee ($40).

What are the Requirements?

  • Be enrolled in 4HOnline.
  • Attend the mandatory meeting and take the pretest.
  • Schedule and participate in the home visit.
  • Help publicize the Show and Auction by distributing a flyer that will be provided to you.
  • Attend and participate in the East Alabama 4-H Chick Chain Show.
  • Participate in the 4-H Chick Chain Auction.
  • Take the posttest.
  • Submit a completed 4-H Chick Chain Record Book.
  • Complete the program evaluation.

There are three breeds available to choose from! (You choose two)

Rhode Island Red
Barred Plymouth Rock

Buff Orpington

Please have the $40 fee along with the registration form to the Tallapoosa County Extension Office no later than March 19, 2018. There will be no late additions, so get it in on timeMake checks payable to ACES.

Tallapoosa County Extension
125 N. Broadnax St., Room 23
Dadeville, AL 36853

Do Your Research Before Buying Fruit Trees

Don’t you just love eating those fresh picked ripe peaches, apples, pears, strawberries, and grapes. Having a home orchard with lots of fruit trees and eating fresh, home-grown fruit in the summer is a dream for many people. However, wanting a home orchard and having a home orchard is two different things. It can be a wonderful thing if managed right or it can turn into a nightmare if done wrong.

Much of the success or failure of having a home orchard lies primarily on your first decision – the variety of the fruits chosen.  Simply going out and buying just any type of fruit tree from just any source is easy enough and sounds like a good idea, right?  Wrong.  Doing just that and not doing your homework can result in a very bad investment.

Before you select a fruit tree and take it home and plant it, find out what varieties of fruit trees and small fruits grow best in our area. The truth is that it is very difficult to grow most of those types of fruits you see in the grocery store.  Alabama climate conditions of hot and dry summers and mild winters just won’t let you have that perfect orchard full of fabulous fruit. That is why other states are known for growing certain fruits. Peaches tend to grow better in Georgia, oranges do well in Florida, apples are perfect in Washington, and everything grows well in California.  But don’t worry, fruit can be grown in Alabama and be grown successfully.  You just have to know which varieties will work in Alabama.

If you want to grow apples, then try these varieties: Gala, Fuji, Rome, Gingergold, Jonagold, Cumberland Spur, and Granny Smith.  There are hundreds of commercial varieties of peaches, but gardeners might wish to try Redhaven, Sweethaven, Cresthaven, Fireprince, Contender, Georgia Belle, Jefferson, and Redskin.  If you like pears, then you might want to try Orient, Kieffer, or Moonglow (soft).  AU Producer, AU Roadside, and AU Cherry are great varieties of plums.

You won’t go wrong with varieties of figs like Brown Turkey, Celeste, Alma, LSU Gold, and LSU Purple.  Our traditional blueberry varieties are Tifblue, Premier, Brightwell, and Climax but some news ones worth planting are Alapaha, Vernon, and Yadkin.  Cardinal, Earliglow, and Chandler are a few suggested types of strawberries.  Navaho, Kiowa, Ouachita, Arapaho, and Apache are examples of blackberries that will do great.  If you like grapes, go with muscadines such as Ison, Pam, Darlene, Fry, Black Beauty, and Supreme since they will do much better than bunch grapes.

Also keep in mind where you purchase your fruit trees and small fruit crops. Always buy from a local reputable nursey, garden center, or specialty catalog source.  Many of the variety choices shipped in and sold by retail stores do not grow or do well in Alabama.  Nor are they usually labeled and named properly; you will have no idea what you are getting or what size it will be.

Regardless of what fruits you like to eat and are consider growing, pay close attention to the maintenance requirements. Having a home orchard is not a simple and easy task and can be very labor some and time consuming.  Almost all fruit plants take 3-5 years to get established before they begin producing their first crops. Many fruit trees like apples and peaches, require a strict and weekly spray program to prevent diseases and insect pests.  Almost all require yearly pruning and training, especially muscadine vines.  And if all goes well, you still have to keep the deer, squirrels, and crows at bay from eating the precious harvest before you do.

– by Shane Harris, County Extension Coordinator for Tallapoosa County.

Alabama 4-H Summer Camp Registration Now Open

Registration for Alabama 4-H Summer Camp is open NOW! Tallapoosa County’s Summer Camp date assignment is June 20-22, 2018.

A deposit of $25 and the required forms are due upon registration, but no later than February 20th. But remember, space is limited to the first 35 and registration is first come, first served! **We will not reserve summer camp spots without the 3 forms due with registration and the deposit**

Total cost for Summer Camp is $125. That includes the $106 State fee and $19 for travel to and from camp. Cost includes lodging, all meals, snacks, a t-shirt and all of the fun activities at camp!

See below for links to a flyer and the required forms and a short promotional video.

Summer Camp Flyer

Required Health History Form (due at time of registration)

Required Youth and Parent Consent Form (due at time of registration)

A copy of the camper’s Blue Immunization Form is also required upon registration.

Required Physician Referral Form (this form is not due with registration but is required before camp)

Space is limited, so call us at 256-825-1050 ASAP to get on the list and get your required forms and deposit in to reserve your spot!

Decorating With Nature


camellia blossoms on the shrub

November 14th from 9 am  to 11 am in the Extension Auditorium. 

Learn to collect plant clippings and materials from nature to create beautiful décor.

Demonstrations on Garland and wreath making along with other ideas.

Bring a bucket of your own clippings from your yard or just come and watch Mallory work her magic. Click on the link below for more information and registration.

Decorating with Nature- Tallapoosa

Master Naturalist Course Returns October 26th

UPDATED – New Starting Date.

After a well received and highly successful initial program last year, the Tallapoosa County Extension office will again offer the Alabama Master Naturalist Course beginning October 26, 2017.  The eight session course will be hosted by the Alabama Cooperative Extension and be held on Thursdays either once or twice a month.  Classes will be held at Wind Creek State Park in Alexander City from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Alabama Master Naturalist (AMN) program is a statewide program whose goal is to help promote awareness, understanding, and respect for Alabama’s natural world among Alabama’s citizens and visitors.  In addition, the AMN program will also develop a statewide corps of well-informed volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.

To become a fully certified Alabama Master Naturalist typically takes 1 full year, but it may take longer depending on the training regiment and track each participant chooses to follow.  A participant starts by completing a 40-basic training course that is offered through Extension.

In addition to the 40-hours of basic training, participants are also required to complete 30 hours of volunteer service during the first year (these hours will be split between a class project and other volunteer opportunities that meet the programs requirements). Once the basic training and the volunteer hours are completed during the first year, each participant will be identified as an Alabama Master Naturalist in Training.

During the next three years, an additional 30 hours of advanced training will also be required to become a fully certified Alabama Master Naturalist.  In addition, each AMN will be encouraged to complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service as described in the AMN program per year.  AMN’s that complete and report their 40 hours of volunteer service per year will be eligible for special benefits associated with the AMN Program.

Classes topics will include:

  1. Taxonomy, Botany and Native Plants
  2. Freshwater Ecosystems and Living Streams
  3. Invertebrates (including Insects)
  4. Birds and Mammals
  5. Amphibians and Reptiles
  6. Alabama’s Cultural Landscape
  7. Geology, Soils and Weather
  8. Forests and Ecosystems

More details can be found in the 2017-18 East Central Alabama Master Naturalist Course Pamphlet. Cost of this course is $30 per day or $200 for all 8 sessions.

Alabama full or part-time residents who are interested in nature, enjoy the outdoors, and have a desire to help with natural resource management and conservation in Alabama are the perfect candidates to become Alabama Master Naturalists.  The AMN Program is open to adults who reside or work in Alabama for at least part of the year.  It is open to all adults regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.

If you are interested in participating in the 2017-18 Master Naturalist Program, participants should call the Tallapoosa County Extension office at (256) 825-1050.  Space is limited.

RCS Alabama Announces Drought Funding


Eligible Landowners with Grazing Lands Encouraged to Apply

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2017 – USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist for Alabama Ben Malone announced that the agency is providing funding to assist landowners impacted by last year’s extreme drought. Agricultural producers statewide suffered losses from months with low rainfall. Eligible landowners are encouraged to apply by July 28, 2017. Alabama landowners living in counties identified as high priority will be assigned the highest priority for financial assistance because they were impacted the most by the drought.

Funding will be provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and will address fencing, water troughs, pasture, hay land re-establishment, wells, and prescribed grazing. In addition to others, these practices will not only help landowners recover losses from the drought, they will serve as a proactive step to help landowners in the event of future drought situations. Measures such as planting drought affected cool season grasses such as fescue and installing water tanks and fencing will make lands more sustainable.

“Landowners across the state have weathered the drought for months and these funds will assist them in replenishing losses and doing what they can to help their grazing lands recover,” said State Conservationist Ben Malone.

During the worst of the drought, USDA reported more than $30 million in disaster funds were distributed nationally for livestock feed programs and non-insured disaster support. In addition, because livestock feed was in short supply, cattle sales were 19% ahead of 2015. This impacted the value of livestock that was sold.

Alabama landowners who are interested in applying for drought funding should contact their local USDA NRCS service center in Tallapoosa County at 256-329-3084, Ext 2, Monday-Friday 7:30 – 4:00 and in Coosa County at 256-377-4750, Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 7:30 – 4:30 to learn more.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to:  USDA Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

Youth Kayaking Lessons Top 4-H Summer Activities

Kayaking continues to be one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities.  It has always been very popular with adults but has increasingly become a great way to introduce youth to water sports and experience the outdoors.  The demand for kayaking programs is so great that the Tallapoosa County 4-H Team will host and teach multiple 4-H RiverKids kayaking lessons this summer across Tallapoosa County.

Kayaking Kamp

Our 3rd Annual 4-H RiverKids Kayaking Kamp returns on June 27-28th. This fun filled event is designed to introduce youth to the world of paddle sports. The half day program in Dadeville will teach water safety, how to paddle a kayak, and include a fun 2 mile float trip down Sandy Creek. Kayaks, life jackets, and shuttle service are provided. Cost is $10 for 4-H youth ages 9 to 18 (includes lunch).  Registration deadline is Friday, June 23, 2017 and spots will fill up quickly.


4-Her’s will participate in a ½ Day Camp. Date and time preference will be assigned upon received registration.

River Kids_LOGO_COLOR copyJune 27th   –    Session A   –   8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

June 27th   –    Session B   –   12 noon – 5 p.m.

June 28th   –    Session C   –   8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

June 28th   –    Session D   –   12 noon – 5 p.m.

Review this Kayaking Kamp promotional flyer & agenda for more details and schedule.

Kayaking 101

Tallapoosa County 4-H will also host youth 4-H RiverKids Kayaking Lessons at Wind Creek State Park and Willow Point Cabana in Alexander City this summer.  One event will be Tuesday, June 2oth @ Wind Creek State Park and another event will be on Thursday, July 27th at Willow Point Cabana.The program will teach water safety, how to paddle a kayak, and include a fun 2 mile float trip along Lake Martin.  Kayaks and life jackets are provided.

Review these flyers for more details and schedule:

June 20th – Wind Creek State Park – Kayaking 101

July 27th – Willow Point Cabana – Kayaking 101

To participate in any 4-H RiverKids Event, a parent or guardian of each youth participant must complete and sign the:

Completed forms must be turned in to the Tallapoosa County  Extension Office prior to the event. Space is limited. Contact the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050 to sign up or for more details.

What did the Drought do to my Calving Season?

Memories of the fall of 2016 and its impacts on pasture availability and cow nutritional status are still fresh on most every Alabama cattle producer’s mind.  As fall calving programs move past the breeding season and spring programs focus on this important time, many producers are likely scratching their heads as to what impacts the drought may have on their cowherd’s breeding season success. This is rightly so, as lowered grazing availability likely led to some loss of body condition in many herds, and stand loss may leave some producers without adequate summer forage emergence.

The drought’s effects on your herd’s breeding season can be closely tied to the nutrition you were able to provide your animals to maintain their body condition score (BCS) throughout the calving and breeding season. Cows that calved at BCS lower than five could have experienced poor performance in the breeding season for two reasons:

1. Cows that calve at a BCS lower than five take more time to return to cycling than their BCS 5+ herdmates. Expect thin animals at calving to take an added 20+ days to return to cycling past their appropriately conditioned herdmates.

2.Animals that have a BCS lower than five during the breeding season experience lower pregnancy rates per breeding. Animals of BCS 4 or lower may experience a conception rate 10-30% lower than their BCS 5+ pasture mates.

Follow these two links (link 1, link 2) to learn more about BCS and its impact on pregnancy outcomes in your herd.

These facts are helpful in managing cattle to have a successful breeding season, but if the season has passed and you are questioning exactly what impact the drought had on your operation’s reproductive success, keep this factor in mind:  

You can know the pregnancy status of your herd quickly and economically. It is extremely important to perform annual pregnancy examination in your herd to identify and cull open cows. However if you are resistant to pregnancy check your herd, keep in mind that this year may be the most important year to implement this management practice. If cows became thin during the breeding season and you move forward on “faith alone” until calving time, there is a very high chance that you will experience lower calving rates than you had hoped for or seen in previous years. Pregnancy check cows 60 days after the conclusion of the breeding season or at calf weaning time to gain a true perspective on your herd’s reproductive status. With no pregnancy exam, you may feed open cows for 6-7 months before realizing that there is a problem. Without this information, you cannot manage your herd for profit potential as you look into the near future. Click here to read more about pregnancy exam options and how such knowledge can impact your herd.

Once you know your herd’s pregnancy status, you can make management decisions to increase your profitability outlook. You will also have tools to help you cull appropriate animals if the drought returns.

1. You will know which cows are not doing their job. Regardless of your breeding season existence or length, cows that are not pregnant by the time of traditional  calf weaning are not performing up to par. These animals are keeping you from reaching your profit potential and are consuming resources away from their herdmates. They need to go – even if they may become pregnant after weaning. Keeping such animals will only lower your herd’s overall reproductive performance and slowly suck dollars from you bottom line.

2.You will know what to expect for the upcoming calving season. If the drought led to thin cows at calving and breeding, you may have a higher percentage of late calving animals. Knowing your expected calving distribution will help you divide your manpower at calving time and begin thinking of a plan for calf marketing and how to manage cows to calve earlier in subsequent years.

3. You can combine body condition scoring with pregnancy examination to help identify thin, pregnant cows that may need additional supplementation to improve their condition before calving. Remember, we want cows to calve at a BCS 5-6. Post weaning is the best time to improve condition on thin cows. Evaluate your pasture availability and consider your ability to get weight on thin cows. Keep in mind that cows should gain about 80 pounds to improve one BCS. It is critical to return thin cows to an acceptable BCS before calving to limit the negative impacts of last year’s drought on your herd. If you do not have adequate pasture for such gains, you will need to supplement feed. Thin, pregnant cows with low production records may be a logical culling option if pasture availability is low and you do not have the resources to supplement feed.

If you have a large number of open cows at pregnancy check, you may be faced with hard decisions. There are several options to successfully move past this disheartening news:

1. Evaluate your cowherd. Discover possible reasons for the very low pregnancy rates. What is the herd average BCS? Were many cows of all ages open, or just your 2-3 year olds? What is the bull’s BCS and age? What was your bull:cow ratio? Did the bulls pass a breeding soundness exam before the breeding season?

2.Thin cows can be expected to gain weight at calf weaning if adequate grazing or supplement is available. If calves are still nursing and you are early in the breeding season, consider early weaning to allow cows to gain weight and hopefully avoid the low pregnancy rates we are currently discussing. Follow these two links to learn more about early weaning options (link 1, link 2)

3. If your breeding season is well over, consider the advantages and disadvantages of converting to a spring and fall calving season. In some herds, this management scheme works extremely well. Thin, open cows at this year’s pregnancy check can be moved to the opposite breeding season to reduce culling rates and still maintain a defined calving season. It is important to maintain a strict culling of animals in subsequent years to avoid creating a “reproductively lazy” herd. Using this second breeding season to strategically produce bred cows for sale versus open cull cows is also a viable option.

4.Retain your high standards. If your pasture availability is very low and you need lower stocking rates for your fields to recover, these open cows may be just your ticket. Culling of higher than normal numbers of open cows will lead to an increase in immediate monetary intake while decreasing your stocking rates for the near future as your pasture recovers. Rebuild your herd as your forages recover.

If the drought wreaked havoc on your breeding season, remember that it may take a few years to return to an ideal breeding season length. However, through proper management strategies of correct nutrition, strict culling, and replacing open or late calving animals with early calving heifers or purchased cows you can recover your herd from possible impacts of the 2016 drought.

If you have questions about determining and improving your herd’s reproductive performance, contact myself or other members of the ACES Animal Science and Forages Team.

Sarah Dickinson, M.S.

Regional Extension Agent I – Animal Science & Forages

Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Ph.D. Student – Reproductive Physiology / Molecular Genomics

Cell: 256-537-0024

Office: 256-825-1050


Serving Chambers, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Lee, Randolph, Shelby, Talladega, and Tallapoosa Counties

10 Facts to Know About Dogwood Trees

Loved for early spring blooms, dogwood trees are features in many Alabama landscapes and celebrated in festivals throughout the South.  The white flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), plentiful across Alabama, is an ornamental deciduous tree native to the eastern half of the United States.

10 Dogwood Facts to Know

1. Dogwood trees sport white or pink flowers. However, the true petals are not the four showy blossoms. The tightly packed cluster in the center form the real blooms. What appears to be petals are actually bracts, which is a type of leaf.

2. Flower color of the native dogwood is a creamy white. A naturally occurring variety of the native dogwood, Cornus florida rubra, has pink blooms. Many cultivated varieties are available in nurseries and landscape centers. Dogwood trees often appear in brilliant shades ranging from soft pink to deeper cherry reds. As a result, these showy bracts can attract pollinating insects to the flowers.1. Dogwood trees sport white or pink flowers. However, the true petals are not the four showy blossoms. The tightly packed cluster in the center form the real blooms. What appears to be petals are actually bracts, which is a type of leaf.

3. In addition, there are 17 species of dogwood native to North America. Gardeners are most familiar with the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). According to Kerry Smith,  Master Gardener program coordinator for Alabama Extension, another common species is the Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa), or Chinese Dogwood. Kousa thrives in either full sun or shade and is much tougher than the flowering dogwood.

4. Many towns enjoy dogwood trees so much, they host annual parades or dogwood tours once the trees open their blooms in the early spring. North Carolina, Texas and Atlanta each host popular Dogwood Festivals each year. Vestavia Hills celebrates Alabama’s oldest Dogwood Festival and Trail.

5. Dogwood trees are often a preferred choice for planting because they are  low maintenance. Depending on the species planted, you might have a short, stout bush or a 25-foot tall tree. If carefully treated, a mature dogwood tree species may reach up to 30 feet in height as a result.

6. Since dogwoods grow in nature as understory trees, they prefer afternoon shade to shield them from blazing sunlight. According to Alabama Extension regional agent Sallie Lee, dogwoods are pretty versatile as a small tree. “It can be planted where larger-maturing trees would be a nuisance or a hazard,” said Lee. However, dogwoods still need room to grow. Lee advises planting dogwood trees at least 25 feet from structures to give the roots plenty of room to grow.

7. In the Southeast, the dogwood typically begins blooming in early March in the southern portion of Alabama and two to three weeks later in northern areas of the state. The bloom duration can last from two to four weeks.

8. Dogwood branches droop as the tree grows, and may need pruning to clear pedestrian or vehicle traffic. Pruning dogwoods can help shape them and improve their health. Prune if needed anytime after blooming. Alabama Extension regional Agent Mike McQueen said “since dogwoods bloom in early spring before May, wait until after they bloom to prune.”7. In the Southeast, the dogwood typically begins blooming in early March in the southern portion of Alabama and two to three weeks later in northern areas of the state. The bloom duration can last from two to four weeks.

9. Dogwoods have been used medicinally for generations. Since the bark is a rich source of bitter-tasting tannins, dogwood leaves often treated pain, fevers, backaches, dizziness, or weakness. According to McQueen, “dogwood bark was one of many barks used as a fever medicine before quinine came into general use.” Tea made from the bark was used to treat pain or fever.

10. Blooming by Easter, the tree and its flowers have inspired legends of their part in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Legend says that the bracts of the dogwood are set in the shape of a cross and bear nail marks of the Crucifixion, while the red leaves in autumn point to Jesus’s blood on Calvary.

To learn more about dogwoods, see Alabama Extension’s Selection and Care of Dogwoods at http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1077/ANR-1077.pdf.

From Extension Daily