We started growing this tree many years ago because its large, white, showy flowers was an obvious pollinator magnet. Afterwards, the bright, red berries are eaten by over 50 species of birds and small animals.
Unfortunately, fate has not been kind to this small native tree of North America. In Canada, it is only found in our part of southern Ontario and as of 2007 is listed as endangered. It is estimated that less than 2,000 trees are left in the wild. The main 2 reasons threatening this tree are loss of habitat and the introduction of a fungal infection, Dogwood Anthracnose.
As far as we know, there is no selection program being carried out to select resistant trees to the fungus and breed them as Anthracnose resistant stock. We, at our nursery, have been experimenting with planting the dogwood trees in situations which in not conducive to the fungal disease, with success.
We love this pretty, little tree and will strive to keep up with scientific data and ideas to save it. Only time will tell.