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Cornus controversa 'Variegata' Tree

Wedding Cake Tree
  • £59.99 (ex VAT)
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The Wedding cake tree is aptly named as it forms tabulate spreading tiers of branches, much like the layers of a traditional wedding cake. Foliage is a beautiful mid green with broad creamy white margins turning shades of reddish purple in the autumn. Considered slightly more robust than the similar Cornus alternifolia ‘Argentea’, ‘Variegata’ also has slightly less delicate looking foliage which is larger. Creamy white clusters of flowers appear in May-June followed by blue/black fruit.

Cornus controversa 'Variegata' makes a wonderful focal point and lightens the garden. Given a sunny position expect a height and spread of 3 x 3 meters in 20 years.

Click here to go to all Flowering Dogwood trees.

AKA Table dogwood

  • Common name: Wedding cake tree
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Height and spread in 20 years: 3 x 3 metres
  • Seasons of interest: Spring, Summer, Autumn

Planting Advice for Cornus controversa Variegata Trees

When planting White Flowering dogwood trees, it is important to prepare the planting area well. Pot grown Flowering dogwoods can be planted at any time of the year. You will need to carry out the following to prepare your planting site.

Firstly, remove all weeds and grass within a metre of your desired planting hole then dig a hole as deep as your root mass and approximately 1.5x as wide. We recommend digging a square hole as this encourages the roots to grow straight as opposed to around inside the hole. To help your tree establish more effectively, we advise applying root grow (sprinkle in the hole for pot grown trees), especially if you have poor soil. Gently loosen the roots and place into the planting hole.

Using 50% of the original soil and 50% compost, fill in the hole and firm around gently. Make sure not to bank the soil up around the collar of the tree as this can cause problems. To see how to use a tree stake and tie, watch our informational how to videos.

Planting Advice for Cornus controversa Variegata Trees

If you’re planting in dry weather, water well and regularly for the first few months. The same goes for spring and summer planting. Make sure to keep an eye on your young tree and increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If you’re planting in autumn, you may only need to water your tree a little. Make sure not to over water as flowering dogwood trees do not like wet soils. Also ensure you water only the soil, not the leaves as this can lead to scorching. We stock a range of irrigation kits, suitable for a variety of planting schemes.

Once planted, it is important to keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons. Using a glyphosate based weed killer or installing mulch matting and bark chips will aid in this. Do not simply mow the grass around the area as this will only encourage it to grow more vigorously. If you know your area is prone to rabbits, we would advise using a rabbit guard.

Planting Advice for Cornus controversa Variegata Trees

'Variegata' forms attractive spreading tiers of branches. The only real maintenance in regard to pruning is to remove and damaged or diseased branches. The only time to hard prune a dogwood tree is to control the overall size or internal canopy or if there is not enough light reaching the inner branches.

To help ease these issues, cut off any crossing or over-crowding branches then continue to remove any secondary branches throughout the canopy. Only prune in the dormant season and never in spring. Pruning during spring can create entry points in the wood for insects which may lead to disease.

Delivery Timescales

Most deliveries are made within a week of placing the order. All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team, with many despatched to our tried and tested couriers within 24 hours (please allow up to 10 days). There's no need to be in to receive your trees and you can request where they are left via the checkout.

There is a slightly longer timescale on pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) because we group orders together by geographic area for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers to notify them of the delivery date and whether the delivery driver needs assistance.

Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.

Our nursery is a busy despatch centre, so please make an appointment to collect or view trees.  For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.

Delivery Costs

1 small tree (most trees with a height under 1.5 metres) : £7.95 + vat

1 medium tree (most trees 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £9.95 + vat

2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £12.95 + vat

1-4 large trees (trees too large to fit in a box): £19.95 + vat

Mature, pleached or 5+ large trees: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode. You can buy additional trees with no increase in delivery cost.

The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process.

Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Non Mainland UK

Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us to see if we can find a solution.

The product table gives the sizes and forms offered for this variety, along with photos you can enlarge (these are only a guideline as all plants are unique so vary slightly). Below are definitions of various forms, which refer to the shape of the tree defined by the pruning it has received. For more information, please contact us.

Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.

Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.

Multi Stem: A multi stem tree is has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system. Take care to buy a true multi-stem like all ours and not those that are 3 saplings in a pot to cheaply imitate them.

Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.

Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.

Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.

Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branch), which supports a branched crown. Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height.

Standard  either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard  10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard  12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height

Plant Specification Root type Supplied SizePrice Quantity Qty
Cornus controversa 'Variegata' Root type: 7.5L pot Supplied Size: 90-120cm Cornus controversa 'Variegata' Price £59.99 (ex VAT)
7.5L pot 90-120cm £59.99 (ex VAT)
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Total: £0.00 (VAT Free)
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