Discover Missouri Redwood and Dogwood Trees This Spring

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Credit: Dogwood Canyon
Credit: Dogwood Canyon & Edward C. Robison III

Every spring Missouri’s landscape comes alive in shades of pink and white. Redbud trees usher in the new season with masses of tiny pink blossoms decorating delicate branches. Soon after, dogwood trees highlight the hillsides with brilliant white flowers. Missourians love the showy blooms so much, the flowering dogwood was named the official state tree in 1955.

As native understory trees, redbud and dogwood are fairly inconspicuous much of the year. But for a few short weeks, from mid-April through early May, they put on an unforgettable show. Depending on the weather, they sometimes bloom simultaneously, filling the forest with a double burst of color.

Flower-Filled Forests

Redbud and dogwood trees grow in most parts of Missouri. They thrive in large numbers throughout the Ozarks, especially along wooded slopes, bluffs and ravines. You can find them in many Missouri State Parks, including Lake of the Ozarks, Bennett Spring, Truman Lake, Echo Bluff and Table Rock Lake. They also flourish in Mark Twain National Forest, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri Conservation Areas and along secondary roads in the southern half of the state.

Take in the beauty on a springtime hike, road trip or float trip on one of Missouri’s crystal-clear rivers.

Botanical Gardens and Nature Parks

Redbud and dogwood can be seen in botanical gardens and parks across the Show-Me State. The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis has more than 250 native flowering dogwood trees and several other dogwood varieties in its English Woodland and Japanese gardens.

At Powell Gardens, 30 minutes southeast of Kansas City in Kingsville, the Dogwood Walk’s shaded path is lined with a variety of flowering trees, including several types of dogwood. The Woodland and Stream Garden includes more dogwood as well as redbud trees.

View a variety of redbud species surrounding the Redbud Gazebo at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, located in Nathaniel Greene/Close Memorial Park. Visit the park’s Azalea Garden to see dogwood and other flowering trees.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a prime spot for viewing its namesake tree. Located near Branson, the 10,000 acre park offers guided hikes each spring to see the beautiful blooms. Or travel park’s hiking, biking and equestrian trails to explore on your own.

Blooming Festivals

Several Missouri towns celebrate Missouri’s state tree each year. The Dogwood Festival in Camdenton showcases the trees that grow in the woodlands throughout the Lake of the Ozarks region.

The Southeast Missouri town of Charleston combines two flowering favorites for the Dogwood-Azalea Festival. A six-mile trail lined with the blooming trees and bushes is a highlight of the annual event.