Flowering species of dogwood trees provide beautiful bracts in the spring and early summer and attractive foliage throughout the fall. The size of a dogwood tree is influenced by several factors, including species, location and the amount of sunlight it receives.
The species of dogwood tree most people are familiar with is the Cornus florida or white flowering dogwood tree. Many other dogwood tree species are available and, although the height of most species is limited to under 40 feet, the spread, or width, of the trees will vary widely according to species, light and location.
Dogwoods that are sheltered by other foliage, especially evergreens or large deciduous trees, will not grow as tall or as wide as dogwoods that are in less competition for sun and space.
The most important factor for dogwood growth is sunlight. Dogwoods grown in full sun will be shorter but will often have more branches, resulting in a fuller, wider tree that is often wider than it is tall. Dogwoods grown in shade will grow taller, sometimes reaching 40 feet in shaded, wooded areas, but will be narrower, having a spread that is much less wide than the tree is tall.