About the Bazillion Blooms ReLeaf Project:
Alcoa Foundation, American Forests and the Dogwood Arts Festival are partnering to plant disease-resistant dogwood trees in Knox and surrounding counties to replace trees lost to disease.
Knox County, Tenn.
Key ReLeaf Activities:
- Planting 2,000 trees across 60 miles of trails
- Restoring dogwood trees damaged by disease
- Improving the urban forest
- Raising awareness about the importance of trees to residents
Why this ReLeaf Project?
First detected in the 1970s, dogwood anthracnose, caused by the fungus Discula destructiva, has been infecting and killing dogwood trees from coast to coast. Compounding the problem in the Knoxville area are severe weather events, such as windstorms and tornadoes, which have damaged many of the community’s trees. This project is helping reestablish disease-resistant dogwood throughout the community, from neighborhoods to businesses and from trails to gardens.
Dogwood, or Cornus, contains up to 60 mostly deciduous species. Many species are native to North America, particularly the southeastern U.S., and the species can be found in every U.S. state except Hawai‘i. Of the 95 counties in Tennessee, only five are documented as not containing a dogwood tree. The tree can be a food source for some birds and mammals, as well as butterfly and moth species.