An Alcoa Foundation employee plants a dogwood as part of the Bazillion Blooms project.

An Alcoa Foundation employee plants a dogwood as part of the Bazillion Blooms project.

Project Location:
Knox County, Tenn.

Key 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

Project Description:
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.

Why This 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.

Why Dogwood:
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 Hawaii. 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.