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Apr 26, 2009, 02:45 PM
I live in NC also and have heard the same thing that you have about not cutting dogwoods. It is the state flower (not the state tree). I decided to search the NC statutes on line and see what I could find. There may be some other rule somewhere else, but this was all that came back under a search for "dogwood". The statute making dogwood the state flower is NC General Statute 145-1 (adoped in 1941). The statute about not cutting dogwood (which does not apply to every county by the way - see the last sentence) is NC General Statute 14-129. It is interesting. It says you cannot cut dogwood (and a lot of other things) on someone else's land or public land without a permit. A violation is a misdemeanor. However, it appears that you can cut dogwood on your own land under this statute. Here is the statute:
§ 14 129. Taking, etc. of certain wild plants from land of another.
No person, firm or corporation shall dig up, pull up or take from the land of another or from any public domain, the whole or any part of any Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), trailing arbutus, Aaron's Rod (Thermopsis caroliniana), Bird foot Violet (Viola pedata), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), Blue Dogbane (Amsonia tabernaemontana), Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum), Walking Fern (Camptosorus rhizophyllus), Gentians (Gentiana), Ground Cedar, Running Cedar, Hepatica (Hepatica americana and acutiloba), Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), Lily (Lilium), Lupine (Lupinus), Monkshood (Aconitum uncinatum and reclinatum), May Apple (Podophyllum peltatum), Orchids (all species), Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia), Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia), Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia), Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum), Trailing Christmas (Greens Lycopodium), Trillium (Trillium), Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), and Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus), American holly, white pine, red cedar, hemlock or other coniferous trees, or any flowering dogwood, any mountain laurel, any rhododendron, or any ground pine, or any Christmas greens, or any Judas tree, or any leucothea, or any azalea, without having in his possession a permit to dig up, pull up or take such plants, signed by the owner of such land, or by his duly authorized agent. Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor only punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for each offense. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the Counties of Cabarrus, Carteret, Catawba, Cherokee, Chowan, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gaston, Granville, Hertford, McDowell, Pamlico, Pender, Person, Richmond, Rockingham, Rowan and Swain.