At the time of Christ's crucifixion, the dogwood tree was a large, strong tree. Chosen to serve as the cross, the tree was greatly distressed. Sensing this, Jesus determined that the dogwood tree would never again grow large enough to become a cross. The dogwood tree blooms in the spring, often at Easter. Its blossom forms a cross and suggests the appearance of stained nail prints on the edge of each petal and a crown of thorns in the center of each flower.