Spacing: 12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m) 15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Bloom Time: Late Winter/Early Spring Mid Spring
Other details: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic) 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From softwood cuttings From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; stratify if sowing indoors Scarify seed before sowing By air layering
Seed Collecting: Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
On Apr 7, 2013, jmcdonald from st. catharines Canada wrote:
I planted my Eastern Redbud here in the Niagara region of Ontario in 2006, having bought it at a height of about 8ft. from a very reputable nursery. This tree is the highlight of my small garden and has grown to a good size. It's blossom is breathtaking, and the lovely leaves provide needed shade through the summer for the plants below. However, my big concern is with a major loss of outer bark from the main trunk. A lot of the red underbark is now showing but the tree still appears healthy with this year's buds ready to pop. I contacted the nursery mentioned above and sent pictures. They suggested fertilizer round the drip line and plenty of water. This problem started two summers ago during a very hot season and, even though I followed the advice given, and the tree endured another very hot and dry summer in 2012, more bark is missing.
On Apr 2, 2012, acseligman from New York, NY wrote:
I live in midtown Manhattan (NYC; I think Zone 7a?). My “garden” is a small concrete back space with a long low concrete planter, pretty high winds and almost no direct sunlight. Most of the dirt back there has come from our years of composting and the annuals we put in our various containers. We’ve never had much luck with perennials, though a few hardy jonquils keep coming up and I’ve had hydrangea and periwinkle for a while now. So imagine our delight at a volunteer redbud! I can’t even fathom where it came from – I don’t know of any in the neighborhood. We weren’t sure what it was the first few years, but it flowered gorgeously last year. Unfortunately, this year seems to be a bust. The tree’s okay, I think, and it certainly wasn’t a harsh winter. In fact, I suspect that’s the problem. It was so mild the signals were crazy mixed, with some 70+ degree weather in January. It is flowering now, but much less than last year. Any others having this experience?
On Apr 12, 2011, floraphiliac from Ludington, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:
I planted 2 of these 6 or 7 years ago, one in full sun and the other in part sun. They are now both about 8 feet tall and leaf out nicely every year. However I have yet to see a single blossom on either one of them. I spoke to a local nursery person about this and she chuckled that they refer to them as "deadbuds" at the nursery because, for some reason, they don't perform well here in our area. I was very disappointed to hear this after all of the time and effort invested.
UPDATE: (Changed from Neutral to Positive) I'm glad I didn't cut them down last year. This spring, after 6 or 7 years in the garden, both of them have FINALLY produced the lovely flower buds that they are famous for. The one that gets more sun has the most flowers of the two.
On Apr 11, 2011, Gardeningman from Kingman, KS wrote:
I transplanted an Eastern Redbud seedling 22 years ago. It was a little thing back then, only about 6 inches tall. I planted it in full sun and watered it about once a week. It grew rapidly and is now approx. 20 feet tall with a 15 foot spread. I did have to spray it for rust during one summer long ago but that was it, so it is a tough little tree.
I would recommend it if you want a small ornamental tree, but it does have a few of draw backs. It contains a lot of dead limbs that have to be regularly pruned out. Because of the dead wood, it also drops twigs quite a bit, and it is susceptible to rust. If you don't mind spraying it with a fungicide every few years, or pruning it each summer, or raking twigs out from under it each fall, then it would make a great small tree for you. Some people consider all of the extra work worth the beautiful blooms it displays in the spring. I do... as long as it is growing in my neighbor's yard. :-)
On Aug 16, 2010, worms4compost from Leicester, NC wrote:
Some have grown quite well, some not so well. High winds took down my favorite. It had come up with 6 main trunks/branches, together like fingers on a hand. Winds broke down all but two "trunks". We basically topped all of those about 5' up and braced them together. All have new sprouts. Another storm took and peeled down the branches on the only tall surviving original branch. I have to get out the tall saw to get that cut and topped. I am only 5' and have a short reach to cut. Each of our trees looks different. They pop up all over in my flower garden. Plan on planting many in my controlled woodland on our 5 acres.
On Apr 19, 2010, sageland9 from Broomfield, CO wrote:
Wonderful small tree for the Colorado front range! Mine is about 10 years
old and growing well at 5,400 foot elevation. Very xeric too, I rarely
water this tree, although it should be watered regularly for the first few seasons. The advantage of not watering this tree is that it stays
small, 10-12 feet. The best aspect of this tree is its beautiful gnarled
branching. Great winter interest and no two redbuds look alike. I may lose a few small branches every winter but it does little to the overall appearance. While this
tree is probably underused in Colorado, there are enough around to
verify that it does well in a harsh semi arid climate with alkaline and
On Nov 25, 2009, jimbobobie from Cuttingsville, VT wrote:
To the Home Depot buyer, I think your experience may have a lot to do with where you bought your plants and/or where they were grown. Don't yank them. Those insignificant basal sprouts may be your salvation.
On Jul 6, 2009, fourzoner from Lewiston, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:
Am in zone 4a, Lewiston Mi. An arborist visited our maple/beach wooded homesite, suggested the flowering Eastern Redbud. I bought four from Home Depot, planted in morning sun three years ago. There has been little growth, NO FLOWERING whatsoever, winter dieback and slow to green up, but new insignificant sprouting from base of tree. I don't know if I should just yank them out of the ground or just be patient, but they do not appear to be "thriving" in my opinion. I just wanted a flowering spring understory tree besides the chokeberry shrubs. Comments welcome!!!
On Jun 10, 2009, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:
In Petersburg, Southern Virginia, Zone 7A, the redbud was one of the first plants we added to our new yard in spring, 1997 (twelve years ago). It was a little stick, but it grew quickly (fifteen feet at least) and we have had to prune the low branches to make mowing the nearby lawn possible. The black branches are supple and can be bent into a wreath or other shapes. The heart shaped leaves are lovely, and the blossoms on the stem of the tree look like candy. Last summer I planted some of the seeds and left them outside over the winter, and six of them germinated. I dug up another seven from the flower beds near the tree, and I have planted them in one-gallon pots. They may be fertile, but there are always more gardeners who would like to have one. I am grateful that they are not subject to the anthracnose that has killed so many of the native dogwoods.
I planted 2 in 2006 and they seem to be very slow growing. Last summer the one that had been growing at a better clip got tent worms and we had to top it to burn the affected branches to prevent them from spreading to other trees. The first spring they were in the ground I had hardly any blooms at all, this year they seem to be lined more densely with blooms.
On Oct 30, 2008, Knave from Ada, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
This tree is a prolific reseeder here. We have sandy, slightly acidic soil and about 35" of rainfall each year. The things I like about this plant: the branching structure (a natural bonsai), the cheerful heart-shaped leaves, the spring blossoms, and with some individuals the autumn color (not consistent). It tolerates being next to black walnuts. Also, it is not a deer favorite(and we have strong deer pressure here).
On Jun 22, 2008, kryistina from Springfield, MO wrote:
The flowers of this plant are a tasty wild edible, and have a flavor reminiscent of sugar snap peas. The are great as a colorful addition to salads, candied as decor, in salads, made into jellies, or floated on top of a soup.
On Apr 27, 2008, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
I planted this tree about 3 or 4 years ago and this is the first year it has bloomed. Unknown why it took so long. Was beginning to think it was mislabeled. I have tried extra fertilizer and extra water, and one of those may have caused it to bloom this year. I noticed in the information above that this tree likes acid soil, which we do NOT have. Our pH is around 7.4 to 7.6. I might add some sulfur and see what happens.
On Nov 28, 2007, queenesther from San Marcos, CA wrote:
My Eastern Redbud, purchased last spring from a nursery, has branches that droop all the way to the ground, almost like a weeping willow, very unlike the picture with this article. It is about 5' tall. I accidently broke off the tallest center branch and it seems to have stood still almost, not appearing to have grown at all, unless perhaps the branches are longer. The leaves stayed nice and green all summer, then turned yellow and are almost all off now. Is this a different variety, or what? Is it normal for the branches to be this droopy? It was that way when we bought it.
On Jul 4, 2007, dkm65 from Cedar Falls, IA (Zone 4b) wrote:
Doing very well in partial shade. Great bloomer, nice leaves, interesting shape in winter. Some have reported problems with hardiness, but if you buy locally grown stock in zone 5 or 4b, give it some time in the ground to get its roots re-established before its first winter after transplanting (spring or very, very early fall at the latest), and build a nice mulch bed to help keep the frost line higher, you should do fine. I'm in Northeast Iowa in zone 4b, and we regularly get stretches of several days in the low teens and single digits below zero at night and barely breaking zero during the day. Our redbud is thriving after several winters.
On Mar 24, 2007, peachespickett from Huntington, AR wrote:
Gathered about 250 seeds from various trees around West Arkansas. Scarified them by rolling in sand and rough gravel in a bucket for a while, then dropped them in hot water, let it sit for a day, then planted them out for winter and now I've got too many baby redbuds coming up to plant (though I'll try). One of the most beautiful native trees, though not as delicate in foliage as cercis occidentalis, it is much more striking in flower than its western cousin(personal opinion). Here in West Ark. the flowers are nearly purple, and started opening about a week into March.
On Nov 19, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:
My Parents gave DH and myself a Redbud out of their yard at the time in May 1999. It is beautiful in Spring, as well as the rest of the year. We have it planted in back and can see it from the kitchen window.
On Jul 1, 2006, hotlanta from Lilburn, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have a tree that is about 10 years old. When I received it, it was about 1 ft. tall. Now it is about 10 feet tall with a huge umbrella, shady, shape. We enjoy it very much, both the flowers in the spring and the summer shade. Our birds enjoy the seed pods also. This year seems to be proving to be quite good as far as the loads of last year's seeds maturing into small plants. I haven't noticed so many before.
On Apr 9, 2006, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
Regarding propagation- My mom has had a few sprout from seed in her yard, and all transplanted sucessfully with little care. I think you can find out about the propagation in William Cullina's book about native trees (Anne Arundel Co. library has it). Also I have had a beetle that comes in the night and makes interesting circular cutouts along the edges of the leaves, but not so much as to really harm the trees (the aforementioned book names the beetle.)
On Feb 7, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
According to the Peterson Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, the flowerbuds can be pickled and the flowers added to salads. the buds, flowers and tender young pods can be sauteed in butter for 10 minutes.
Although the pinkish-purple flowers don't last a long time, they're striking because of their color and the way they seem to bleed from the branches. Foliage is lovely, first appearing a burnished green color, becoming fully green, and finally turning yellow in Fall. Often appearing multi-trunked, there is plenty of room for underplanting.
On Nov 13, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
This Virginia native is a true sign that Spring has arrived, painting the woodlands & roadsides here in the Piedmont with swaths of first bright pink, & then pink & pale spring green as the leaves begin to come in. It's particularly effective when blooming alongside the white-flowering wild Dogwoods, also natives here.
I have 3 fairly large planted specimens in my yard, & have found them to be vigorous & virtually maintenance free.
Small flowering branch trimmings make lovely additions to vase arrangements.
On Nov 12, 2005, Photographer from Moxee, WA (Zone 4a) wrote:
The Red Bud tree is extremely popular in the older neighborhoods in our town. I have seen several hundred individual trees of varying sizes. It is remarkably well adapted here in Central Washington State. Anyone wanting a tree can simply look around to find starts. My sister 's neighbor has a tree that looks to be 60 years old. There are literally hundreds of starts in the gardens of her neighborhood up and down the street. They grow untill they're pulled or someone decides to replant them elsewhere. The Red Bud is used by the DOT along the interstate to beautify the offramps. I love the tree and have been trying to get one going in our yard. My son has clipped it one time too many with the lawn mower it seems.
On Sep 1, 2005, Rikkashay from West Portsmouth, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have 7 of these trees in my yard and they give the first color to our whole neighborhood in spring. I allow the seed pods to dry on the tree before I collect them and open them to gather the seeds. This tree is also the official State Tree of Oklahoma.
On Nov 29, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:
This tree grows quite well in our area and lives a good while. My Mom had some in her yard that were transplanted from the fields and they were over 35 years old before they split and cracked so bad, they had to be taken down...we did not remove the stumps and they sprouted from the bases. We trained the sprouts to single trunks and they look beautiful today.
They are at home as an understory tree or a full sun stand alone plant.
I love the flowers in the spring and the seed pods give nice late Autumn interest. Songbirds like the seeds.
As stated, the seeds sprout and need to be taken up from your flowerbeds before they get very large.
On Nov 4, 2004, DiOhio from Corning, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
We live in the woods and the Redbud seems to do really well along the edge of a clearing where it can reach a bit out into the sunlight. Our road frontage and property are lined with them. It's a favorite tree of mine not only because of its spring blossoms, but also the heart-shaped foliage. Also, if you like moths, one of our little 12' trees in the yard supported over a dozen different moth larvae in one season.
A few years ago the road crew chopped many of them almost to the ground and the next spring they were right back up. They can be invasive. I have had to pull many little seedlings out of flowerbeds and if you don't pull them the first season, they develop a very long taproot and are hard to remove.
On Mar 31, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
Redbuds do very well in Missouri. I have seen them 40 feet tall, I have seen them with large trunks...10 inches in diameter is large for this "small" tree. Some of them are pretty old, 40-50 years. I am giving these comments so that people will not be too discouraged with the other remarks above. Perhaps we are just lucky to have the perfect climate for them...They prefer some light shade and humusy, moist soil, so they are not really good candidates for sunny lawns where all the good soil has been removed. That may be why some of them die so soon.
As for the leaves in fall...they are a light yellow. True, they do not make a big color splash, but take an hour some day to watch them fall to the ground...they spiral around and around as they make their leisurely descent.
There is no prettier sight here in spring than when the redbuds and dogwoods bloom against a background of red cedars.
On Mar 30, 2004, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
small, relatively short-lived tree (14-20 years) with attractive pale pink to magenta flowers, that come right off larger stems, in early spring as leaves coming back. Not supposed to be a very hardy tree in terms of disease, and has 'poor fall color'.
On Apr 26, 2003, ElishaOne from Crownsville, MD wrote:
Native here in Maryland, redbuds are the perfect complement to our white dogwoods. We just moved into a newly built home and are delighted to see them in our yard and overhanging our driveway from the neighbor's yard. There were only a few nursery grown redbuds at my old location only 15 miles away. Can anyone give me tips on successful propagation?
On Mar 28, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
This tree is a true harbinger of spring.
We have mildly alkaline soil here, and the trees grow wild in this area (North Texas) with no problems. Of course, they are also grown in professionally landscaped areas and in home gardens as well, since they are SOOOOO beautiful in spring.
They are small trees, althoughs oem wild ones actually resemble shrubs or bushes more than trees. Slow growing. This tree is not always tall, and is good as an understory planting (under taller trees).
On Feb 17, 2003, Greenknee from Chantilly, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:
This is a candidate for a Specimen tree - lovely in flower, bare branches have a lot of character, and heart shaped leaves, as they change color through the three seasons. It is rather sensitive, though - needs light shade, acid soil. Also vulnerable to borers, loses branches from time to time. Don't get any herbicide anywhere near the root system - it will kill the tree. Don't over feed, just compost/leafmold over root zone for winter blanket - be patient, it's worth waiting for.
On Feb 16, 2003, pixiedust from baton rouge, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:
Planted this tree 4 years ago and it has never blossomed. It has grown and gets leaves but no buds. Have fertilized for the last year, twice and still nothing. They are blooming all over town! A nursery was no help. The tree is 15 feet tall! What to do? Can someone help me????
On Aug 31, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:
We've grown these trees in two states now. The first one had a chronic problem with scale, and it seemed to be stunting its growth :(
We "inherited" several mature specimens with our current property, and I'm happy to report they don't seem afflicted with scale problems. The spring flowers are nice, but not nearly as showy as dogwoods.
On Aug 11, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Rosy pink flowers appear in April. Reddish-purple leaves change to dark green, then to yellow. Forms a spreading, graceful crown. Full sun or light shade. Partial shade preferred in windy, dry areas. Grows to 20' to 30', 30' spread.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (3 reports) AlingsÃ¥s Municipality, Jones, Alabama Benton, Arkansas Greenwood, Arkansas Morrilton, Arkansas Chowchilla, California Kensington, California Lake San Marcos, California Broomfield, Colorado Auburndale, Florida Bartow, Florida Black Diamond, Florida Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports) Lakeside, Florida Madison, Florida Oldsmar, Florida Pensacola, Florida Port Saint Lucie, Florida South Daytona, Florida Umatilla, Florida Aldora, Georgia Athens, Georgia Colbert, Georgia Lawrenceville, Georgia Lilburn, Georgia Ranger, Georgia Burr Ridge, Illinois Chicago, Illinois Jacksonville, Illinois Lombard, Illinois Machesney Park, Illinois Macomb, Illinois Nilwood, Illinois Palmyra, Illinois Plainfield, Illinois Quincy, Illinois Wheaton, Illinois Corydon, Indiana Georgetown, Indiana Homecroft, Indiana Vincennes, Indiana Warren, Indiana Cedar Falls, Iowa Cedar Rapids, Iowa Andover, Kansas Kingman, Kansas Benton, Kentucky Clermont, Kentucky Ewing, Kentucky Farmington, Kentucky Frankfort, Kentucky Georgetown, Kentucky Hebron, Kentucky Hi Hat, Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky Louisville, Kentucky Mc Dowell, Kentucky Nicholasville, Kentucky Paris, Kentucky Smiths Grove, Kentucky Versailles, Kentucky Independence, Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana Opelousas, Louisiana Pollock, Louisiana Biddeford, Maine Arden-on-the-severn, Maryland East Riverdale, Maryland Valley Lee, Maryland Dearborn Heights, Michigan Forest Hills, Michigan Hamburg, Michigan Ludington, Michigan Oxford, Michigan Tecumseh, Michigan Lakeville, Minnesota Florence, Mississippi Ridgeland, Mississippi Waynesboro, Mississippi Piedmont, Missouri Springfield, Missouri (2 reports) Steelville, Missouri Blair, Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska (3 reports) Frenchtown, New Jersey Glen Park, New York Himrod, New York Kinderhook, New York Syracuse, New York Waverly, New York Elizabeth City, North Carolina Fairfield Harbour, North Carolina Fearrington, North Carolina Glen Raven, North Carolina Holly Ridge, North Carolina Leicester, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports) Bucyrus, Ohio Fruit Hill, Ohio Glouster, Ohio Hilliard, Ohio Montrose-ghent, Ohio West Portsmouth, Ohio Brush Creek, Oklahoma Enid, Oklahoma Hulbert, Oklahoma Lima, Oklahoma Owasso, Oklahoma Waukomis, Oklahoma East Norriton, Pennsylvania Emmaus, Pennsylvania Fullerton, Pennsylvania Port Matilda, Pennsylvania Schwenksville, Pennsylvania Warwick, Rhode Island Centerville, South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina Conway, South Carolina Florence, South Carolina India Hook, South Carolina Spartanburg, South Carolina Summerville, South Carolina Bulls Gap, Tennessee Clarksville, Tennessee Crossville, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee (2 reports) Alice, Texas Austin, Texas (2 reports) Bastrop, Texas Belton, Texas Clarksville, Texas Colmesneil, Texas Dalworthington Gardens, Texas El Paso, Texas Georgetown, Texas Glenn Heights, Texas Houston, Texas Humble, Texas Kaufman, Texas Scenic Oaks, Texas Speaks, Texas Wilmer, Texas West Valley City, Utah Williston, Vermont Leesburg, Virginia Lexington, Virginia Merrimac, Virginia Newport News, Virginia North Shore, Virginia Virginia Beach, Virginia West Springfield, Virginia Moxee, Washington Poulsbo, Washington Falling Waters, West Virginia Liberty, West Virginia Cambridge, Wisconsin