Redbud trees are among the first to flower in the spring, with reddish purple blooms appearing on their graceful branches well before the heart shaped leaves begin to develop. Members of the pea family, redbud tree blooms closely resemble the typical pea flower, and after those flowers fade away, clusters of seed pods that look very much like snow peas develop. A small tree, the redbud is quite suitable for even the smallest yard, reaching an average height of just twenty-five feet tall, and requires little care and attention once it has become firmly established. Redbuds are fast growing trees that reach maturity fairly quickly, capable of blooming in as little as four years in some circumstances. Redbud trees are easy to grow, thriving in almost any type of soil, as long as it isn't waterlogged by poor drainage.

How and where to plant

1 Choose the planting site. Redbuds will adapt to almost any well-drained soil and tolerates acidic or alkaline soil pH. A full sun location is ideal for a redbud tree, but it will also do well in partly shaded locations.

2 Dig the planting hole at least 4 times the width of the tree's rootball. The hole depth should be equal to the height of the rootball so that when the tree is placed in the hole the rootball will be even with the surrounding ground.

3 Prepare the redbud for planting. Redbuds may be purchased in containers or as balled-and-burlapped specimens. Remove the tree from a container by laying the plan on its side and gently rolling the container to loosen the tree. Being careful not to damage the branches, gently pull the tree from the container. Remove any twine or wire on balled-and-burlapped specimens and remove half of the burlap with a knife or shears.

4 Position the tree in the planting hole. Put back a small portion of the original soil to keep the plant erect. Fill planting hole with water and allow it to be absorbed by the soil and rootball. Fill the planting hole with the remaining soil, and water again deeply. This step provides additional moisture and helps to eliminate air pockets from the soil.

5 Mulch the entire planting area to keep the roots cool, retain moisture and discourage weeds.If you can add some good, well-rotted compost into the soil at planting, the roots will be able to work themselves into the soil with less effort.


Water the tree during times of low rain or drought. It can survive usually without irrigation, but you run the risk of it becoming susceptible to disease. One of the interesting qualities of a redbud is that it is nitrogen-fixing in the soil like a legume, so you don't have to add any nitrogen to the soil as a fertilizer.


Prune the redbud so it is multi-branched for the best blossoming effect. Remove any branches that have a tight v-shaped crotch and save those with a wider u-shaped union. This will keep the branches strong and less prone to cracking under pressure from wind or snow.

Tips & Warnings

  • The redbud is an excellent choice as a specimen tree or planted in groups.
  • The ideal time for planting a redbud is in either spring or fall. Summer heat can stress a young tree.
  • Redbuds can be successfully planted in zones 4 through 10. Always check the USDA Hardiness Zone map and your chosen tree's suggested zone suitability.
  • Redbud's have a flat seed pod that resembles a snow pea and is easily collected for starting seedlings. For best success, wait until the seedlings have grown about a foot high before digging up for transplant.
  • The redbud is a native tree that does best in naturalized settings, but will tolerate the urban landscape.
  • The redbud requires some maintenance. Prune to maintain the redbud's natural growth habit and eliminate dead branches after it has bloomed in April.

Light: Sun,Part Sun

Zones: 5-9

Plant Type: Tree

Plant Height: To 30 feet tall

Plant Width: To 30 feet wide

Landscape Uses: Containers,Beds & Borders,Slopes

Special Features: Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fall Color,Attracts Birds

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