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Don’t be surprised if you catch your guests touching your Oklahoma Redbud’s leaves to see if they’re real. They’re so glossy, you’d think they were fake, too! This dapper little tree with its compact habit and shellacked foliage looks sharp all summer long, but the appeal doesn’t stop there. In spring, before the leaves emerge, Oklahoma’s branches are lined with scads of sparkling, rosy pink, pea-like blossoms. Whether your garden is large or small, formal or informal, this people-pleasing native tree will fit in effortlessly, adding a splash of color in spring and a polished look throughout the year.
- Hardiness Zone: 6-9
- Spacing: 15-20'
- Exposure: Sun/Part Shade
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Oklahoma Redbud is a bit different from the Redbuds you’re probably used to seeing in Eastern woodlands and landscapes. It was selected from a special variety of Redbud native to Texas and Oklahoma that has thicker, shinier, and more rounded leaves than its Eastern counterpart. The original Oklahoma Redbud tree was discovered in the Arbuckle Mountains of South-Central Oklahoma in 1964 and was introduced by Warren and Son Nursery of Oklahoma City. Although it has been around for more than 50 years, it’s still an uncommon tree on the Eastern Seaboard.
Besides having different foliage than most Eastern Redbuds, Oklahoma Redbud also has a more compact habit and more vividly colored flowers than its East Coast sisters. Regardless of the shade of the blossoms, however, they are always eagerly attended to by pollinators!
How to Grow
As a native of the South-Central U.S., Oklahoma Redbud is naturally more tolerant of drought than other Redbuds, and it not only tolerates hot summers, but prefers them. Therefore, when planting this tree at the northern edge of its comfort zone, you’ll want to site it in a warm, south-facing exposure so it feels at home. It does need regular water during the first few years of establishment, but don’t overdo it. The Bower & Branch™ Water Element system will solve that problem for you, giving your tree just the right amount of moisture. Canker is the only serious enemy of Redbuds. Keeping your tree properly watered, fed, and mulched will go a long way towards preventing canker or any other pest or disease from attacking it.
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