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Eastern Redbud is the small, rounded tree you see lighting up forest edges each spring with bright splashes of lavender-pink. It’s eye-catching at 55 mph, but if you grow this lovely native ornamental tree at home, you’ll also be able to appreciate up-close how the flowers hug the zigzag stems tightly—and sometimes sprout directly from the trunk! You’ll be able to reach up and grab a few of the colorful, edible blossoms from your Eastern Redbud tree for your salad, too. They look like miniature hummingbirds! Redbud trees make fine stand-alone specimens in the home landscape, and are even better in groupings or groves.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
- Spacing: 15-30'
- Exposure: Sun/Part Shade
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The Eastern Redbud became the state tree of Oklahoma amid much controversy. Just before signing it into law the governor received a telegram from the president of the national woman’s club asking him to reconsider. In her letter she informed him that the Eastern Redbud was the same tree mentioned in the bible that Judas Iscariot hanged himself on after betraying Jesus. Legend has it that this is why the branches are weak, so no one could ever hang themselves on it again. This led to national news reports which stalled the process until an Israeli native living in Oklahoma stepped forward. He claimed that the Mediterranean species, known as the “Judas Tree”, had no connection to the Eastern variety. The tree was accepted as the states tree in 1937.
This delightful native tree is sure to bring a smile to your face! Bright purplish-pink pea-like flowers cover branches in April before leaves appear. The heart-shaped leaves on Eastern Redbuds are deep green through summer, turning yellow in fall. A perfect addition to a woodland setting, a nice component for your very own naturalizing project or just a beautiful tree for your beautiful garden - no matter where you use it, you're gonna love it!
How to Grow
Eastern Redbuds are beautiful woodland-like trees and they are incredibly easy to grow. This is the only tree that flowers on their bark. This means that the vibrant pinkish-purple blooms will appear on their trunk as well as on their branches. They bloom in April and their floral display is like no other flowering tree! In some instances of extreme winters they will get tip dieback. Do not get discouraged! Just be patient – the tree will bloom and leaves will appear in May. Eastern Redbuds will do well in slightly shaded areas. They both require keeping the soil moist (not too wet) after initial planting. Once established, they are more tolerant of drought conditions, reducing your hand-watering responsibilities. Redbuds like fertilizer! During fall, give your Redbud a high rate dose of fertilizer once a year for about the first 3 or 4 years. Eastern Redbuds have no major insect or disease problems – and that’s always a plus! Redbuds occasionally sprout “suckers” around the base of the tree, as they appear be sure to prune them off. But when it comes to pruning the branches of your Redbud – don’t be afraid! They are so easy to prune – prune to whatever shape you like. If you don’t want to touch it – that’s fine. If you want to cut everything off except two branches that look like rabbit ears – that’s fine too (although you might get some weird looks from the neighbors – and your family).
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.
Size A Trees:
6' tall and grown in our #7 tree container. These trees will already have the makings of a beautiful redbud and you can enjoy the show right away. May require staking at this size.
Size B Trees:
8' tall and 6' wide when shipped with a strong and vigorous stem - caliper near 1" to 1 1/2". Very well branched and pruned to desired form for proper structure in the years to come. Grown in our #15 tree container.
Size C Trees:
8-10’ tall. Eastern Redbud is shipped in our #25 or #30 tree container. This tree has a stem caliper 1.5-2”. Wide branching, strong structure, pruned from a young age to develop great featured branching and form.
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