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Eastern RedbudCercis canadensis

  • Eastern Redbud - Cercis canadensis
  • Eastern Redbud - Cercis canadensis
  • Eastern Redbud - Cercis canadensis
  • Eastern Redbud - Cercis canadensis
  • Eastern Redbud - Cercis canadensis

Known as the harbinger of spring, the eastern redbud’s delicate blossoms and buds are one of the season’s most dramatic displays. But this tree’s beauty doesn’t end with its flowery show. Unique and irregular branching patterns combine with a trunk that commonly divides close to the ground to create a very handsome, spreading and often flat-topped crown. Even in winter, covered with snow, the eastern redbud is stunning.

This species will add a lot of elegance to any space.


Hardiness Zones

The eastern redbud can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–9. View Map

Tree Type

This tree is considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree. It is typically planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.

Mature Size

The eastern redbud grows to a height of 20–30' and a spread of 25–35' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The eastern redbud grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Blooms in a profusion of rosy pink flowers in April.
  • Begin flowering at a young age, sometimes as early as 4 years.
  • Features somewhat heart-shaped leaves 2–6" in length. They emerge a reddish color, turning dark green as summer approaches and then yellow in the fall.
  • Makes a bold landscape statement, with its irregular branching and graceful crown.
  • Yields brown to brownish-black pods that are 2–3" in length, remaining on the tree throughout winter.
  • Grows in a rounded, vase shape.

Wildlife Value

The early blossoms draw in nectar-seeking insects, including several species of early-season butterflies. Northern bobwhite and a few songbirds, such as chickadees, will eat the seeds. It can be used for nesting sites and nesting materials, and it also provides shelter for birds and mammals.

History/Lore

Native to North America and Canada with cousins in Europe and Asia, this tree was noted by Spaniards who made distinctions between the New World species and their cousins in the Mediterranean region in 1571. Centuries later, George Washington reported in his diary on many occasions about the beauty of the tree and spent many hours in his garden transplanting seedlings obtained from the nearby forest.

It was chosen as the state tree of Oklahoma in 1937.