About Redbud Tree Growth


The native Eastern redbud tree is responsible for one of the earliest displays of colour that can be seen in the springtime (Cercis canadensis). The tree, which has a name that indicates it is covered with rosy-pink buds far in advance of the appearance of leaves, cloaks each of its more delicate branches in a riot of colour. Plant hardiness zones 4 through 8 are designated by the United States Department of Agriculture for the growth of redbud trees.

American Redbud Growth Rate

When it reaches maturity, the redbud tree, which is also known as the Judas tree, is not very large. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, its height will typically remain between 20 and 30 feet throughout its lifetime, however some specimens may grow to be somewhat higher. This tree has a relatively rapid growth rate, reaching an average height of 7 to 10 feet and a width of 15 to 35 feet by the age of 5 or 6.

The development pattern of the tree is one that is aesthetically beautiful by nature. It often develops a split trunk or many trunks that give birth to primary branches relatively close to the base of the tree. The resulting tree has the form of an elegant vase and often has a crown that is spreading and flat on top.

Flowers and Foliage

In most years, the redbud tree begins to bloom in the beginning of April and continues to do so for the next two to three weeks. There are hundreds of buds that are a deep magenta colour that cluster together on the bare branches of the tree. These buds will ultimately open into blooms that are a deep pink colour, however some varieties have white flowers.

When the tree is young, the heart-shaped leaves have a reddish-purple colour, but with time they mature into a dark green colour and turn yellow in the autumn. After the leaves fall off, the redbud tree develops long, flat, brown seed pods that are three inches in length. These seed pods stay on the tree throughout the winter and become a prominent feature after the leaves fall off.

Site, Sun and Soil

According to Clemson Cooperative Extension, a red bud does not react well to being transplanted; thus, selecting the appropriate place is essential for ensuring the health and growth of a young tree. It performs best in a location that gets direct sunlight, but it may also thrive in an area that has some partial shade throughout the day. The perfect location is one that provides some relief from the heat of the afternoon sun during the summer months but opens up to the sun during the winter months when the leaves fall off of the bigger trees in the neighbourhood.

The redbud does best in damp, loamy soil, but it may grow in almost any kind of garden soil as long as it has good drainage. This tree should not be planted in an area that is constantly saturated with water since it will not thrive there. However, if you mix sand into your soil before you plant it, you may boost its ability to drain water.

Pruning a Redbud Tree

There isn’t much pruning that has to be done to a redbud tree, but you may cut back some of its younger branches to assist stimulate extra branching and a bushier look. Since the tree blossoms on both old and new wood, it is better to do this as soon as the flowers have passed their peak.

Before beginning any garden trimming, the University of Florida IFAS Extension suggests cleaning any garden implements. Before making any cuts, clean your pruning shears and any other cutting instruments by wiping them down with a solution of 70–100% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, or dipping them in the solution.

Redbud Tree Problems

There are a few kinds of insects that may be a problem for it, including as tree hoppers and scale. If you want to get rid of tree hoppers, you may spray the tree with insecticidal soap that has been diluted at a rate of five teaspoons per gallon. The use of horticultural oil, which may be purchased pre-diluted at garden stores, is an effective method for removing scale insects off trees.

Canker is a disease caused by fungi that may affect redbud trees. Because openings in the tree’s bark create a pathway for the fungus to invade, the most effective method of protection against the disease is to take care not to damage the tree while cultivating the soil or mowing the lawn.