How to Plant a Redbud Tree in the Springtime


Redbud blossoms are the bright and colorful harbinger of spring many people look forward to after a long gray winter. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is native to the eastern woodlands of North America and the species most commonly planted in the garden landscape. Planting a redbud tree is easy and its thoughtful placement in your yard will surely cause your neighbors to envy your green thumb. Spring is an ideal time to improve your garden with this ornamental tree.

Step 1

Choose a sunny or partly sunny site to plant your redbud. The tree will grow 12 to 20 feet tall and about as wide, so make sure it gets that much room to stretch out.

Step 2

Dig a hole as deep as the rootball of your tree and 1 ½ times as wide.

Step 3

Improve the excavated soil by mixing in 1/3 compost. Scratch 2 inches of compost into the soil in the bottom of the hole.

Step 4

Remove the plant from its container and place the rootball in the bottom of the hole. If the rootball is covered in burlap (as opposed to being in a container), cut the twine away from the base of the trunk to prevent girdling as the tree grows. Make sure the top of the rootball is even with the original soil level or 1 or 2 inches higher.

Step 5

Backfill the hole with the improved soil. Tamp the soil gently as you go along to eliminate air pockets.

Step 6

Water the rootball so that the soil is damp but not waterlogged. Use a vitamin-rich plant starter with the water to encourage the plant to adjust to its new setting and start vigorous root growth.

Step 7

Mulch the area with 2 inches of mulch in a circle about 6 inches beyond the planting hole. Pull the mulch 2 inches away from the trunk to prevent bark rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Plant starter


  • University of Maryland Extension: Woody Ornamental Landscape Plants - March 2010
Keywords: redbud, planting redbuds, planting ornamental trees

About this Author

Robert Lewis has been writing do-it-yourself and garden-related articles since 2000. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Maryland and has training experience in finance, garden center retailing and teaching English as a second language. Lewis is an antiques dealer specializing in Chinese and Japanese export porcelain.