Redbud trees are highly prized by landscapers and gardeners for their ornamental value. These small, elegant trees have dark bark accented by purple-pink blossoms and heart-shaped leaves. They are the first trees to bloom in spring, but unfortunately, they are often the first trees in the garden to die. Redbud trees do not live very long and rarely reach more than 30 years of age. You can extend the life of your new redbud tree by giving it a good start. Plant it in full sun with well-drained fertile soil, and the redbud will accent your yard for years to come.
Dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the container (or as the rootball of wrapped saplings) in which your redbud tree currently grows.
Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain. This will ensure that the surrounding soil is well saturated and moisture remains around the roots of your newly planted redbud tree. This can also reveal the drain-ability of your planting site. If the water has not drained in a few hours, the site has poor drainage and you should pick another.
Mix half of the excavated soil with an equal amount of aged compost.
Remove the redbud from its current container and inspect its roots. Use a sharp, clean pair of pruning shears to prune any roots that are excessively long, dead or broken. Then, loosen the rootball by gently pulling the roots away with your hands.
Plant the redbud tree in the hole. The tree should sit in the same depth in the hole as it was in the nursery container. Back fill the hole with the amended soil so that no more than 1 inch of soil covers the root ball of your redbud sapling. Tamp down the soil with your hands or feet to remove any air pocket.
Water the redbud so that the soil is moist to the depth of the planting area. The best way to do this is to lay a slow-running hose at the base of the tree for a few hours. Continue to keep the soil moist until the redbud establishes itself and produces new growth.