How to Save Redbud Tree Seeds


Both Eastern and Western redbud trees are slightly misnamed, for their showy spring blossoms are pink or lavender rather than true red. The Eastern redbud is native to North America and grows throughout all but the northernmost and coastal western part of America. Western redbud, sometimes called California redbud, has a narrower range of only western and southern states. The easiest way to propagate either species of redbud is by collecting and saving seeds, then sowing them in the ground.

Step 1

Collect fallen redbud fruit pods, or pick low-hanging pods from the tree's branches. Not every seed will germinate successfully, so harvest more seeds than you plan to use. Leave the pods out at room temperature until they dry out and become light and brittle.

Step 2

Split the fruit pods with a paring knife to get the seed out. Wash the seeds under cool water.

Step 3

Place the seeds in a windowsill to dry out. Turn them over after a day. When they are fully dry, remove them. Store redbud seeds inside a plastic bag in your refrigerator for stratification, then plant them in the spring when you can work the ground. Alternately, plant the seeds directly in the ground in autumn once you've collected them and washed them.

Things You'll Need

  • Paring knife


  • United States Forest Service: Eastern Redbud
  • Wisconsin Cooperative Extemsion: Cercis canadensis
  • University of Florida: Western Redbud
  • Iowa State University: Germination of Tree Seed
Keywords: redbud seed, save tree seed, germinate seed redbud

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.