The redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) is a small, deciduous tree with a rapid growth rate. It does not tolerate drought well but its water needs are moderate. It is a Texas native that produces purple, pea-shaped flowers in the early spring. The seedpods stay on the tree into the winter, making for easier cleanup. The redbud is susceptible to stem canker.
Dig a planting hole three times the width of the root ball and as deep as the root ball, if the redbud tree is potted or balled and burlapped. If the redbud tree is bare-root, dig the planting hole the width of the spread out roots and as deep as the tree was previously planted. You can see where the tree was previously planted by looking for the discoloration from the soil on the trunk of the tree.
Scarify the sides of the planting hole with the pitchfork. Center the redbud tree in the planting hole. If you are working with a bare-root tree, center the tree in the planting hole, then spread out the roots around the bottom of the planting hole.
Fill the planting hole with water, then backfill with soil. If the soil must be amended, amend 50 percent of the soil dug from the planting hole, then mix the amended soil with the rest of the soil before you backfill.
Mulch the redbud tree with at least 3 inches of compost or pulverized bark. Water with at least an inch of water. Always water deeply, to encourage root growth and tree health.
Water with at least an inch of water each week. Fertilize the redbud tree every three years with flowering shrub and tree fertilizer. Always follow the instructions on the package of the fertilizer, so as not to damage the tree. Check the tree frequently for signs of stem canker. Remove branches and twigs that show signs of stem canker.
Things You Will Need
- If you live in a northern climate, plant the redbud tree in full sun. If you live in a southern climate, where the summers are longer and hotter, plant the redbud tree where it will get partial sun in the afternoon.
- The redbud tree does not tolerate drought. Check the soil around the tree at least twice a week during hot, dry periods. Water as needed to ensure the soil stays moist, especially in southern climates.