Eastern Redbud is a superb ornamental tree that develops into a broad, flat-topped, rounded form.
In early spring, before the new leaves unfold, pink flower clusters appear along branches & trunk sections – it almost looks like strings of Christmas lights.
It has wide, roundish, green leaves that turn yellow in the fall. There is a burgundy leafed variety called ‘Forest Pansy’.
Eastern Redbud can get 20 to 30′ tall & wide so be careful how close you plant it to things. I have used it near pathways & patios and pruned the canopy to grow overhead. The Redbud in the first picture at the top was recently moved to make room for an addition, and just in time because it was starting to encroach on the house.
In the second picture above we’ve planted a young Redbud near a lamp post. I know what you’re thinking and yes, it is rather close, but there’s a reason to my madness.
I anticipate and want the tree growing into the lamp post. My intention is to train the Eastern Redbud to grow around the lamp post by pruning each year. The effect is very cool. Ultimately you have enough room around the lamp post that the two coexist with one another. At night the glowing lantern is nestled in with the branching and leaves.
While Eastern Redbud rarely needs pruning, dead wood should be pruned out. Occasionally, like in the lamp post situation, you may need to raise or shape the canopy to give more clearance.
The plant is adaptable to most soils that are moist and well-drained…not permanently wet. I have noticed that the foliage can get off-color & spotted by late summer. This normally is cosmetic and not a concern in terms of pests and disease.
The most destructive problem is canker, which can cause stems to die. Verticillium wilt is another potential disease. Just remember: a weakened, stressed plant is most susceptible. Therefore, site the plant properly and keep it vigorous with appropriate care.