Our Native Redbud Tree


In late January and February my thoughts often turn to trees.  Whether I’m out pruning in preparation for spring, admiring a sculptural tree against the winter sky, or planning what trees I’d like to plant in the weeks ahead; I’m thinking of trees.

I’ve gone deep into the Forest Garden archives to re-publish a post from the spring of 2015 about our beautiful native redbud trees.  The redbud remains one of my favorite trees, and I plan to plant another one or two in the next few weeks to replace some peach trees that we lost earlier this winter,

I also hope that you might enjoy a glimpse of spring on this cold and wintery day.  Spring is once again on its way, no matter how cold and blustery it may feel outside today.

As you plan new pots and borders for spring, please also give thought to adding another tree or two to your own garden. The shade it  gives you during summers yet to come will be your reward.


Forest Garden

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A redbud tree in full bloom grabs my attention like no other spring blooming tree.  They just light up suddenly, like a neon beacon in the edge of the tree line; transforming from non-descript to gorgeous in the space of a day.


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This North American native, Cercis canadensis, grows wild in our woods.  Although there are a few cultivars available, including a white variety, the species pleases me just fine.


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And unlike many of the spring blooming fruit trees which show visible buds for weeks, waiting for the winter to pass; the blossoms of a redbud tree simply break directly out of the bark, anywhere and everywhere.  It is an amazing sight to see in early spring.


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Never particularly large, these trees survive to an advanced age.  And as they age, they keep growing and blooming year to year despite all manner…

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

6 responses to “Our Native Redbud Tree

  1. The state tree of Oklahoma!
    We have our own natie Cercis occidentalis. It is a big shrubby thing with bright almost purplish pink flowers. It does not live very long, but as it ages, it tosses an abundance of seed to replace itself. So-called ‘gardeners’ will pull up the seedlings and shear the decrepit aging shrub into a worthless glob until it dies without new seedlings to replace it.

    • What is the great attraction to shearing , Tony? Why do so many people want to shear shrubs that bloom? I hate seeing a Forsythia or flowering Quince given that treatment . I wonder whether the breeders are using your C. occidentalis to create hybrids with the more purplish flowers ? We’ve been seeing redbud with interesting flowers and darker leaves .

  2. They are a beautiful trees. We are at the north end of their range, so some winters there is a lot of dieback, but always a lovely sight in bloom.

  3. Well I might just have to check around for a redbud – they are splendid and it did bring some beauty on this winter day….

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