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Redbud Tree - Varieties and How to Care for Cercis Trees

Redbud tree is a unique species which amazes especially in spring, when the tree gets covered with tiny colorful flowers. Are you wondering if a Judas tree is good for your garden? Learn what do these trees need and how to take care of them. Use practical tips and make your garden an amazing place!

Redbud Tree - Varieties and How to Care for Cercis Trees

Redbud tree – what kind of tree is it and what does it look like?

Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a tree which grows naturally in North America. Thanks to its durability and low requirements, it can be grown easily on various continents. Cultivated trees are usually shorter than those occurring in nature, where they can grow up to 14 meters tall.

Redbud trees, also known as Judas trees, are characteristic for their wide habit and rich blooming in spring between April and May. Redbud flowers are quite distinct – they are either pink or cream-pink. Interestingly enough, they appear not only on the tree’s branches, but also on its trunk.

Redbud tree transformation in fall is another noteworthy feature. That’s when its leaves turn from intense green to yellow. One can say that Judas trees look different during each season.

According to some sources, one of the names of the plant – Judas tree – has a special meaning. It is believed that Judas hanged himself from a tree of this species. Regardless, no reliable information on this exists, so one can treat it as a fun detail.

Redbud tree – what kind of tree is it and what does it look like?

Redbud tree – varieties you should know about

Cercis canadensis – Eastern redbud is definitely the most popular type of redbud trees. It has a few interesting varieties, which differ between each other by leaf and flower colors. The most noteworthy Eastern redbud varieties include:

  • Hearts of Gold
  • Little Woody
  • Ruby Falls
  • Red Force
  • Lavender Twist
  • Alba
  • Forest Pansy

Redbud tree – varieties you should know about

What are the needs of a redbud tree?

Judas trees need a particular type of soil for development. The ground in the garden should be fertile and loose. The soil’s pH should be slightly acidic or neutral.

The location is another important aspect. Redbud trees grow best in full sun. The plant can also be placed in a delicate half-shade. What’s crucial, the spot should be protected from wind, as the tree doesn’t like it.

Young trees are more difficult in cultivation, mainly because they are delicate and less resistant to frost. They can manage well during a drought, although they prefer moderately moist soil.

Redbud tree – blooming season

Every cercis tree blooms in spring. Depending on the particular conditions and the weather, the flowers appear between April and May.

Redbud trees sometimes bloom as late as the second year from planting in a garden. Don’t worry, as it’s completely natural.

How to protect a redbud tree from low temperatures?

Protection against frost is especially essential regarding young plants. Why? Because they are particularly vulnerable to low temperatures. It means they have to be prepared for their dormancy period. The usual procedure involves covering them with agrotextile, which can be purchased in a gardening store or a supermarket. Branches of coniferous plants or straws also make a good protection from cold.

How to protect a redbud tree from low temperatures?

Does a redbud tree need fertilizing?

Redbud trees need to be regularly fertilized with special products. It’s especially important in early spring, when the plant needs strengthening before blooming. Are you wondering which fertilizers are the best for this purpose? Manure is the primary substance. But you can also use universal multi-ingredient products.

Do redbud trees need pruning?

Pruning the tree regularly is one of the essentials of redbud care. This type of trimming is sometimes referred to as sanitary. It’s supposed to remove all branches that were broken or damaged by cold during winter. It’s typically done after the last freezes, between February and March.

The place of cutting has to be sealed using special products. A protective salve is perfect for this purpose. Thanks to this, you can prevent fungal diseases such as botrytis.

Redbud tree – how much does a seedling cost?

Redbud trees such as Eastern redbud, Merlot redbud or Judas tree can be found in gardening stores at different prices. In fact, the cost of a redbud tree depends on the variety you want to purchase. Smaller types, perfect for e.g. a bonsai tree, can be bought for $7 and more.

Many people decide on taller trees, from 50 to 100 cm tall. In this case, one has to prepare to spend more, in the range of $10 to even $50.

Redbud tree – how much does a seedling cost?

What are the most common diseases and pests attacking redbud trees?

Although redbud trees are quite durable, they might get occasionally attacked by diseases and pests. In addition to diseases spread by fungal spores, one might have to deal with the following problems:

  • blotchiness,
  • canker,
  • discoloration,
  • leaf deformation.

As for pests, aphids belong to the most dangerous ones, along with scale insects. Can they be prevented? Of course. Regular, natural spraying are perfect for this purpose.

What are the most common diseases and pest attacking redbud trees?

📍 What does a redbud tree look like?

Redbud trees are beautiful, with a wide habit. They develop plentiful pink flowers. In its natural habitat, a cercis tree can grow up to 14 meters tall, but it's shorter in domestic cultivation. The tree looks different in every season – for instance, its leaves have an amazing yellow color in fall.

📍 When do redbud trees bloom?

Redbud tree develops many flowers, but it blooms only for a short period. Flowers can be observed between April and May. With good care, they might stay for longer than usual.

📍 Where to buy a weeping redbud?

Weeping redbud is quite a popular plant, so one can find its seedlings in most gardening stores and plant nurseries. They sometimes appear in supermarkets as well.

📍 When does redbud develop leaves?

Regardless of the variety, redbuds develop leaves in May. They are very characteristic – heart-shaped and large – around 7 cm long.