Red Bud Tree

Written by April Reinhardt (last updated May 31, 2021)


First cultivated in 1811 and native to North America and Canada, the Red Bud tree blooms in early April and is also called the Eastern Red Bud tree. The name implies that the trees' flowers are red, they are at first pink, and then later mature to various hues of purple. In the fall, the reddish-purple leaves change to dark green, and then to yellow. In his diary, George Washington remarked in many entries about how beautiful the Red Bud tree is, and he spent many hours planting and transplanting seedlings from nearby forests into his gardens.

If you've ever seen a Red Bud tree in all of its magnificent glory of full springtime bloom, then you will have no doubt why so many people plant them in their yard. Although the spectacular blooming season lasts for a few fleeting days, the memory of that beauty lasts until the next eagerly anticipated blooming season. Most Red Bud trees grow to a mature height of twenty to thirty feet, with a limb spread of 30 feet.

If you are considering planting a Red Bud tree in your yard so as to enjoy its beauty in the spring, then follow these planning pointers:

  • Nursery. Purchase your tree from a reputable nursery or home improvement center. Look for plants that have planting directions attached, and follow the directions precisely. Save your receipts, especially if the garden center guarantees growth for twelve months. If your tree fails to thrive, you can be reimbursed for your purchase.
  • "Wild" Seedlings. You may choose to plant your tree from seedlings. Once a Red Bud tree blooms, its flowers will sprout pods, and each four-inch pod will contain up to ten seeds. Collect the pods from a nearby public forest and then plant then in the fall where you want them to grow in your yard. When planting from seed, you can plant them in pots, but make sure that you place the pots outside since Red Bud trees need the cold of winter to help the seeds take root.
  • Transplanting. If you choose a small tree form your garden center, make sure that it is balled with burlap. But if you choose a more mature tree, look for container-grown varieties since such trees will weather the shock of transplant better. Remember to dig a large hole when planting your Red Bud tree, since their roots are rangy and they like plenty of room to grow. Stake your new tree with three ropes, and place an empty paper towel cardboard roll around the trunk to prevent the rope from slicing into the trunk. After transplanting, keep the soil barely moist the first season, and do not prune your tree for the first two seasons.

Red Bud trees will usually last an average of twenty years, usually dying of heartwood rot. When you have a tree that starts showing signs of dying, plant a replacement tree nearby. As the new tree matures, it will take nourishment from the dying tree, and then you can have the dead tree removed.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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What is 1 + 1?

2014-06-16 07:38:43


My red bud appears dead, after brutal MI winter of 2014, as no flowers of leaves were produced this spring, however; there is a shoot now growing from the trunk (not base) as if a new branch is starting.
Is there hope ?

2014-02-08 12:30:36

Ginger Wagner

I have a redbud in my yard that I transplanted from the nearby woods about 8 years ago. It was only about 3 ft high when I transplanted it.
It has never bloomed although all the wild trees nearby bloom every year. Do I need to fertilize and what fertilizer would help to make it bloom? Tha nks for any help,

2013-12-22 16:30:31


Does a Red Bud tree lose all its' leaves in the winter? We are north of Tampa FL and had the tree planted in front of our newly constructed home. It is currently bare of leaves.


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