Tree 27

Cercis canadensis

The redbud grows to a height of 20–30′ and a spread of 25–35′ at maturity. It will tolerate full sun to partial shade. The trunk of the redbud commonly divides close to the ground, creating an interesting multi-trunk shape with graceful arched branches and a rounded crown. Several beautiful cultivars exist, but this tree is our native species. The redbud adapts to a wide range of site conditions and thrives in most types of soil and levels of sun exposure.

The ‘red buds’ and showy hot magenta flowers on this tree emerge directly from the twigs, branches and even parts of the trunk. The edible flowers bloom for 2-3 weeks, and are followed by heart-shaped leaves, 2 to 6 inches in length. In some cultivars, leaves emerge a reddish, orange or purple color, turning dark green in summer and then a bright canary yellow in autumn. The flowers also give rise to clusters of bean-like pods that remain on the tree into winter. This tribute redbud was planted in April 2011.

It is readily visible from Mapleton Road, and has matured into a tree of lovely form with glorious spring color.

George Washington reported in his diary on the beauty of the tree, and spent many hours in his garden transplanting seedlings obtained from the nearby forest. Redbuds are not bothered by deer, but may seed countless new baby redbuds in your yard!