UACES Facebook Redbud


May 7, 2016


I have been babying a couple redbud tree starts the past two years.   They are now ready to be planted at the edge of my yard.   They are about 2 to 3 ft. tall.   Would it be best to plant now or in the autumn?  I also want to plant a flowering quince bush.  Should I do so now or in the fall?



I would recommend waiting until fall to move the redbud trees. We are about to enter our summer season and transplanting now would be more of a shock to the plant.  If you are purchasing a container grown quince, then now would be a fine time to plant as long as you are willing and able to water.  If you are moving existing quince, I would wait for fall.  


April 30, 2016


What has to happen for a red bud tree to bloom?   Mine is 5-6 years old and our neighbors is a little older and does not bloom either



 I hope the tree gets a minimum of six hours of sun each day. Redbud trees prefer full sun but should bloom with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.   Normally redbud trees begin to bloom within 4-6 years of age, which is younger than many flowering trees.  Other than sunlight as a factor, if it is growing really fast, sometimes it is staying in a more juvenile stage and putting on foliage instead of flowers. Try not to give it any fertilizer this year and keep it a bit on the dry side to help it slow down.  Redbud trees will set their flower buds at the end of summer into early fall for the following spring, so let’s hope you see blooms next year.   


April 23, 2016



 I was told you might be able to identify this tree for me.    

Picture of redbud tree



The tree in question is a great native tree commonly called Redbud- Cercis canadensis.  There are many varieties to choose from at local nurseries, some having white blooms instead of the pink/purple ones that you have.  There are also weeping varieties and some with colorful foliage in dark purple or orange,


November 28, 2015

QuestionI had two trees removed from my back yard early last summer; a Bradford Pear (Fire Blight) and a Maple (Slime Flux?)  Now I'm looking for replacement trees. I really don't need shade as this is in the East yard, therefore, I would prefer something not to exceed 20 - 25 feet tall.  I'm leaning towards a holly but will consider other evergreens. The soil I'm dealing with is heavy orange clay.  In fact the Maple I removed had a lot of surface roots. Thank you for any suggestions? 


The maple would have probably had surface roots even in decent soil—that is the nature of maples.  I am assuming you want something evergreen.  Some options include:  Little Gem magnolia, Foster holly, Burford holly, deodara cedar, cherry laurel or one of the larger junipers.  If it doesn’t have to be evergreen, I love the sweetbay magnolia or even one of the tulip magnolia trees, redbuds or dogwoods.


September 2015


We planted a six-foot redbud tree two years ago. Now it is well established and growing taller while limbs are getting longer all the way down the trunk. We would like to limb it up so that it is more like a tree than a tall shrub. When is the best time of year to do pruning at the trunk?

Removing lower limbs can be done at any time of the year.  Just make sure you don’t remove more than one third of the growth of the tree.  Make nice clean cuts, and don’t use pruning paint or wound dressing.  A clean, smooth cut is what is most important.


(October 2012)

QuestionI have an Eastern Redbud tree in my yard here in town. It has bloomed the last two years, this year producing many seedpods. I would like to start some trees at my cabin up on Greers Ferry. Should I try to sprout the seeds (if so, how?) and plant the seedlings? Or should I just scatter the seeds and let nature take care of things? We have only a thin layer of mineral soil over cap rock covered with a thick layer of leaves, pine needles, and mast.

AnswerRedbud seeds have a hard outer seed coat which has to be scarified or weakened before going through a cool, moist storage period (stratification) before the seeds will germinate. Professionally they use sulfuric acid to do the scarifying, but for home gardeners you can try using sandpaper to abrade the outer surface or even use a small tack hammer to lightly crack the seeds. Then store the seeds in a plastic bag with moist potting soil in the refrigerator to give them the cool, moist stratification. They can get this scarification/stratification naturally outdoors, but you rarely see an abundance of redbud seedlings coming up in yards—there are a few, but not the number you might expect with the abundance of seeds. Plant the seeds outside in the spring and see what happens.

(February 2011)

QuestionI have three old redbud trees. I want to cut them down. Their seeds are coming up all over my yard! Is it necessary to pull the stumps up? I want to plant replacement (not redbud) trees.

AnswerI love redbud trees. It is unusual that they are seeding so prolifically. While they do make a lot of seeds, we normally don’t see seedlings coming up that freely. If you do take out the trees, you will need to cut out the stump or at least grind it down, otherwise they will start to grow from the stump. You may have suckers that come up from the roots, but if you keep mowing or cutting them down, you will eventually take care of them.

(August 2010)

QuestionWe live in Bella Vista and have several large black walnut trees on our property. We have tried a crape myrtle and a red tip but both died. What is it about the black walnut trees that cause shrubs and bushes to die? Can you recommend any thing that will grow when planted 16 to 20 feet from a walnut tree?

AnswerBlack walnuts produce a chemical called juglone, which occurs in all parts of the tree, especially in the buds, nut hulls, and roots. The leaves contain smaller quantities and can leach juglone into the soil if they are left on the ground after falling. Many plants are adversely affected by the juglone, but it is more typical of plants within the drip line of the tree. For small flowering trees that are not affected try dogwood, redbud, fringe tree or serviceberry. Shrubs include forsythia, viburnums, altheas and sumacs. Try to plant things that are adversely affected at least 40 feet away and don't use the leaves as mulch. If you can create a raised bed that can also help.

(June 2010)

QuestionI moved into a house in Little Rock last June with an Eastern Redbud tree. The tag on the tree indicates that it should bloom in the spring. There were no blooms this spring. Since I've been here, I haven't even seen any leaves or signs of life. Does this type of tree require some special care or is it already too late to salvage it?

AnswerRedbud trees are native trees and should bloom with beautiful pinkish/purple flowers in the spring before the foliage comes on. If the tree is young, it may not bloom, but it definitely should be growing now with leaves. I would say something killed it and you will need to remove it and plant something else. Since you have no history with the yard, you don’t know if it was living last year or not, and it is often difficult to pinpoint what caused a plant to die without knowing something about its history.

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