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The Redbud

A post on a tree.  Is a tree really worthy of its own blog post you may ask?  I gasp at your audacity. Of course it is! And this tree and all of its varieties are especially worthy.  The Redbud. Now, true tree enthusiasts may scoff and throw back their heads and expect a fancy scientific name in Latin, but for our purposes today, which is the purpose of sharing information with you, we will just call the featured tree a Redbud.  There are many varieties, and we could name them all here, but no need. Southern Living already did that beautifully.  

The Love Tree

Could there be a more perfect day other than Valentine’s Day to feature this tree?  Absolutely not. Why? If you are asking, then you must not know that these trees have the most perfectly lovely heart-shaped (cordate) leaves.  When I first “discovered” the redbud, I was absolutely delighted to find dark red leaves in the shape of hearts growing off the branches of a tree!  Surely it must have been an omen that love was in the air! A love tree! How adorable. Now, if you know anything about Redbuds, you know they don’t keep the dark red leaves.  As summer comes along, the leaves turn green, sometimes with a reddish tint, and then yellow in fall.

The other factor that makes this tree perfect to feature on Valentine’s day is because this tree bursts into glorious dark or light pink (sometimes white) blooms in spring.  You have noticed them before, even if you didn’t realize the tree that you were looking at was a Redbud. You can’t help but notice. The pink blooms are enticing, intoxicating and even edible. Pro-tip: Did you know that these early blossoms are good for pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies! I mean, what is not to love about this tree?!

A Native Beauty

The Redbud is native to our area, so naturally, it does very well here.  It prefers partial shade, but does well full-sun. The Eastern Redbud, which is most popular in our area, grows to between 20 and 30 feet and can spread to 25-30 feet at its full maturity.  It is not very particular when it comes to soil, but does best (as do most plants) in well-drained soil. The Eastern Redbud is truly an excellent choice for your landscape.

A popular variety of the Redbud (and my personal favorite) is the weeping Redbud.  These trees are much smaller than their Eastern Redbud cousins, but still boast the gorgeous leaves and spring blooms.  This variety only grows to about 6 feet tall and can grow about 6 feet wide. Here is a picture of the Weeping Redbud in my yard in its summer glory. 🙂

Weeping Redbud in all its summer glory

One unique thing about these trees is the seed pods that develop in the late summer and fall.  The leaves will shed after they turn yellow in fall, but the seed pods will remain and add an interesting element to your landscape in the winter months.  

Come on!  You know you want one of these “love trees”!  We will have quite the variety of them arriving next week.  And if you need planting tips, we’ve got those for you, too!  Happy Love Day, friends!

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