Eastern Redbud: Can You Keep An Eastern Redbud Tree Small?

Eastern Redbuds are a small beautiful tree, which is native to Northeastern America. These species thrive better from west of California and north as southern Ontario roughly. It is considered a state tree for Oklahoma.

I love to see this Eastern redbuds tree because of its rose color. This tree is one of my favorite trees I can spend so much time seeing the beauty of the tree when they have rose-colored buds/flowers in them.

eastern redbud tree

To keep the Eastern redbud tree small Pruning or trimming is necessary and done/suggested during the end of winter dormacy by removing any dead branches, damaged branches, crossed branches year. Pruning improves the overall structure of the plant. we can do extensive pruning, starting from lower big branches near the trunk and moving to the top which is small and not strong.

Always check the size and how trees look after pruning, this tree is also one of the best trees used for landscaping.

These are the steps I follow to take care of redbud trees after pruning.

1. Location of the Redbud tree

Eastern redbud tree is also known as American Redbud or American judas tree. Eastern Redbuds are a small beautiful tree, which is native to Northeastern America. These species thrive better from west of California and north as southern Ontario roughly. It is considered a state tree for Oklahoma.

The best Hardiness zone for the Redbud trees is 4 to 8 (USDA). It is a drought-tolerant tree so after being well established for around 2 years it can grow on it’s with less maintenance.

This plant doesn’t like to be transplanted that’s why to choose the location carefully and later don’t change the place.

Branches of this tree are not that strong so try to avoid places where it gets lots of wind.

This plant is not picky when it comes to soil, will grow best in moist, well-drained soil locations.

These trees can be grown under big trees, it can also be grown in groups of trees.

Horizontal branching patterns show very good in the architecture of the garden and make it very attractive for the canopy of bulbs.

2. Sunlight Exposure for Redbud tree

Redbud trees grow well in partial shade, they produce more blossom when exposed to full sunlight.

It is native to a wide range of climates, Locally harvested tree seeds thrive and grow better even in the cold when they are grown in a native environment.

Find the place where it gets six to eight hours of day of full exposure to sunlight. Make sure it has enough room to spread out its branches. Most of the varieties grow 20 feet tall and 25 feet wide.

Redbud trees become elongated in full sun and will search for the sun, and grows taller to reach towards sunlight.

3. Watering Redbud tree

watering the redbud tree is an important thing in summer, or when it is planted in full sun. If you forget to water the plant it will start to dry and eventually dry.

To keep the soil cool and moist we need to water regularly, this helps the plant to thrive and grow properly.

Apply the mulch to and water the plant to keep the soil moist for a longer time.

Use the moist and well drainable soil to plant the tree, to thrive stronger and well.

purified water takes out many minerals like sodium etc which is required by the plants, over time this will negatively affect the quality of the soil. In some of the houses water softeners are used for inside taps, so use outside taps to water the plants to increase the level of sodium-like minerals.

you can also use sprinklers, water drippers to water the plant efficiently. (applying mulch is also one of the effective ways to keep the soil moist).

watering time matters for efficient watering, watering should be done in the early morning when the sun is rising or when the sun is going down. This will help in 2 ways one is evaporation other one is controlling pest disease for the plant.

Water thoroughly suggested instead of watering more frequently with less water.

water evenly and let the soil get moist evenly.

Water needs time to be absorbed by the soil, so before it flows away unused better give them in smaller parts so it will help the plant to get its full water and water wastage will not happen.

Avoid waterlogging or clogged water this will surely affect the roots of the plants.

water according to season winter or summer, summer season needs more frequent watering and spring, winter requires less watering.

Don’t overwater the plant.

water deeply at least 2 times a week when till the first month of planting, one time a week after 2 months, and 3 times when the tree is getting establishing.

4. Mulching Redbud tree

Mulching not only helps in keeping moisture in the soil for the good growth of plants.

It also helps in the winter season to protect the roots of the plant from winter (without freezing).

start mulching the eastern redbud tree in the mid frost before the first fall, use waste wooden chips, straws make a thick layer of mulch about 3 inches to protect from winter.

Extend the mulching to 3 to 4 feet around the curry leaves the plant to protect it better.

wood chip mulch prevents soil moisture loss and insulates roots to absorb more heat.

Water the eastern redbud tree once every week late fall throughout the winter before the freeze, water the soil, and put some more mulch on top of that this helps in warming the ground, making more warmer for the plant or tree.

Use mulching for eastern red bud tree to reduce watering cycle

There are many kinds of mulching available, mulching paper, some people also use weeds for mulching.

Mulching helps in reducing evaporating water, and protection from the sun, to reduce the growth of weeds.

5. Winter Dormacy for Redbud tree

Redbud tree blooms in late winter and into early spring with red super mind-blowing flowers.

Pruning needs to be done during winter dormacy.

Remove any dead branches, damaged branches year around as needed.

Pruning improves the overall structure of the plant.

It is also a good idea to sow the seeds for germination and growing new plants in the winter season.

6. Caring low Temperature for Redbud tree

Redbud trees perform better in zone 4 through 9, with cold hardiness down to -20 degrees.

Generally, they will survive in any climate as it has a bit of sun and well-drained soil.

It will do very well when the full sun or partial shade is given to it.

To handle this tree in low temperature or freezing temperatures. You can apply heavy mulching to trees to keep the roots from freezing cold temperatures.

If you need you can also cover the tree with blankets to help from cold.

Pruning is also suggested in the winter season, to remove any dead or damaged branches from trees.

7. Soil (Dirt) for Redbud tree

Well-drained clay soil do better for eastern redbud tree.

Keep the soil well moisture during 1st, till 2nd month of the tree by watering at least 3 times a week, later you can reduce 2 times a week after 2nd month of the plant. Later your water once a week thoroughly.

When the plant is getting established we can water the plant twice a week.

Eastern redbud trees grow in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils.

8. Fertilizing Redbud tree

Normally this plant doesn’t need fertilizer and it takes nitrogen from the air. Newly planted redbud trees required fertilizer for a kick start of the growth of the plant.

Fertilize the redbud tree in the early spring for the best performance, remove any dead, damaged branches or crossed branches in winter after blooming.

Give balanced slow-release fertilizer for redbud trees for good growth and it works well with new plants also.

You can also apply granular fertilizer, I also tried 10-10-10 (N-P-K) fertilizer and it works well with this plant.

As the tree matures we need to use less nitrogen fertilizer.

9. Bugs or Diseases for Redbud tree

More number of leaves feed insects attracted to redbud tree.

These include tent caterpillar, leafhoppers, treehoppers, leafrollers, weevils, and other caterpillars.

Branches are often attacked by scale insects including greedy, oleander, leucanium, and terrapin.

We remove these affected branches normally during winter dormacy, to help the tree to get back in shape.

We need to water correctly the redbud tree properly, if we over water then roots may rot, or affect by fungus-related diseases.

Reasons to love Redbudtree:

Tiny magenta buds swell into rose-pink flowers in early spring before the leaves appear with long-lasting blossom for about two to three weeks.

Flowers/buds appear to come from the right bark of twigs or branches which look like a whole tree full of flowers.

Commonly redbud divides close to the ground, creating an interesting multi-trunk with graceful arches branches, and rounded crowns.

This tree with redbud thrives well to a wide range of conditions with most of the soil and the amount of light exposure may be sun or artificial light.

Heart-shaped leaves with 2-4 inches in length emerge a reddish color, turning dark green in summer and bright yellow in autumn

Final Thoughts:

Let me know in the comments how is your Eastern Redbud tree doing? Happy Reading!


I love and passionate about gardening. All these started a few years back, planting, watering plants, and helping the plants grow without any diseases. I enjoy spending time with plants, greenery which gives me peace of mind.

2 thoughts on “Eastern Redbud: Can You Keep An Eastern Redbud Tree Small?

  1. I planted an Eastern Red bud last year. Didn’t realize how big it can get and I need to keep it small. It has come back like gangbusters this spring and I went ahead a trimmed off several of the longer limbs. Then I saw it should be done at the end of winter. Think it’s ok that I did it end of April?

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