Eastern redbud is a relatively easy tree to grow, particularly suited to full sun to part shade and well-drained soils. The tree does equally well in acidic or basic soils. It is best planted balled-and-burlapped or container-grown as a young tree in spring or fall. Eastern redbud was introduced into cultivation in 1641. George Washington reportedly transplanted redbuds from the woods to his gardens at Mount Vernon in Virginia. Propagate by seed. Seeds have hard, impermeable seedcoats and internal dormancy. Scarification and cold moist stratification are recommended. Cultivars are budded on seedling understock by experienced grafters.
Diseases and Insects
Canker is the most destructive disease of Eastern redbud and can cause stems to die back. Leaf spot and Verticillium wilt (fungal disease) are other disease problems.
Flowers are pollinated by bees.
TRADITIONAL AND MODERN USES
Redbud flowers and young legumes are edible.
Extracts from the inner bark and roots were used to treat colds, flu and fever.
The branches and stems have been used for basketry.
Redbud is an important ornamental tree, fast growing and beautiful.