Burgundy Hearts RedbudCercis canadensis 'Greswan' (PP# 19,654)
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Cercis canadensis 'Greswan' (PP# 19,654)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Burgundy Hearts Redbud is a remarkable variety of eastern redbud that has pronounced heart-shaped leaves that are rich burgundy in spring. They turn dark green as they mature, but new leaves continue to be burgundy, a unique feature not seen in other redbuds with red leaves. In early spring the bare branches are smothered in brilliant fuchsia-pink flowers, making a striking impact in the still-dormant garden. Reaching a height of about 20 feet, and spreading widely to 25 feet, this multi-stem deciduous tree is a top-pick for the back of shrub beds, as a specimen tree, planted by water, or growing in woodland settings.
Plant the Burgundy Hearts Redbud in full sun or partial shade, in rich, moist, well-drained soil. Once established it has some drought resistance, but regular watering, mulch and fertilizer will give the best results, and keep it pest and disease free. No pruning is needed, but some formative pruning when young will help it develop its best form and appearance. Remove any dead branches promptly. It is normally ignored by deer and it will grow near a black walnut tree, notorious for poisoning the ground for many other plants.
Redbuds have become very popular small trees, but it is important when choosing one to pick a variety that is reliable in your area, with your particular climate. There are redbuds for almost every part of the country, but for the northeast and cool to warm zones, a variety of the eastern redbud should be your first pick. While we used to be satisfied with redbuds merely for their wonderful spring blooming, the arrival of red-leaf forms has added an additional ‘must have’ when choosing. If you want a gorgeous redbud for the cooler parts of the country, and you want red foliage as well, then the Burgundy Hearts Redbud has to be your top pick. Fabulous in flower, followed by gorgeous red spring foliage, that is only the start. The leaves are distinctively heart-shaped, bringing romance to your garden, and while the leaves turn green when they mature, new leaves continue to open red, creating a remarkable and unique two-tone effect that really sparkles. Send a love letter and plant the Burgundy Hearts Redbud in your garden, for yourself, or for a loved one.
The Burgundy Hearts Redbud is a medium-sized, multi-stem deciduous tree that will grow to as much as 20 feet tall, in time. It has a broad and low crown, reaching 25 feet across when mature, so allow room for its final growth when choosing a planting place. The bark is smooth and dark brown-gray, becoming ridged with age, and developing areas of dark maroon-brown on the oldest trunks. The lovely curving directions of the smaller branches, and their spreading form, creates a beautiful winter profile. The leaves are between 3 and 5 inches long, with a papery texture, and this variety has a very pronounced heart-shape to the leaf, tapering to a slender point. The leaves are held out and hanging down, like hearts on short strings, creating a very charming look. New leaves in spring are glossy, and a wonderful deep burgundy color on both sides – the effect is simply stunning. As the leaves mature, they turn a rich dark green, but continuing new growth keeps the burgundy leaves, so through summer this tree has a unique burgundy/green two-tone color effect, which really stands out. In fall the leaves turn golden yellow.
Redbud is one of the earliest trees to bloom, and winter has hardly gone before the bare branches burst into bloom. All along the stems will be 2-inch clusters of pointed buds, opening to bright, fuchsia pink flowers that look like miniature sweet-peas, with only a faint fragrance. These smother the tree in beauty, and the remarkable effect will be seen right across the garden, among your still-dormant trees and shrubs. The brown, 3-inch bean-like seed pods typical of redbuds are not abundant in this variety.
It is hard to think of where you couldn’t grow this tree, it is so worthy of a place in every garden. Plant it at the back of your shrub beds, as a lawn specimen, near your home, at the edges of wooded areas, or in forest clearings. Plant one on a slope, or beside a stream or pond. Do not plant closer than 12 feet to buildings, fences or property boundaries, to allow it to spread to its full glory.
The Burgundy Hearts Redbud is reliably hardy in zones 5 to 8, and it will also grow, among the shelter of trees, in zone 4. As well it will grow in zone 9 in the northwest, but less well in that zone in the southeast, where we recommend the Avondale Redbud, or for dry and hot areas, the Traveler Weeping Redbud.
Full sun will give the best leaf color, but partial shade is also suitable, especially if it means avoiding dry soil. This tree grows best in moist, fairly rich, but well-drained soil, and not so well in dry, sandy soils. It will grow in clay soils that are reasonably drained, and also around black walnut trees, that kill many other plants. Once established it has some drought resistance, but we recommend regular watering for young trees during periods of summer dryness. Deer usually leave it alone.
Rich organic mulches during planting, and as a mulch over the root zone, will feed your tree and help preserve moisture. Cover a wide area with mulch, avoiding the trunk itself. Good watering and fertilizing habits, that will keep your tree vigorous, will make pests and diseases insignificant. Remove any dead branches promptly. Pruning is not normally needed, but a little opening up of the center and developing a few major trunks will create a tree of outstanding beauty.
The Burgundy Hearts Redbud is a form of eastern redbud, Cercis canadensis. You might think it grows mostly in Canada, but actually it only grows around Niagara, Ontario, and it is mostly found in America, growing from the Great Lakes to Florida, and west into Texas and Nebraska. This tree will grow well in gardens through all that area. It was discovered in the spring of 2000 by Kerry Swanson and Danny Fountain, of the Greenleaf Nursery Company in Park Hill, Oklahoma. They were working with a batch of 3,000 seedling redbuds and there among them was a single plant with red leaves – a true ‘needle in a haystack’. This tree was patented in 2009 with the name ‘Greswan’, and it is sold under the name of Burgundy Hearts, which was trademarked between 2007 and 2019.
This tree is one of our favorites, and we love the dangling red hearts and the fabulous pink blossoms. So does everyone else, though, so our stock will soon be gone – order now and avoid disappointment.