Eastern Redbud Tree

Cercis canadensis

13 Reviews

Eastern Redbud Tree

Cercis canadensis

13 Reviews


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Eastern Redbud Tree is a unique single-stem form of a plant that is usually multi-stem. This native tree is renowned for the wonderful early spring display of brilliant pink flowers, carried in profusion on the dark, bare branches. A queen of the forest, turned into a small tree growing to around 20 feet tall and wide, it is perfect for a lawn specimen, planting in beds, or adding to a well-lit woodland garden. Easy to grow and reliable all through the east, it is handsome in summer too, with bold, heart-shaped leaves that turn golden yellow in fall.

  • Brilliant pink blooms on bare stems in spring
  • One of the very first trees to bloom in the garden
  • Special single trunk small tree
  • Attractive heart-shaped leaves turn gold in fall
  • Always healthy and handsome, all through summer

Full sun or partial shade are the ideal conditions for the Eastern Redbud Tree, which thrives in most types of soil that is well-drained, preferring some moisture, but also being drought tolerant once well-established. It is normally untroubled by pests or diseases; left alone by deer; and even grows near black walnut trees, notorious for killing many plants. No special pruning is needed – just remove any dead branches and keep the young trunk clean of new shoots.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-9
Mature Width 20-30
Mature Height 20-30
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 4-9

Without doubt one of the most spectacular spring-flowering trees, the Eastern Redbud has it all. Brilliant pink blooms very early in spring, on the bare branches; very attractive heart-shaped leaves that are a bold dark green, turning to glowing gold in fall; striking winter profile of twisted, near-black stems, and the bonus of being a native plant. With the trend away from growing alien exotic plants, it’s the perfect introduction to that idea – and one that is prized around the world. Of the two types that grow in North America, the Eastern Redbud is adapted to cooler states, and areas with good rainfall, while the Western Redbud is more suited to hotter, drier areas. You usually see this small tree (the perfect size for modern smaller gardens) as a multi-stem plant, but we thought that it would make the perfect small specimen tree, so we had our growers train them into a single trunk, creating a unique and lovely flowering tree to grace any lawn, or rise above smaller shrubs in a bed. You could even grow it in a large tub for many years, to decorate a terrace. These fabulous trees really turn heads, and can’t be bettered when it comes to creating a powerful spring display.

Growing the Eastern Redbud Tree

Size and Appearance

The Eastern Redbud Tree is naturally a multi-stem small deciduous tree that has been trained to a single stem. The stems and branches are smooth and a very dark black-brown, developing long vertical ridges as they age. Young trees grow quickly and vigorously, reaching 10 feet in not much more than 5 years. Older trees grow more slowly, but you can expect a tree 20 feet tall and wide within 15 years, and ultimately it can reach 30 feet. Allow for this spread and height when choosing a planting spot, and don’t plant closer than 15 feet to a building or boundary. The season of beauty begins very early, one of the first trees to bloom, while most are still sleeping. All along the dark branches, and directly on the trunk too, clusters of buds turn dark pink, and then open into electric-pink flowers. The individual flowers look like pea flowers, and they are about the clusters of about 5 blooms, in total about 1-inch tall. They make up, in profusion and brightness, for what they lack in size. A tree in bloom is simply glorious. Even a young tree can have thousands of blooms over a 2-week period. After blooming is over the flowers develop into flat seed pods about 3 inches long that are green and then dark brown, becoming noticeable as an interesting winter feature once the leaves fall.

The leaves come shortly after the flowers, and they are heart-shaped and smooth, with a lustrous sheen, and between 3 and 5 inches across. They always look clean and healthy through summer, and their dark green turns golden yellow in fall.

Using the Eastern Redbud Tree in Your Garden

With its unique tree form, the Eastern Redbud Tree is ideal for a lawn specimen, or for planting above lower-growing shrubs. It fits into all styles of garden, and will be just at home in a wild area as it is in a more formal garden. Grow it in a large tub (from zone 6 on) where it can decorate a terrace or stand beside a door. Because the foliage is so attractive, even when not blooming this is a valuable and decorative tree for any garden.


This species of redbud is very cold-resistant, and will grow in zone 4, but they may be harsh springs when it doesn’t bloom well. It grows perfectly in all other zones to zone 8, and in zone 9 in areas like the northwest, where summers are cooler and winters cold.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Full sun in cooler zones, and some afternoon shade in warmer ones, or where the soil is drier, will be ideal for the Eastern Redbud Tree. It grows in almost all well-drained soils, including alkaline soils. Although preferring generally moist conditions, it will tolerate significant summer drought once it is well established. Regular watering or more moist soil will give excellent results, but you will be amazed at how rugged and reliable this tree is.

Maintenance and Pruning

Untroubled by pests, diseases or deer, and even able to grow beneath a black walnut tree – which kills many other plants – you will find your Eastern Redbud Tree very easy to grow. Remove any small twigs that might die over time, but otherwise you don’t need to prune – just let the natural growth mature, giving a fascinating, rugged winter profile. Remove any shoots that sprout from the trunk, to keep the single-stem growth pattern.

History and Origin of the Eastern Redbud Tree

Judging by its botanical name, which is Cercis canadensis, we might think this tree grew all through Canada, but in fact it is only found wild in the southernmost part, on the Niagara peninsula. It is much more common further south, growing all the way from the Great Lakes into northern Florida, and west into Texas and Nebraska. The nutritious seeds were eaten by Native Americans, who also ate the flowers – feel free to nibble a few! In the Appalachians settlers used fresh green twigs when cooking game they had hunted, and called this tree ‘spicewood’.

Buying the Eastern Redbud Tree at the Tree Center

It is great to see this tree, usually a large shrub, developed into a tree. It’s ideal for smaller gardens, or where you want a unique and beautiful lawn specimen. Remember that the Eastern Redbud Tree is a native plant, so you can grow it with no fear of it damaging your local environment. We don’t often see these tree-form plants, and they are always incredibly popular. So order yours now, as they won’t be in stock much longer.

Back to top

Eastern Redbud Tree

Cercis canadensis

13 Reviews