In this edition of ‘What should you buy at the Macomb County tree and plant sale,’ we focus on the Eastern Redbud (cercis canadensis)!
As a refresher, Macomb County’s tree and plant sale is an annual event held by Green Macomb and the Blue Water Conservation District. The sale provides an opportunity for the public to purchase young trees, fruit trees, flowering shrubs, wildflower seed and other fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices. Its pre-order period runs through April 4, so we highly recommend getting your orders in now. Which brings us back to the Redbud.
The Redbud is a tree that is valued far more than its small size. Some people even suggest that it’s one of North America’s most beautiful native trees. What makes the it so special? Its gift of spring color and its hardy adaptability. Many landscapes are made all the more beautiful with the addition of a Redbud, which is distinguishable by divided, multiple trunks and a graceful, rounded crown. It generally has a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches as well. These notes are supported by several tips on planting and care from Garden Design:
- The Eastern Redbud grows throughout most of the eastern U.S., extending as far west as Oklahoma and Texas and north into Canada. This tree is not picky when it comes to soil preference, but it does best when grown in a moist, well-drained location. Because of their modest size, Redbuds work well as understory trees and are particularly stunning when planted in groupings. The horizontal branching pattern adds architectural interest to the garden and makes an attractive canopy for spring bulbs.
- Height: 20-30 feet
- Spread: 25-35 feet
- Soil: Tolerates acidic or alkaline soils as well as heavy clay
- Exposure: Full sun to light shade
- Annual growth rate: 13 to 24 inches
- Redbud trees tolerate moderate dry spells, but when planted in full sun, they should be watered regularly. To keep the soil cooler and evenly moist in the summer, apply a layer of mulch out to the drip line of the limbs.
- To maintain the tree’s structural beauty and health, you should prune it as needed to remove weak forks, crowded branches and dead limbs. It’s best to prune right after flowering or in late fall while the tree is dormant.
- Most diseases affecting the Redbud are caused by fungal infections, including verticillium wilt, canker or dieback, and leaf spots. Older trees are especially vulnerable. Early identification followed by removal of the affected areas is the most effective treatment.
If you’re interested in purchasing an Eastern Redbud, check out the easy plant sale order form here. And mark your calendars for the plant pick up days – Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.