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Eastern redbud grows into a small to medium size deciduous tree, often with with a low branching habit, 25-35 ft. tall and as wide. Medium green leaves grow 3-6 in. across, and are heart-shaped with a long pointed tip. Clusters of showy magenta flowers occur in early spring and are followed by 3-4 in. long thin bean-type pods. Foliage turns bright yellow-gold in fall.

The Eastern redbud grows naturally throughout the eastern United States and in southern parts of Ontario, Canada. It commonly grows in hardwood forests as an understory plant in valleys, on slopes and in sandy loam soils. It is adapted to cold winters, snow, ample moisture and full sun to partial shade.

The Eastern redbud is a popular tree within the Inland Empire for its size, and the aesthetic appeal of its leaves, flowers and fall color. At the same time, it is not well adapted to hot summer sun, aridity and moisture stress. These conditions burn the leaves and can cause stem die-back, particularly during the long, warm fall seasons common to this region. It is best suited in areas of partial shade cast by buildings or taller trees, in rich loam soils, and with regular moisture throughout the year. It grows well in lawns, courtyards and as a seasonal shade tree.

Water Needs

The Eastern redbud grows best without moisture stress. Regular irrigation is recommended throughout the year; this often occurs when it is grown in cool season turf grass landscapes or adjacent to bioswales.

The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; higher amounts of water will result in stronger springtime flowering performance and better summer foliage character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 4

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 17"-24"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Tree
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous
Habit: Upright, Multi-trunk, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 25 ft. - 35 ft.
Width: 25 ft. - 35 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Foliage Color: Medium green, Seasonal yellow, Seasonal gold
Flower Color: Magenta
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Loam, Deep soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Frost, All day sun, Partial sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Slopes, Raised planters, Flowering accent plant, Banks, Attracts butterflies


Prune when young as necessary to establish good long-term from. Best grown as a multi-trunk large shrub / small tree if there is room, but can also be grown as a single trunk tree. Organic mulch of 3-4 inch depth under the canopy, but held away from the trunk and root crown is ideal. Ideally plant in winter, when dormant, but fall is acceptable as well. Prune late fall or winter (D,S).



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