RedBuds – Why we notice them and other reasons they’re a top landscape choice

One of the first trees I taught my son about was the RedBud. At just three years old, he would shout ‘RedBud!’ each time we passed them along the side of the road. I’m not sure, but as he graduates from college, I’m pretty sure he still does this (maybe not out loud, but these things stick with you).

RedBuds stay with you, too. That’s because they’re native to Indiana, which means they’re comfortable in our climate, hardy and reliable. I like to think of them as a quiet, humble and friendly tree—one that has its place and doesn’t need to demand care and attention. It’s content thriving in our soil and adapting to most every situation.

Here’s why you can’t go wrong with a RedBud:

They’re Interesting in Every Season

There are trees and shrubs that have a blaze of glory in spring, summer or fall only to fizzle in the remaining months. And that’s ok, especially if you plant other trees and plants around them that shine in the alternate seasons. I’m a big believer in this kind of layering so you always have interesting colors, shapes, blooms and textures in your outdoor space.

But RedBuds are one of those trees that bring beauty to every season. I’m pretty partial—as most of us are—to RedBud’s spring phase, when its profuse, small sweet pea-shaped blooms line graceful branches, tiny twigs, even the main trunk in lavender-pink to a blush purple. Their rich, saturated color really pops against the stark early-spring landscape, which makes them easy to spot in yards, along roads (RedBud!), even deep in mostly leafless early-spring wooded areas.

The RedBud’s leaves are large and heart-shaped and vary in color from bright chartreuse to a range of yellows and greens. In fall, the large leaves transition to a bright showy yellow. And even in winter, I love the RedBud’s dark leafless branches for their shape and silhouette, especially against the backdrop of a light-colored house or garage.

They’re Flexible

Some trees are so specialized, they make the perfect choice for a particular situation, say a fast-growing green screen or a tiny, flowering and fragrant specimen for a smaller spot near a window. And then there are trees that are voted most likely to be perfect in virtually any spot. I kid, but really, RedBuds are nice throughout your lawn/yard, I love them in groups, smaller varieties work well in borders and as foundational plantings and larger versions (still only 15-30 feet at their largest) make really good choices for shade around patios and porches.

I’ve planted them in natural wooded areas on customers’ properties and, being native to Indiana, they really thrive and add interest.

There are different varieties with different qualities. A few that we like are:

They’re First on the Spring Scene

Maybe this is why I think RedBud and immediately think ‘friendly.’ These guys break the spell of winter and give us hope of something other than ice and snow. They make an appearance anywhere from March to May, signaling spring, attracting birds and catching our eye.

RedBuds are familiar, reliable and approachably beautiful, like the tree world’s girl/boy-next-door—the tree next door. They’re always there, you trust their ability to make your world better and more beautiful, they’re low-maintenance, never intimidating and if they were gone, we would miss them dearly.


Start a RedBud tradition of your own. I know I never see one without thinking of my son. Trees really are for life.

3 responses to “Redbud! Redbud!”

  1. Gwyn D Borcherding says:

    Do you carry Rising Sun redbud? Do you have any in stock suitable for planting yet this fall? We are on the west side of Indianapolis.

  2. Rhonda Johnson says:

    I’ve always had mine trimmed in the fall. Is that wrong? It’s very healthy but needs trimmed soon. The original limbs were trimmed about 7 yrs ago which caused about 3 new branches to come out on each limb. Should it be trimmed back to the original limb or just above the new beaches? This is a 50 yr old tree that stands about 30 feet. Tall. Thanks for your help.

    • karen thacker says:

      The best time to prune redbud is in the spring just after the flowers have finished. You can prune it in late winter while it is still dormant and before it starts to bloom but you will be removing some of the blooms. You can prune any dead limbs anytime.

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