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May 7, 2016
I have been babying a couple redbud tree starts the past two years. They are now
ready to be planted at the edge of my yard. They are about 2 to 3 ft. tall. Would
it be best to plant now or in the autumn? I also want to plant a flowering quince
bush. Should I do so now or in the fall?
I would recommend waiting until fall to move the redbud trees. We are about to enter
our summer season and transplanting now would be more of a shock to the plant. If
you are purchasing a container grown quince, then now would be a fine time to plant
as long as you are willing and able to water. If you are moving existing quince,
I would wait for fall.
April 30, 2016
What has to happen for a red bud tree to bloom? Mine is 5-6 years old and our neighbors
is a little older and does not bloom either
I hope the tree gets a minimum of six hours of sun each day. Redbud trees prefer
full sun but should bloom with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. Normally redbud
trees begin to bloom within 4-6 years of age, which is younger than many flowering
trees. Other than sunlight as a factor, if it is growing really fast, sometimes it
is staying in a more juvenile stage and putting on foliage instead of flowers. Try
not to give it any fertilizer this year and keep it a bit on the dry side to help
it slow down. Redbud trees will set their flower buds at the end of summer into early
fall for the following spring, so let’s hope you see blooms next year.
April 23, 2016
I was told you might be able to identify this tree for me.
The tree in question is a great native tree commonly called Redbud- Cercis canadensis.
There are many varieties to choose from at local nurseries, some having white blooms
instead of the pink/purple ones that you have. There are also weeping varieties and
some with colorful foliage in dark purple or orange,
November 28, 2015
I had two trees removed from my back yard early last summer; a Bradford Pear (Fire
Blight) and a Maple (Slime Flux?) Now I'm looking for replacement trees. I really
don't need shade as this is in the East yard, therefore, I would prefer something
not to exceed 20 - 25 feet tall. I'm leaning towards a holly but will consider other
evergreens. The soil I'm dealing with is heavy orange clay. In fact the Maple I removed
had a lot of surface roots. Thank you for any suggestions?
The maple would have probably had surface roots even in decent soil—that is the nature
of maples. I am assuming you want something evergreen. Some options include: Little
Gem magnolia, Foster holly, Burford holly, deodara cedar, cherry laurel or one of
the larger junipers. If it doesn’t have to be evergreen, I love the sweetbay magnolia
or even one of the tulip magnolia trees, redbuds or dogwoods.
We planted a six-foot redbud tree two years ago. Now it is well established and growing
taller while limbs are getting longer all the way down the trunk. We would like to
limb it up so that it is more like a tree than a tall shrub. When is the best time
of year to do pruning at the trunk?
Removing lower limbs can be done at any time of the year. Just make sure you don’t
remove more than one third of the growth of the tree. Make nice clean cuts, and don’t
use pruning paint or wound dressing. A clean, smooth cut is what is most important.
I have an Eastern Redbud tree in my yard here in town. It has bloomed the last two
years, this year producing many seedpods. I would like to start some trees at my cabin
up on Greers Ferry. Should I try to sprout the seeds (if so, how?) and plant the seedlings?
Or should I just scatter the seeds and let nature take care of things? We have only
a thin layer of mineral soil over cap rock covered with a thick layer of leaves, pine
needles, and mast.
Redbud seeds have a hard outer seed coat which has to be scarified or weakened before
going through a cool, moist storage period (stratification) before the seeds will
germinate. Professionally they use sulfuric acid to do the scarifying, but for home
gardeners you can try using sandpaper to abrade the outer surface or even use a small
tack hammer to lightly crack the seeds. Then store the seeds in a plastic bag with
moist potting soil in the refrigerator to give them the cool, moist stratification.
They can get this scarification/stratification naturally outdoors, but you rarely
see an abundance of redbud seedlings coming up in yards—there are a few, but not the
number you might expect with the abundance of seeds. Plant the seeds outside in the
spring and see what happens.
I have three old redbud trees. I want to cut them down. Their seeds are coming up
all over my yard! Is it necessary to pull the stumps up? I want to plant replacement
(not redbud) trees.
I love redbud trees. It is unusual that they are seeding so prolifically. While they
do make a lot of seeds, we normally don’t see seedlings coming up that freely. If
you do take out the trees, you will need to cut out the stump or at least grind it
down, otherwise they will start to grow from the stump. You may have suckers that
come up from the roots, but if you keep mowing or cutting them down, you will eventually
take care of them.
We live in Bella Vista and have several large black walnut trees on our property.
We have tried a crape myrtle and a red tip but both died. What is it about the black
walnut trees that cause shrubs and bushes to die? Can you recommend any thing that
will grow when planted 16 to 20 feet from a walnut tree?
Black walnuts produce a chemical called juglone, which occurs in all parts of the
tree, especially in the buds, nut hulls, and roots. The leaves contain smaller quantities
and can leach juglone into the soil if they are left on the ground after falling.
Many plants are adversely affected by the juglone, but it is more typical of plants
within the drip line of the tree. For small flowering trees that are not affected
try dogwood, redbud, fringe tree or serviceberry. Shrubs include forsythia, viburnums,
altheas and sumacs. Try to plant things that are adversely affected at least 40 feet
away and don't use the leaves as mulch. If you can create a raised bed that can also
I moved into a house in Little Rock last June with an Eastern Redbud tree. The tag
on the tree indicates that it should bloom in the spring. There were no blooms this
spring. Since I've been here, I haven't even seen any leaves or signs of life. Does
this type of tree require some special care or is it already too late to salvage it?
Redbud trees are native trees and should bloom with beautiful pinkish/purple flowers
in the spring before the foliage comes on. If the tree is young, it may not bloom,
but it definitely should be growing now with leaves. I would say something killed
it and you will need to remove it and plant something else. Since you have no history
with the yard, you don’t know if it was living last year or not, and it is often difficult
to pinpoint what caused a plant to die without knowing something about its history.
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