13 Pros and Cons of Redbud Trees Rarely Talked About (Eastern Redbud Secret)

Couple looking at a redbud tree blooming with light and dark pink redbud blossoms ponder the pros and cons of redbud trees.

Everyone loves to see beautiful bright colors in their spring gardens, but before you plant, understanding the pros and cons of Redbud trees can save you a lot of time and heartache.

In fact, there’s a secret about the Eastern Redbud tree that is a definite “pro.” It actually attracts butterflies to your yard!

So, while you’re basking in new growth, you redbud trees will provide an attraction for some fluttery-lovelies as well.

But, that’s not all the benefits…and there are drawbacks to these visual trees.

Knowing the pros and cons of Redbud trees can help you decide before planting one in your yard.

Eastern Redbud Tree: Pros and Cons

There are both pros and cons of the Easter Redbud tree. So, befire you decide to plant it, this guide can provide the information that can help your decision.

Pros of Redbud Trees

  • Redbud Trees Attract Beneficial Insects

An Eastern Redbud secret garden is beneficial as it attracts butterflies, bees, beetles, and moths, which help pollinate plants. These insects are important as they help produce the vegetables and fruits individuals consume.

  • Redbud Trees Have Many Uses

The inner bark of a Redbud tree can be used as medicine for treating colds, sore throats, and skin infections. Wood from Redbud trees is soft and light-colored, making it ideal for furniture carving or making.

  • Redbud Trees Are Strikingly Beautiful

Many homeowners and gardeners love Redbud trees as they add beauty and color to any garden. These trees produce purple, white, or pink flowers in the spring and are sure to capture the attention of passersby or visitors.

Redbud tree identification with Redbud tree leaves, Redbud tree flowers, and Redbud tree seed pods images in circle frames.

Redbud trees are a sight to behold as they have sturdy trunks and heart-shaped leaves that come in various colors. When planted in your yard, these trees make a lovely addition as they contribute to the visual appeal of your property.

  • Redbud Trees Are Small

Compared to other trees, Redbud trees fall more on the smaller side, but this gives them an advantage over other larger trees. For instance, a Redbud tree is the perfect option if you have a small garden but have always wanted to plant a tree in it.

Also, if your yard is under a power line, you can still fulfill your dream of planting a tree in it with a Redbud tree. The small size of a Redbud tree makes it perfect for all locations.

  • Redbud Trees Are Drought Tolerant

Once they’re older, Redbud trees can last a while without you having to water them. This greatly benefits individuals suffering from water shortages or living in dry climates as your Redbud tree will survive the drought and ensure your yard is not completely naked.

Redbud trees also have a dormant period each year,7 which adds to their ability to survive drought. They normally grow in the summer and spring and go dormant in the winter.

  • There Are Many Types of Redbud Trees

There are many different types of Redbud trees that you can choose from for your yard. With so many options, you can find the perfect tree that will blend with your outdoor aesthetic and add a pop of color to your yard.

An image of a Redbud tree, displaying a close-up view of its bark and flowers.

(Image: PookieFugglestein15)

Redbud trees have different flower and leaf colors from which you can choose. Their leaves can be purple, green, or variegated, making them an addition that will add to the appearance of your garden.

  • Redbud Trees Are Low-Maintenance

Redbud trees are low-maintenance trees. They can survive in nearly all living conditions and climates that do not drop below freezing.

When you plant an Eastern Redbud secret garden, you do not have to worry about the type of soil you are planting the tree, the nutrient level, or the soil’s pH level. This is because Redbud trees can adapt well to the soil conditions in your garden, whatever they are.

Redbud trees can also thrive in shady and sunny conditions, so you plant them anywhere in your garden.

Cons of Redbud Trees

  • Redbud Trees Have a Short Lifespan

Unfortunately, Redbud trees have a short lifespan. This can be disappointing, especially for individuals with this beautiful centerpiece in their gardens. Generally, Redbud trees live to be twenty or thirty years old, after which they start losing their leaves as they wilt away.

So, if you are looking for a tree that you want to be around for decades, these pink blossoms are not ideal.

  • Redbud Trees Need a Lot of Water

Redbud trees do not require a lot of water when they are older since their roots have dug deeper into the soil; however, that is not the case when they are younger.

Young Redbud trees need a lot of water to survive. This can be an issue for individuals living in dry areas or individuals who cannot access water in the quantities needed during this time.

  • Redbud Trees Are Susceptible To Pests

Sadly, Eastern Redbud secret gardens are susceptible to pests and can quickly become infested when these pests find the tree. Usually, these pests devour the tree’s leaves until nothing is left.

This can take away from your tree’s natural beauty as the leaves turn yellow as they die. Redbud trees attract leaf and sap feeders,9 such as the white-marked tussock moth and leafhoppers.

  • Redbud Trees Are Prone To Certain Diseases

Not only are Redbud trees susceptible to pests, but they are also prone to certain diseases, which can kill the tree if not treated promptly. These diseases usually start by affecting the appearance of your Redbud tree, so if you are observant, you will be able to tell that something is not right.

  • Redbud Trees Can Be Messy

An Eastern Redbud secret garden can be messy because Redbud trees shed their leaves every fall. This means that you will have to rake up leaves every year after they have fallen off the tree, which requires time and effort.

  • Redbud Trees Are Brittle

Compared to other trees, Redbud trees are brittle. This is because they lack the woody tissue that makes other trees sturdy. This lack of woody tissue makes Redbud trees susceptible to breaking during ice or wind storms.

Now that you know the pros and cons of Redbud trees, you can determine whether or not they are ideal for your garden.

When To Plant Redbud Tree in Your Garden

After learning the pros and cons of Redbud trees, the next step is to learn the best time to plant the trees.

You can plant Redbud saplings any time of the year; however, if you want healthy and fast-growing Redbud trees, you should plant them in spring or autumn.11

Also, when planting Redbud saplings, ensure that you plant the saplings at least twelve feet apart, as this will give the roots enough room to grow. Anything closer and you may strangle the roots and only notice when the damage has been done.

Eastern Redbud Growth Rate: How Much Growth To Expect

The growth rate of Eastern Redbud trees can be fast in some cases and moderate in others. If you give your Eastern Redbud the care and attention it needs, it may grow two feet each year.

Fast growth is common in the early years of the tree’s life, after which growth will begin to slow down as it reaches its mature height of twenty to thirty feet.

Is My Redbud Tree Dead? How To Find Out

To determine whether or not your Redbud tree is dead, you need to give your tree a scratch test. To do this, scratch the dry outer layer of bark from a few branches.

If the tissue beneath the bark is green, your Redbud tree is still alive. The tree is dead if the tissue is white or brown and should be pruned out.

Common Forest Pansy Redbud Tree Problems

The Forest Pansy Redbud tree attracts different types of caterpillars, the worst of which is the red-humped caterpillar,6 which causes the most unsightly damage.

Macro photograph of a Red-humped caterpillar situated on a vibrant green leaf.

(Image: NCBioTeacher16)

Forest Pansy Redbud trees attract canker pathogens that cause Cytospora canker.13 The canker pathogens grow into the wood tissue and can cause brownish-orange or yellowish cankers to form on the bark, killing branches or entire trees.

Verticillium wilt can attack and kill Forest Pansy Redbud trees. Verticillium wilt interferes with the transfer of nutrients and water, resulting in yellowing, browning, or fading leaves.

How To Treat Redbud Canker and Redbud Verticillium Wilt

There are no chemical controls to treat Redbud canker and Verticillium, but you can prevent the diseases by keeping your tree healthy. Ensure that you plant your tree in an area with enough sunlight, partial shade, and good drainage.

Water your tree whenever the soil surrounding it feels dry to the touch. Give your tree about ten gallons of water during each irrigation session. Prune diseased foliage and branches as soon as you notice them, and be careful not to cut into healthy wood tissue.

Common Redbud Tree Problems

The most common problems affecting Redbud trees include:

Animal Damage

  • Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus Varius)

Environmental Damage

  • Edema
  • Drought
  • Drowning

Fungal Disease

  • Gray Mold
  • Wood Rots
  • Verticillium Wilt

Insect Damage

  • Leafrollers
  • Leafhoppers
  • Treehoppers

Solutions and Treatment Options for Eastern Redbud Problems

There are no fungicide treatments for Eastern Redbud problems, but that does not mean you cannot address the problems. You can prune away affected tree parts to lessen the effects of the disease. You can also cut off and destroy dead trees.

To control pests, you should remove and destroy affected tree parts and remove and discard visible caterpillar egg nests from the tree. You can also release natural enemies onto the tree as they hunt and destroy pests without affecting the tree.10

What Steps Are Involved in Verticillium Wilt Redbud Treatment?

Although there are no chemical controls for Verticillium wilt,14 there are several measures you can take to improve the aesthetic value and prolong the life of an infected tree. You can prune, water, and fertilize the tree.

  • Prune affected branches and completely remove severely infected trees,
  • Water the tree during dry periods, and
  • Fertilize with low nitrogen, high potassium fertilizer.

If you want to replant a Redbud tree, do not replant in the same site because fungus can live in the soil for years.4

Benefits of Planting Dogwood and Redbud Trees Together

Planting Dogwood and Redbud trees together is one of the few planting projects that offer environmental benefits, including:

  • Attract Wildlife

The dogwood tree produces seeds consumed by squirrels, songbirds, and chipmunks, while the Redbud tree is a source of nectar for honeybees.

  • Beautiful Blooms

Dogwood and Redbud trees offer beautiful blooms. Redbud trees offer heart-shaped leaves and flowers in different shades, including light purple, light pink, deep magenta, and white. Dogwood trees also offer up glorious green leaves and white flowers.

Together, these trees can beautify your garden with an attractive color palette.

  • Provide Shade

The canopy of Dogwood and Redbud trees makes them great shade trees that provide refuge from the heat.

Dogwood Vs Redbud: Which One Is More Aesthetically Pleasing?

Dogwood and Redbud trees serve as shade trees with enough canopy and foliage spread. Dogwood trees have oval, pointed leaves, whereas Redbud trees have rounded, heart-shaped leaves that may be red or purple on new growth.

Both trees have lovely shapes, beautiful flowers, and compact sizes, making them visually appealing.

Dogwood Vs Crabapple: Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between Dogwood and Crabapple trees depends on your preferences and needs. Crabapple trees are a favorite among gardeners and homeowners due to their colorful fruits and fragrant flowers, while Dogwood trees are admired for their thick foliage and showy flowers.

When it comes to maintenance, Crabapple trees are easier to maintain than Dogwood trees. Crabapple trees are resistant to pests and diseases, while Dogwood trees are susceptible to various diseases, including canker, powdery mildew, and dogwood anthracnose.8

Additionally, Crabapple trees are smaller and more suited for small gardens, whereas Dogwood trees are larger and require more space. All these are factors to consider when deciding which tree to plant.

Dogwood Vs Cherry Blossom: Key Differences

One of the main differences between the Dogwood tree and the Cherry Blossom tree is the flowers.2 Dogwood trees have bigger flowers that have four petals. On the other hand, cherry blossom trees have more flowers than Dogwood trees.

Cherry Blossom trees are small, most of which only reach up to fifteen to twenty-five feet. Meanwhile, Dogwood trees are taller than Cherry Blossom trees, reaching up to fifty feet.

Cherry Blossom trees need full sun for the best bloom as their flower numbers reduce significantly in shady spots.1 Contrarily, Dogwood trees can tolerate shade and continue to produce flowers in all light conditions.

Most Popular Dwarf Redbud Tree Varieties (Types of Redbud Trees)

The most popular dwarf Redbud varieties that enhance the beauty of gardens and help reduce the American carbon footprint include:

Ace of Hearts Redbud Tree

Ace of Hearts Redbud grows up to twelve feet tall and fifteen feet wide. This variety has purple-pink flowers and bright green heart-shaped leaves. Ace of Hearts Redbud grows well in zones five to nine, meaning you can grow them in almost all areas of the United States.

A photograph featuring an Ace of Hearts Redbud tree with a blurred background.

(Image: Pexels User17)

Moreover, Ace of Hearts Redbud can tolerate semi-shade and full sun.

Rising Sun Redbud Tree

The Rising sun can be distinguished by its contrasting leaves. The young leaves of this variety are yellow-orange, while its mature leaves are bright green, giving the tree a unique effect. The flowers on the Rising Sun Redbud are bright pink and appear in front of the leaves.

The Rising Sun Redbud stands at ten feet tall and is seven feet wide. The tree can grow in zone five and tolerate heat up to zone nine.

Ruby Falls Redbud Tree

Ruby Falls Redbud has purple or burgundy leaves. Its weeping branches droop towards the ground, creating a striking cascade. In the spring, Ruby Falls Redbud produces light purple flowers.

An image featuring leaves of a Ruby Falls Redbud tree captured in a photograph.

(Image: S.G.S.18)

This variety can grow in zones five to nine, tolerate most soil types, and flourishes in partial or full sun.

Buy Redbud Trees: A Guide to Buying the Perfect Dwarf Redbud Tree

If you are considering buying a Redbud tree, you definitely know the pros and cons of Redbud trees and are ready to take the risk. Before buying trees for your Eastern Redbud Secret garden, you should:

  • Look for signs of good health. Do not buy trees that have pale foliage or appear wilted.5 These are signs of something wrong with the root system, or the tree has not been receiving proper care.
  • Buy trees with strong branches. Branches should be strong, evenly distributed, and well-spaced.
  • Buy a tree from a reliable nursery. Buy a tree from a nursery that knows about the plants they sell and practices proper care and handling of their plants.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Redbud Trees?

Before setting up your Eastern Redbud secret garden, it is important to know the pros and cons of Redbud trees. Redbud trees offer many benefits. They are strikingly beautiful, attract beneficial insects, have medicinal uses, are drought tolerant, are low-maintenance, and are available in different species.

On the downside, Redbud trees have a short lifespan, are susceptible to pests, require a lot of water, are prone to certain diseases, are brittle, and can be messy.

Now that you know the pros and cons of Redbud Trees, you’ll know exactly whether or not to plant some in your yard.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pros and Cons of Redbud Trees

How Fast Do Redbud Trees Grow?

Redbud trees grow fairly quickly, with height increases of thirteen to twenty-four inches per year.

You may not notice significant growth in the first year of planting because the tree is focused on establishing its roots. After the first year, you can expect thirteen inches of upward growth or more each year.

What Is the Average Eastern Redbud Tree Height?

Eastern Redbud trees usually grow to a height of twenty to thirty feet and a width of fifteen to thirty feet. They grow as small trees with divided trunks close to the ground, and their spreading crowns are usually flat-topped or rounded.

What Is the Average Eastern Redbud Lifespan?

On average, Eastern Redbud trees live up to twenty years. Their lifespan is limited to twenty years because they are susceptible to canker disease, pest attacks, and environmental stressors such as storms and other natural disasters.

When alive, Redbud trees can help offset your carbon footprint and neutralize your carbon emissions.

What Does It Mean When I Notice Redbud Tree Leaves Turning Yellow?

If many Redbud tree leaves are turning yellow, it may mean that the tree is drought-stressed. Drought stress can show up months or years after a drought, depending on how long the root system takes to recover. If that is the case, you must ensure that you mulch the area under the tree. This will help conserve soil moisture and ensure that there is water throughout the root zone. In addition, it will ensure that the roots do not lack water and that the soil around the tree remains moist.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Redbud Tree Diseases?

Redbud tree diseases are often caused by a pathogen known as Botryosphaeria.12 The commonest signs and symptoms of Redbud tree diseases include discolored wood beneath the canker, cankers that gradually increase in size, and wilted leaves that eventually die as branches slowly lose their life.3

What Are the Causes of Redbud Tree Sudden Death?

There are five factors to which a Redbud tree eventually succumbs: death from diseases and pests, death from abiotic stresses, death from catastrophic events, death from age-related collapse, and lack of water supply.

What Is the Difference Between Redbud and Dogwood?

Redbud trees usually live up to twenty years, while Dogwoods live thrice as long. Redbud trees reach thirty feet at maturity, whereas Dogwoods reach fifty feet.

Can a Pink Dogwood Tree Grow Indoors?

At first, pink dogwood trees must be grown indoors as a cutting to become new plants; however, once they establish their roots, they need to be grown outside so that they can spread out their root systems.


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2College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. (2017, March 16). With Dogwoods in Bloom, Researchers Ask for Public Help To Collect Data. CAES Newswire. Retrieved September 6, 2022, from <https://newswire.caes.uga.edu/story/6149/dogwood-genetics.html>

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