Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.
How Close To A House Can You Plant A Redbud Tree?
Redbud trees are vibrantly colored trees that can really change the aesthetic of a property. And like any other tree that would get planted in a backyard, there are things to take into consideration. Remember, you want the tree to be protected and healthy, but you also want to keep your home protected as well.
That in mind, there are minimum distances that trees should be planted from a home. Redbud trees should be planted at least 25 feet from the foundation of the home. This is to reduce the potential to your foundation and to keep the branches away from the home.
Table of Contents
- More About Redbuds
- Why People Love Redbud Trees
- Best Redbud Varieties For Residential Use
- How Far Away do Redbud Trees Need to be Planted from the House?
- Where to Plant Redbuds
- How Deep Does the Soil Need to be to Plant Redbuds?
- Watering and Mulching Your Redbud
- How Long Does it Take for a Redbud to Grow?
- About the Redbuds Roots
- Will Redbud Trees Attract Birds?
- Diseases and Pests
More About Redbuds
Generally speaking, most of the redbuds that you will see grow throughout the eastern United States. They can, however, extend as far west as Texas and Oklahoma and as north as certain parts of Canada. It does best in areas where the soil is both moist and well-drained.
Compared to other trees, redbuds are relatively small in height at 20-30 feet. This means that they can be planted in groupings, giving a thicker, more lush appearance of the vibrant color for which, they derive their name.
Why People Love Redbud Trees
There are plenty of reasons why redbud trees are so popular. The first is the rosy pink flowers that grow on the branches. Even the smallest magenta buds can provide quite the appearance before the blossoms start to fully emerge.
It also has a cool, unique trunk shape that divides closer to the ground. This creates a rounded crown and graceful-looking, arched branches that provide a unique aesthetic. Between that and the vibrantly colored blossoms, there is not a look quite like it.
Speaking of the blossoms, they are heart-shaped and can be a couple of inches in size when they emerge. In the summertime, they will change to a darker green shade, and then to a canary yellow come fall. This provides a unique color scheme for different times of the year.
Best Redbud Varieties For Residential Use
The most appealing feature of redbud trees are their showy flowers, which are magenta in bud then open to reveal a lavender-pink before the leaves sprout in the spring time. Although the majority have lavender-pink flowers, some varieties of redbuds have deep magenta, light pink, or even white flowers. The leaf colors can also vary, from a chartreuse to a deep purple shade.
- Forest Pansy: The most popular cultivars, ‘Forest Pansy’ features rose-colored flowers and burgundy leaves. The foliage will maintain is deep purple color through much of the summer in cold climates. In warm climates, particularly the Southeast, the leaves will lighten to green.
- Texas White: This variety produces a number of bright white flowers, with a bright green, leathery foliage.
- Ruby Falls: Ideal for small spaces, ‘Ruby Falls’ has heart-shaped leaves, reddish-purple flowers, and a weeping quality.
- Ace of Hearts: Also, the ideal choice for small gardens, this is a dwarf variety that tops out at 12 feet. It also requires no pruning to retain its shape.
How Far Away do Redbud Trees Need to be Planted from the House?
It is a good idea to give your redbud trees at least 25 feet between their planting spot and the foundation of your home. The idea is to give the trees the proper space that they need for root growth and to ensure that the branches don’t interfere with the exterior of the house.
Growing them any closer to your home runs the risk of root damage to your foundation. Foundational damage is no joke. If structural damage occurs to your home, it can cost you upwards of $10,000 to repair and can even bring down the value of your home.
With the right sunlight and care, redbud trees can grow to be around 15-25 feet in width and 25-35 feet tall. Despite their native growing spaces being wooded, they are able to grow successfully in either partial shade or full sun.
Where to Plant Redbuds
The eastern redbud tree grows throughout much of the eastern part of the United States, spreading as far west as Texas and Oklahoma and even north into Canada. When it comes to soil preference, the redbud isn’t too picky. However, it tends to perform the best in a moist, well-drained area.
Due to their relatively modest size, redbuds work wonderfully as understory trees and are exceptionally beautiful when they’re planted in groups. Their horizontal branching pattern provides architectural appeal to gardens and also creates a striking canopy for spring bulbs.
For best results with your redbuds, here are the ideal conditions:
- Exposure: Light shade to full sun
- Soil: Withstands heavy clays and both alkaline and acidic soils
- Spread: 25 to 35 feet
- Height: 20 to 30 feet
- Annual growth rate: 13 to 24 inches
- Zones: 4-9
How Deep Does the Soil Need to be to Plant Redbuds?
Generally speaking, wild redbuds will be found growing on rocky outcrops with shallower soil depths. These should be considered the baseline conditions that a redbud tree will be able to tolerate. Determining the proper depth to plant a tree is actually simpler if the plant is in a container than if it is bare rooted.
Potted plants require that you bury the redbud up to the soil line that it had in the container or in the ball-and-burlap that you will see in the nursery. For trees that are bare-root, plant them so that the soil is covering the highest roots and absolutely no part of the trunk.
This is important because younger trees will have underdeveloped root systems. For underdeveloped tree root systems, the planting holes won’t be more than a foot deep by a couple of feet wide. Prepare a hole that is at least as wide and two or three times as deep as the size of the root ball.
Watering and Mulching Your Redbud
It is important to keep in mind that the first year is critical for newly planted trees to receive both the proper amount of water and nutrients. This is why laying down mulch is so crucial to the successful growth of the tree.
Start with a thick layer of mulch and spread it out up to the drip line of the tree and at the very edges of the branch spread. This will help to conserve water while also reducing the requirements for watering on the redbud.
Be careful with your watering, though. Redbuds are not tolerant to overwater. If you are planting in an area that has exposure to salt spray, it can be deadly to the longevity of the redbud. They can also tolerate moderate dry spells. However, if they’re planted in full sun, they must be watered regularly.
How Long Does it Take for a Redbud to Grow?
Redbud trees are in a class of trees known as fast-growing trees. This means that a small-sized tree in this grouping will reach maturity within three or four years.
The redbud will begin to produce flowers typically by its third year. Because it is a short-lived plant, it will generally live to be around 30 to 40 years old before it dies and needs to be replaced. For most homeowners, that means one or two redbuds will last a lifetime.
About the Redbuds Roots
There are some kinds of trees that have root systems that are known as invasive roots. Invasive roots are just that: they invade other areas of the yard and can overtake other plants. Plants with invasive roots can overtake and destroy other vegetation in the area.
Redbud roots are not invasive, thankfully. They actually fit quite well into tight or small gardens. They will not intrude on hardscapes, either. What does this mean? Redbuds will do well near sidewalks, parking lots, and other large concrete areas. They also can hold up well if they are grown in large containers.
Will Redbud Trees Attract Birds?
The type of tree that gets planted in a backyard can also be contingent on the type of wildlife that it attracts. Certain trees will attract certain types of insects and birds to the area. The redbud tree is no different in that.
Redbud trees attract cardinals and cedar waxwings. Despite the fact that they do eat the flowers and buds of the redbud tree, they don’t eat much so you don’t have to worry about a lot of damage. These beautiful birds can be a welcome sight for homeowners, working in tandem with the beautiful aesthetic that the blossoms bring to the table.
Diseases and Pests
Like other plants, redbud trees are susceptible to pests and diseases. The most destructive diseases to redbud trees are caused by fungal infections like leaf spots, canker or dieback, and verticillium wilt. This is especially true for older redbud trees. It is important to identify the infection early in order to successfully save the trees.
As for insects, redbud trees are impacted by scale insects, spider mites, and tree hoppers. If you happen to notice that your redbud tree is under attack from pests, remove them as soon as you can. When you have gotten rid of them, follow appropriate measures to keep them under control going forward.
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