Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - April 20, 2011

From: Springfield, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Planting a redbud in VA
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

What is the best time of year to plant Redbud (Cercis canadensis)in Burke, VA, 22152 - fall or spring or does it matter? And is there a certain size tree that is best to purchase for greatest chance of survival?

ANSWER:

There was an old saying in Pennsylvania that you could plant trees in any month that has the letter "r" in it, so that would only exclude May, June, July and August (i.e. summer).

However, that was before the days when a homeowner could drive to a local plant center, buy a pot grown tree and go home and plant it.  These days you can plant a tree as long as you can find one in the nursery and the soil is not frozen.

Generally, the best time to plant is in the early fall.  The air and soil are warm enough that the plant can get established (generate some root growth) and then fall into winter dormancy.  Then it is ready for the stresses of the heat and drought of summer in the following season.  However, if you are planting your Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) in an environment that mimics its native environment and not in the center of a lawn in a new development (full sun and compacted, nutrient poor soil) it will be fine if you plant it now.

Keep it mulched and watered until it is established and follow the tips in our Step by Step Guide.  It will bring you joy in late winter for many years to come.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Native trees for Alameda County, California
May 14, 2010 - I looking for trees native to my area to plant on my property. I am located in Livermore CA.
view the full question and answer

Tilling for grass under old live oak in San Antonio
April 15, 2012 - Hi, I have a 250+ year old Texas Live Oak. As usual, the lawn under the tree, after 18 years needs to be redone. MY QUESTION: to put down new sod the lawn company needs to till the soil about 4 t...
view the full question and answer

Will Cedar Elm seedlings resprout from the root?
November 20, 2009 - I have a number of cedar elm saplings coming up in a garden bed which I am planning on replanting. It is very difficult to remove the entire taproot below about 1.5 feet as I encounter rocks and heavy...
view the full question and answer

Willows native to Wisconsin
July 01, 2005 - I have a small garden center in the far northern reaches of Wisconsin....and I specialize in native varieties for up here. I also help folks with lake shore restoration and preservation. There was...
view the full question and answer

Problems with dogwood borers in TN
April 20, 2011 - What is the best way to treat native dogwoods infested with Dogwood borer insects? I have cut and removed the dead ones and the ones with large patches of bark missing but would like to save the remai...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.