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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.

 

 

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