Cercis canadensis The Rising Sun (‘JNJ’)
Is this particular tree suitable for Oregon's climate. We live in the hills above Salem (west side) and have been looking for a mid-sized but durable (easy care, drought resistant, etc.) We've seen this particular tree advertised in a variety of gardening catalogs (of which we receive boat loads). Are there other trees of similar characteristics that you believe would be more suitable for Oregon's climate.
Polk County Oregon
Hello and thank you for asking about this beautiful newer introduction of a redbud tree. Redbuds (Cercis) generally do not like constant wet in the root zone. "Does well in many soil types, except permanently wet..." to quote from the OSU Landscape Plants page: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/ceca.htm
These trees are susceptible to Verticillium Wilt, as listed in the Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook: http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/redbud-cercis-sp-verticillium-wilt Not every location has a problem with verticillium wilt, but if you know that is a concern in your landscape, look for resistant plants.
Many trees have potential problems, so I don't want to totally discourage you from trying this tree if your location seems appropriate. I do not have a comprehensive, OSU-published, research-based list of trees for you to consider. Lacking this, I suggest you research what is available in your area for purchase that might be appropriate, ask lots of questions at the nursery, do internet research, and check back with Ask an Expert about specific choices.
Another great starting point is to "go shopping" in your neighborhood for trees that are successful and meet your criteria. Photos or branch samples can usually be identified at nurseries, here, or by the local Master Gardener Volunteers if you are unsure what a tree is. Take the time to look at trees that are sick or obviously too large, as that also will give you important information.
The OSU publication EC 1438, "Selecting, Planting, and Caring for a New Tree": http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/ec/ec1438.pdf is full of tree-basics, and does have some tree recommendations for different sites.
Best wishes to you with this worthy yet challenging decision.