How do I prune a redbud tree?

Asked September 14, 2015, 3:34 PM EDT

I have a red bud tree from Minneapolis Tree Trust (don't know how old it is - is about 8 feet tall). Planted it spring of 2013. Should it be pruned and if so, when and how? It has two major trunks coming up from the ground, lots of branches, is doing well although not a lot of flowers this spring. Have looked at many websites about pruning redbuds but they are confusing.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Redbuds are marginally hardy in our area, although new varieties have been bred over the past few years that extend their growing range, we often see winter damage in especially cold winters.

Cercis canadensis is a spring blooming plant and the rule of thumb is to prune any flowering shrub shortly after it is done blooming. Lilacs, forsythia, redbuds, etc. should be pruned within a few weeks after they are done blooming in early summer. Hydrangeas can be confusing because some bloom on "new" wood, and others bloom on one-year-old wood. Here is a site that may help you:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/616.html

At the same time, any dead wood on any kind of plant can, and should be pruned out right away - regardless of the season.

I hope this is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.