Forest Pansy Redbud not yet planted went unwatered

Asked June 27, 2019, 3:29 PM EDT

Hello. We purchased a 7 foot tall Forest Pansy Redbud in a large pot, about June 10. Watered it on and off for a week and it looked great. We thought our lawn service was coming to plant it, and we left for a week vacation. Came home to an unplanted tree with very dry / wilted leaves (there had been no buds as yet). We've watered it daily for 3 days now, but still no signs of it "waking" up. Is it still worth planting it, or is it now a lost cause.

Harford County Maryland abiotic issues redbud tree unplanted tree wilted

1 Response

The leaves in the photos suggest that the tree is beyond help, but there seem to be some green normal leaves in the background. If these are from the redbud, it would be worth planting it.

Before you discard it, you can scratch the bark and look for green tissue underneath. This would indicate it is still alive. We would recommend you continue watering in the pot and give it a few weeks before planting it, if planting it is a big effort. If you do not see any new growth at all in a few weeks, it's likely going to slowly die, even if you can find green tissue.

Be sure when you water that the water is soaking thoroughly into the potting soil. Totally dry soil often becomes hydrophobic, meaning it actually repels water. So, water will run down the inner sides of the pot and not get absorbed by the soil. Water slowly to overcome that.

Ellen