Redbud blooming in late August

Asked August 25, 2019, 8:59 PM EDT

Why is my redbud tree blooming in August?

Lincoln County North Carolina trees and shrubs

3 Responses

The main reason trees would rebloom is in response to stress. As a defense mechanism, it will bloom in a final effort to seed just in case it doesn't recover. This doesn't necessarily mean it's dying, but stressed and this is a natural response. It is blooming early enough that it should still be able to go into dormancy this winter, and recharge enough to bloom again next spring. Check into possible stressors, nutrition, insects, annual disease issues, voles, etc. and address as needed.

Looks like Cercospora leaf spot is a problem. While not generally a big issue, it can cause early defoliation and is more prevalent in stressed trees. Cultural practices like cleaning up fallen leaves, pruning and discarding dead wood will remove excess fungal spores from the site. Red bud is a short-lived (<30 yrs), understory tree, that likes good drainage and regular watering. A 2" layer of mulch out to the drip line can help with moisture retention. A soil sample (boxes available an your county Cooperative Extension office) can provide lime and fertilizer recommendations to eliminate that possible stress factor.

Thank you so much for your reply. We do have a big problem with voles. Do you have any suggestions on how to get rid of them? I've taken to tying our dog near the trees where I see evidence of voles and I think it's helping some.

Hi - Check out this link. https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/extension-gardener-handbook/20-wildlife#voles To determine if you have voles, conduct the apple test described in the link and then look at the control methods.