how and when to prune a Red Bud Tree

Asked September 18, 2019, 2:36 PM EDT

We need help in pruning our Red Bud tree. When is the best time to prune. We pruned it last spring -it looked good through the summer; but we need to take off more . Thank you

Jackson County Oregon pruning trees horticulture redbud cercis spp

2 Responses

There are several different kinds of redbud (Cercis spp.); which one you have will determine the shape you want the mature tree.The most commonly planted here are the Western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) and the Eastern or Canadian redbud (Cercis canadensis). The western form is usually found with many trunks , growing to 10 to 18 feet tall and wide. The Eastern tree is much larger, to 25 to 35 feet tall and wide. It is most beautiful pruned to horizontally tiered branches.
All redbud should be pruned immediately after bloom (late spring) or during late winter/early spring dormancy. .Dormant trees should be pruned before buds form in spring. Keep in mind if you prune right after bloom you lose the seed pods which can be quite decorative. Confine all pruning to removal of dead and weak branches and cutting out any off-balance growth. To train tops to canopy shapes, Sunset 's Pruning Guide suggests cutting upright branches (NOT the leaders) back to good laterals. Also, remove branches competing with leaders, but never cut the leaders.Hopefully this information will help you enjoy your beautiful redbud for many seasons!

Please note, the above is NOT a canned response. My computer had a momentary glitch and the response had to be rewritten.