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Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Redbud Tree One of the most beautiful and conspicuous trees at the Arboretum in late March and much of April is the Redbud. It is commonly seen at forest edges, in disturbed areas, or in managed landscapes. Redbud is a member of the bean family (Fabaceae). In a natural setting it is an early invader of disturbed areas where it grows quickly but is generally short-lived (20-25 years).


Redbud Fruit Distinguishing characteristics of Redbud include rose-pink, pea-like flowers, heart-shaped leaves, and flat, brown, bean-like pods. A research planting of Redbuds is found below the Program Shelter. The larger trees in this area are survivors of a failed research study originally planted in 1995. A new planting of redbuds was made in 2007 next to these older trees. The objective of the current study is to evaluate genetic variation in cultivars of Chinese Redbud (Cercis chinensis) and cultivars of Eastern Redbud (C. canadensis) for potential introduction into Eastern Tennessee.


Redbud Blossoms Redbud is primarily used as an ornamental, but the flowers have been used for a salad. The fruit of Redbud trees is often on the menu of deer and birds. Its wood has been used by craftsman for veneers and wood turning. Redbud is an ideal candidate for planting on Arbor Day in late April.


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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu