Redbud tree - Cercis canadensis
Redbud tree (Cercis Canadensis)is native to eastern North America from southern Ontario, Canada, to northern Florida. It can be as far west as California. A Redbud tree is a large deciduous shrub or small tree. Redbud trees typically grow 20-30 feet tall with a 26 to 33-foot spread.
Redbud trees have short twisted trunks and spreading branches. The bark is smooth and dark in color; later, it can become scaley. The Redbud twigs are nearly black and often slender and curved. Leaves are heart-shaped, thin, and papery; they are typically 3-4.5 inches long and wide. Redbud trees have tiny winter buds that can range from dark red to chestnut in color.
From Spring to early Summer, the tree will sprout light to dark magenta-colored flowers. These flowers appear in clusters on bare stems before the leaves sprout. In southern parts of Appalachia, the redbud tree is also referred to as the spicewood tree because the green twigs of the redbud are used in wild seasoning games.
The redbud tree is commonly referred to as the harbinger of Spring since it is one of the first flowering shrubs of the season. It is commonly grown in hardiness zones 4-9; It is considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree. It is usually planted for its production of spring flowers and its visual interest.
The redbud grows at a medium growth rate, typically about 13"-24" per year in height. It prefers a minimum of four hours of direct unfiltered sunlight each day, making it acceptable for full sun or partial shade. Redbud trees will grow best in acidic, alkaline, moist, rich, loamy, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils.
The early season's blooms attract certain types of nectar-seeking insects such as butterflies, and the redbud attracts many varieties of songbirds looking for nesting trees. In 1937 the Redbud tree was chosen as the Oklahoma state tree.