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Eastern Redbud Tree Pruning

An Eastern Redbud tree was planted in our backyard earlier this summer. The tree came as part of a landscape project and as a result the landscaping company brought a tree from their local grower. The tree looks great, but I am starting to wonder about the long-term pruning and care of the tree.

My main concern is that there are 3 main trunks that cross about a half foot above the ground. I am concerned that this growth pattern may not be maintainable as the tree continues to grow. Should this tree be pruned to correct this or is this an acceptable growth pattern? If pruning is necessary, what is the best time of year to do this pruning?

Re: Eastern Redbud Tree Pruning

The good news is that your redbud will not grow that large, so crossing and rubbing limbs will not have too big of an effect on the tree. However, the rubbing can cause decay and weak spots in the tree.

If you would like to improve the tree's structure, there are a couple things to keep in mind. First, don't remove more than 1/4 of the growth at any one time. This will stress the tree too much. Second, timing is not all that important. It is easier to see the form when the leaves are off, though. Don't let someone try to tell you about "sap running" or whatever. Third, make proper cuts - don't leave stubs, and don't flush cut. Visit www.treesaregood.com for more information about proper pruning.

Before you start pruning, think about what you want to end up with. If your intention is to remove the one middle stem, it will take more than one pruning session (stretched over a year or more). You can start by pruning out dead and diseased limbs. When you are done this, you can start with the crossing limbs (I'd cut the ones that originate from the middle stem, and leave the other ones - these may not be a problem once the center stem is gone). Start small, and then think about reducing the length of the other limbs on the center stem. Over time, you should be able to reduce the length enough to remove the whole center stem.

By the way - good mulching job - not too deep!

Re: Eastern Redbud Tree Pruning


I just love my redbud when it blooms in the spring. It gets covered with light pink blossoms. A big bonus is that it doesn't get all that big.

Nice pick!


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