What Is the Difference Between Clump Redbud & Tree Redbud?

Redbuds (Cercis spp.) are exceptionally attractive, spring-blooming trees. A fast plant, redbuds have hundreds of small, bright purple flowers in the early spring, before their leaves appear. The result is plenty of color that completely covers all of the tree branches. Both eastern (C. canadensis) and the southern (C. occidentalis) redbud can develop two basic shapes, equally as a shrub-like clump or in a typical tree form.

Clump Redbud

Eastern and western redbuds are generally native to the eastern portion or the southern and southwestern areas of the USA, respectively. Both types naturally develop as multi-stemmed clumps, with a shrub-like growth habit if left unpruned. Commonly referred to as clump redbud, these plants can achieve a height of 10 or 15 feet at maturity, with the identical spread. They usually develop an irregular silhouette at the crown, with moderate branch density. At the spring, a redbud grown as a clump is basically covered in purple blossoms, with few if any bare branches visible.

Tree Redbud

Redbuds also develop into attractive, graceful trees if pruned properly as young saplings. Since they’re spring bloomers that make flowers on the previous season’s growth, redbuds ought to be pruned and shaped immediately after flowering to make certain flowers the following year. For a multi-trunked tree with a vase-like shape, remove all but three or four principal stalks from a young tree, permitting these to become trunks as the tree grows. If you eliminate all but one stem, then the tree will develop to your single-trunked specimen. However, because redbuds tend to branch aggressively, you must remove new, low-placed branches since they seem to retain one trunk.

Other Features

Redbuds have similar leaves and other characteristics, whether increased as a clump or in a tree form. They’ve very large, bluish-green, heart-shaped leaves. In the autumn, their leaves turn several shades of yellow, and long, flattened, maroon-colored seed pods seem. Redbuds are generally frost tolerant and suitable for civilization in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9 for its eastern canadensis species and 6 through 9 for its southern occidentalis species.


Tree-form and clump redbuds have generally the same cultural requirements. They do well in full sunlight or partial shade and prefer loamy soil, even though they can tolerate mud or clay if it’s well-drained. Wet locations must be avoided since excessive moisture promotes respiratory diseases. Redbuds are generally easy-to-grow, tolerating drought well and requiring little binder or other special care once established in the landscape. Their branches have thin bark, nevertheless, and any branches that cross or rub against each other should be pruned back, because bark harm can encourage entry of insect pests or diseases.

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