Can anyone give me some tips on propagating redbud trees from cuttings? How long do they take to grow? Thanks!
There is some research ongoing to propagate Eastern Redbud via tissue culture, but information on rooting cuttings seems to be nonexistant. The preferred method is seed, and even that is difficult because the seeds are very hard and resistant to water. They need to be scarified and cold treated, or they may lie dormant for years.
An additional problem is that when you do find one that has rooted naturally, the tap root is very difficult to get up, and transplants seldom live.
If you only want a few, buy them or plan on extensive study and trial and error.
Here is a link that might be useful: Cercis canadensis L
Best for Cercis is to just plant the seed and forget it. In a soil with reasonable amounts of organic matter, the seeds will sprout readily in a year or so and then grow very rapidly. I have them coming up all over my gardens, and if not removed before they are about 6" high, they are almost impossible to uproot, as they send a taproot down to China. I love Cercis canadensis and have several of them, but it is a problem seeder in my gardens.
Can anyone tell me how and when to transplant a 2 year old redbud tree?
I prefer spring transplant. Cercis has a tap root, and you likely will have to cut this on a 2 year seedling, as it will be about 24-30" deep. Take as much of the roots spreading out just under the surface as you can, and don't ever let them dry out. Mud it in. i.e. dig a hole, fill it with water, place the tree in it, and slowly fill the water up with loose soil, jiggling the tree occasionally to remove bubbles. Keep adding soil till the hole is overfull. then press down firmly. keep watered for at least 2 months. This seems to give me good results.
I have hundreds of native redbuds, and I have terrible clay soil. They transplant for me very readily - maybe they're so happy to finally see some decent soil- lol. The seeds need a double dormancy I think I remember - 2 winters? Anyway, I agree with geoforce - plant the seeds and forget them. They'll come up eventually.
A very easy method to get both eastern and western varieties of Redbud to germinate is to use boiling water. Take fresh seed, place in a cup and pour boiling water over them. Let them soak for 7 days. They will swell and double in size. Put in plastic bags with moist peat. Place bag in fridge at about 40 F for 2-3 months. The seed will start sprouting even in the fridge. Another option (Fall) is to place seed into small pots after the soaking period. Place outside and let the winter stratify them. In spring you will be surprized at how many come up.
Propagation of the terrific Redbud hybrids is done via stem cuttings. Take the tip cuttings in the spring, just before the new growth hardens. Treat as you would any softwood, deciduous cutting. They should root within three to four weeks given optimum conditions.
Thank you for posting the tip cutting information. I have a redbud that came up through a crack in a concrete sidewalk a foot from the slab foundation of the house, so it has got to go... if I ever manage to kill it! That tree is so stubborn, it seems a shame not to give it some sort of life elsewhere. Cuttings would be the only way. It CANNOT get big enough to seed. :0)
I took a cutting about 5" long from a very young redbud tree, maybe just half a decade old, and cliped all but the last set of mature leaves and the baby leaves. I put in sand and watered it, but it started wilting because sand dries very quickly. I finally just went for broke and put it in a bottle of water with some ivy I'm trying to grow, and what do you know? It perks right up! I cut larger branch from a larger tree, and I've put them into a vase with special plant food since it is harder to grow from hardwood. Hopefully it'll grow, that would be much cheaper to get then buying a 3-5 foot whip off the internet! If it doesn't work, I'll just buy one and eventually plant the little one. Hopefully my stories will help you!
I have a beautiful little forest pansy redbud about 6-7 feet tall. It's spread its branches out into a lovely canopy, but the wind split it right down the center trunk, which is very slender. I pulled it closed as best I could and wrapped tape to hold it closed, but will it live?? It happened about 2 wks ago, and still looks ok.....?
My redbud was broken during a storm about a year after it was planted. I wrapped dry wall tape around the trunk and it healed. About a year later it was broken again (another storm) so I took the top off it and left the trunk. The next spring, I was getting ready to dig it up and I noticed little shoots coming up around the trunk.
My beautiful tree grew up into a gorgeous bush! I sold the house a few years ago and the new owners haven't kept it trimmed up. But it's still beautiful 12 years after the first break.
We recently propagated a number of Redbuds for a stream-side restoration project in Grantham, PA. We grew these from stem cuttings that contained a growth tip. It was very successful, and the trees took really well! We used a rooting hormone as well as heated mats to accelerate root development. Hope this method works for you!
Here is a link that might be useful: Envi Sci and Fishy Plants
There is an office complex in McMinnville, TN that has a row of Forest Pansy Red Bud seperating their parking lot from the main road and is almost under powerlines... their lanscapers do the "Crepe Murder" thing to them every year (just makes me want to scream)They come back just like the Crepes do and are as beautiful as ever. Might ask them if I can get some cuttings to try to propagate this year before the landscapers hack them!
According to Dr.Michael Dirr in The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
You can root cutting, but it is easier to grow them from seeds.
If you want a new fancy leaf plant then buy one & graft the buds on to the seedlings.