The Q&A Archives: Red Bud Tree

Question: We have a 25' Red Bud Tree in our back yard that's close to 20 years old. It seems to have detoriated to the point where many of its limbs are dead. However, others have leaves, and it now was new growth coming out of its main trunk. Has it lived its normal life span and thereby should be cut down? The trunk size is at least a foot in diameter.

Answer: Twenty years is a long time, but trees typically live much longer than that. I would prune out all of the dead limbs and branches to make room for the new growth. Pruning usually results in lots of new growth, so you should see a dramatic increase in healthy new leaves and stems. If the tree does not respond well to pruning (wait until next summer before making a judgement), then you can remove it and replace it with something else. Redbuds are such attractive trees that I think it's worth the effort. Best wishes with your landscape!

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