The Q&A Archives: Redbud Tree

Question: We just purched a house that has a redbud in the yard. However the tree is looking very bad. Its leaves look wilty with some brown spots and some of the branches look like they are totally dead. We had a very hot summer in Texas and I don't think the previous owners watered very much. Does this tree like a lot of water and how can I nurse it back to health?

Answer: There are two types of redbuds grown in Texas, the eastern redbud and the Mexican redbud. The latter species is the only one that will be at home in Austin. Its leaves are semi-glossy on top, unlike the eastern redbud.

Your tree is probably just suffering from the long drought you have experienced this summer. If it has not been planted for more than a year or two that could be compounding the problem. Prune out the dead areas this winter. Give the tree a good soaking once a week during extended droughts in summer, but be careful not to overwater it (they don't want soggy soil). A little completer fertilizer is alright, but don't overdo it. It's not a lack of nutrients that brought on the problem. It should pull out of this stress and be fine now that your are its new, caring owner!

Good luck with your tree!

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