Planting tips

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Living Tree Planting Tips

Redbud tree seedlings

About the Redbud:

The state tree of Oklahoma, it is a native and well-suited tree for the entire state.  Pink flowers appear in April and the tree can grow to 20’-30’ tall with a 30’ spread. It supports a variety of insect and bird wildlife.

When to plant:

Plant your Redbud seedling while the trees are still dormant–any time in winter is fine as long as the ground isn’t frozen. If you’d like to wait after the holidays, wrap the roots in a damp paper towel (for up to 2 weeks) or temporarily plant in a pot with moist soil.  Store in a cool place such as a garage or protected space on a patio, etc.

Where to plant:

Choose a location with well-drained soil that will have full sun to partial shade, ideally with 4-8 hours of direct sunlight a day. A Redbud can grow to over 30 ft. tall so make sure it’s clear of power lines, etc.  Call 811 or visit to confirm there are no buried utility lines.

How to plant: 

Soak the roots for 3-6 hrs. Clear the grass within a 3’ diameter and dig a hole approximately as deep as the roots and at least twice as wide. Use your fingers to gently loosen and separate the roots prior to placing the tree in the hole. Fill in with dirt and water the tree while very gently tamping down the dirt. The top of the roots should be at ground level. Top with up to three inches of mulch, avoiding piling mulch against the trunk of the tree. Use stakes to support the tree for the first 1-2 years (the wind does come sweeping down the plains!).

Continuing care:

Water deeply whenever the top three inches of soil feel dry until the tree is well established, at least an inch of water each week. It will take a lot of watering the first year!

For more information see the Redbud guide at Arbor Day Foundation.
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