Redbud Propagation Advice?

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Hi all! We had a redbud tree in our yard when we bought our house 14 yrs ago. I could've moved it but was too busy and it got too big to move easily, so I left it alone. I mean hey, how big could a Redbud get,.. right? Over the years it grew fast! Never figured out why, but one year it had leaves the size of dinner plates! I thought, wow! But after that year, they were normal sized.

It was close to the fence and later on grew up into the power lines, so we trimmed it. It got in the way of people's vision when pulling onto the street, so we trimmed it. It had some winter damage, so we trimmed it. It got into another tree nearby, so we trimmed it. Until finally I just decided to remove it. We wanted that tree and looked forward to the blooms, but it was in the wrong location. Best to get another and start over.

The following year of that stump, it grew 6" suckers and they died in winter. I figured that was the last of it. 2 yrs later (now) it sprouted again and they kept growing. So I watered it and it got healthier despite a few bugs eating the leaves. My wife and I hated cutting it down, so I tried rooting a few cuttings this spring to give it a second chance at life! But they died. I hear they're difficult to root? I've waited for the new leads to get big enough to air layer, so that's my plan next spring if they make it through winter. Is that a good idea or is there a better way? what would you do? There's enough here to try several ways, which I'm glad to do.

I just wanted to ask if anyone had any advice on how to propagate this Eastern Redbud tree? If taking cuttings to rooting's while it's dormant is a good idea, I'll have that chance soon and would like to prepare ahead. I'll try anything if we can get one or two starts out of it. Maybe someone has done this and would share their success?

Thanks and take care! :)
 

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Your tree's leaves look like those of an Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). The propagation advice for all Redbuds (Cercis spp.) is similar.

The most efficient way to grow a redbud is from seed. Both scarification (seed coat abrasion) and stratification (cold treatment) is usually necessary, though fresh seed from the current season my germinate well without these treatments.

Clonal cultivars of Redbud are almost always propagated by grafting a scion of the cultivar on a seed-grown rootstock. Propagation by cuttings is not considered reliable or cost-effective. However it is possible, It seems the best reported results involve rooting softwood cuttings with bottom heat (72º-75º F) and regular misting.

Unless you feel that your particular tree is worth maintaining as a cultivar, it would be best to start with either a newly-purchased tree, or grow new trees from seeds obtained from a tree with good characteristics.
 
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I always checked for them, but unfortunately it never had a single seed in 12 years.

We could buy one, but I'm having a hard time paying $120 - $190 for a potted tree when they were $40 & $60 just 5 months ago. Mostly, we're being sentimental and would like one with a good root structure too. The Nursery's around here cut the leaders to a straight thick pole and we both prefer a natural mutli trunked wide structure.

My biggest peeve is most all have poor root structure to start with. Many are root bound 2-3 times over as the pot size graduated upwards. it's very common here and big headaches later on. I grew up in landscaping, 3 friends who work at local nursery's now say we don't have time to do it right. When a tree we sold gets sick or falls over becasue of it, it's too late to finger point and they make money sooner that way.

Now days, I buy them very small or field grown B&B trees for that reason. I suppose there is the bare root online trees?

We were just hoping,... thought it'd be neat if we could save some part of it so it could keep growing Maybe I'll try digging some roots when it's dormant and then grafting a stem onto that. I'm no expert but better to try than not, if no one thinks rooting them will work?
 
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Well, in that case, you might as well give it try. It is possible to root Cercis, with the right amount of heat and humidity. Rooting hormone would probably help too.

Also keep an eye out for seeds on trees in your neighborhood or travels. Ordering seeds online is usually not expensive, though quality will vary.

Why have tree prices spiked? There are many tree growers in Oregon and northern California, some sell by mail-order. Of course, some are wholesale only, but there are usually ways to make a special order through a local nursery. I have seen multi-trunked Cercis sold, but I can't say much about current availability. Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) is often sold multi-trunked. That is a smaller species, but that could be good if the one you have now got too large.

Now you've got me curious... I just looked on Dancing Oaks website. They have a 5 gallon Cercis canadensis 'Rising Sun' for 55.00. They're in Monmouth. You can probably find a nursery closer. I only thought of Dancing Oaks because they do mail-order, but not for 5 gallon trees. However, Cercis canadensis 'Rising Sun' can be spectacular, and in leaf as well as in flower!

Okay, I'll stop play-shopping, but I do hope you get a Redbud you want. They are wonderful small trees.
 
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Those rising sun Redbud trees are beautiful!!! I'll be showing that to my wife tonight for sure. And please never apologize for trying to help (play-shopping). I think that's very nice actually.

We loved the shape of ours, it was multi-trunked, it went up and out - that's the shape we're really after. It was easily 20ft wide at it's peak. The road's 15ft away and branches were blocking the view at one point. Hard to imagine that much coming out of a 16" dia trunk and to the height of our telephone poles when it was only about 13 yrs old? It was a sapling when we moved here. The branch structure had sooo much character. It was joy to walk under and look up. The buds were not impressive at all, barely noticeable, but the tree made up for it. We hoped if we could start another, we have an open area we'd like to put it (or another) in and hope it would do that again, with some guidance and nurturing if needed. The reason I say all that is to explain why the larger variety fits the bill more for us. My wife often brings that tree up,... she understood and helped me to removed it, but still misses it. So I wanted to surprise her with good news.

I checked around today, and no one had any, couldn't order them. Just a matter of when they get them I guess. There could be places I'm not finding as well I'm sure, so I'll keep searching. Some sites say they have them, but inventory differs when I call. There was a very nice gal about 1.5 hrs away who only grew natural multi trunked redbuds. I'd see her on Craigslist occasionally, but I haven't seen her ad in a while and can't find her number that I wrote down so I would NOT lose it, of course. I'll be doing more digging tonight and maybe some cleaning while I'm at it. Ha!

Thank you and I'm grateful as always!
 
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My pleasure, I usually enjoy talking about plants.

Portland Nursery says that Cercis are available November to May. Perhaps you can pre-order from them.

Actually, next time you visit any retail nursery, ask if they will special order the plant you want. More and more nurseries are happy to do this, though sometimes there is a delay due to either wholesale availability or inventory constraints.
 
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My pleasure, I usually enjoy talking about plants.

Portland Nursery says that Cercis are available November to May. Perhaps you can pre-order from them.

Actually, next time you visit any retail nursery, ask if they will special order the plant you want. More and more nurseries are happy to do this, though sometimes there is a delay due to either wholesale availability or inventory constraints.

That's awesome, me too and I don't even know that much but I still try anyway - I'm a sponge willing to learn. I did landscaping, but that was maintenance and installation. I thought I knew a few things, but the older I get I realize they taught us very little. Plus I moved here after that and plants are different here. Never had to deal with molds or fungus. Different problems here.

I just happen to be looking at Portland Nursery yesterday, it was 4:54pm, too late to call so I wrote the number down. As much as I try to avoid Portland traffic, I'll do it if they can get one or two in for us. Ha! Will call them today and see what they say.

We're finally putting trees in,.. I'm excited but in need advice for existing trees and new choices alike. I'm new to any forums so it's been a good experience. I'll make separate threads for different topics, so maybe I'll see yuh there! Cheers and thanks again for your kindness and help!
 
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I planted rising sun this year. Keeping it moist has been the main chore, but they are an understory tree here and can scald when young. I moved mine 3 times before it liked its spot. I look forward to seeing it this spring!
 

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