I have an Eastern Redbud which produces multiple seedlings in the summer. This year I decided to save a few of these trees, which are only a few inches tall. I put them in separate gallon sized pots with nice, fertile soil. They are doing very well and growing new leaves often. I live in Ohio and we tend to have crazy weather, so who knows what this year will bring!
Your question about planting the E.Redbud seedlings caught my eye. A couple years ago I purchased through mail order 3 tiny E. redbud trees. They have taken hold well in my Western NY garden and I'm thrilled with them as I loved to see them in bloom in the WV hills as we travel there. I haven't any advice for you but will be watching with great interest as I am very interested in propagation of plants in this way. As my Rose of Sharon bushes put out new plants I usually just move them to a place in the garden where I can keep an eye on their progress and get them into a permanent spot ASAP. Would this work with the Redbuds?
I hope that your redbuds are doing well. My wife and I recently moved and I transplanted two saplings from our previous home at our new home. I did this in early December 2009 shortly before we closed on the house that we were selling. The ground had not frozen at the time. I simply dug as deep as I could with an 18" tiling spade and put each sapling in a plastic pot. After arriving at our new property, I dug a hole for each sapling about a foot deep and simply set each in its respective hole and back filled. I checked the saplings this past week after the weather finally warmed up a little by skinning the bark, and the seedlings appeared green, so it would appear that as of the first of March 2010 they have survived. Time will tell.
Making sure that you have set the saplings out where they will be protected is the important thing. Redbuds like to be sheltered by other trees because that location will protect them from direct sun exposure; redbuds do not like direct sun. I have seen redbuds in direct sunlight, but they usually do not thrive, either dying after five or so years or just not thriving well. But there are exceptions. I am a retired educator, and 200 or so days out of the year for almost 40 years I drove by a line of five redbuds along the road about a half mile from my school that was out in open country (open prairie). They were the only trees at that spot on the flat prairie land in northwest Indiana along I65 about 35 miles northwest of Lafayette, IN. The winters are harsh. Temperatures can get below 0, sometimes as low as -20 for a few days, depending on the winter. But the wind can be vicious because there is nothing to stop it. This is where the prairie begins.
These redbuds are very exposed and they have survived, although they are not great specimens. They would have done better had they had some canopy trees. Moreover, they have experienced a few very dry summers over those 40 years. I cite this as an exception to the fact that redbuds usually require protection.
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