Best Fertilizer for Eastern Pink Redbud Tree

Location: Alexandria, Vi

Question: I planted my new redbud tree last April 2008. I applied root conditioner last Oct 2008. It is just now sprouting tiny buds; what is the best fertilizer to use now for my tree? Any other tips you share will also be useful.

Answer: As a native understory tree, a redbud will thrive in most soil types including alkaline and clay; and tolerates both drought and wet soil, though well-drained soil is preferred. Since it grows best in light shade, the ideal spot will have full sun in late winter, which will help the blossoms along, but the tree will benefit from shade during the heat of summer. A member of the bean and pea family, the redbud can use nitrogen from the air as a nutrient. Thus, nitrogen is rarely needed as a fertilizer. But, if you want to feed your tree, use a 5-10-10 or a fertilizer formulated for evergreen trees. Best wishes with your beautiful tree!

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