eastern redbud tree

(Question)

My eastern redbud didn’t flower this spring and has no leaves. The branches break when I bend them and the bark is flaking off. does this mean the tree is dead?
I live in downtown Toronto and the year is in my front yard. The soil is dry but this hasn’t been a problem in previous years. Until this spring, the tree always flowers profusely and had lots and lots of leaves. It was a lovely tree.
any help is appreciated.
thanks

(Answer)

Eastern Redbud  (Cercis canadensis) grows best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist soil and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. Redbuds are not particular as to soil type or pH and will benefit from being planted in a sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in the winter to protect it in exposed locations.

This year has been extremely difficult on the Redbuds. If you haven’t seen any new growth by now and the branches snap when you bend them then chances are the tree is dead.  To check if branches are alive carefully scrap off some of the outer bark. If the branch is green underneath then that branch is still alive.

One possiblity why your redbud did not survive this year is if the tree was planted in clay soil. Redbuds are sensitive to too much water and with the wet spring that we had this year, your redbud could have lost part of its root system and as a result it’s ability to store food reserves.

The tree might sprout from the base and if this is the case you could always cut off the dead top and let the plant develop into a ‘clump’ redbud.

You may wish to check out the following website for additional information :

https://canadiantreetours.org/species-pages/Eastern_redbud.html

Good luck.