I planted my new eastern redbud in the spring
I wanted to know if I should protect it for its first winter.
Concerned it may not survive.
Located in backyard between 2 sheds so not in direct wind.
About 8-10 feet tall.
Thanks for your question.
Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) are beautiful small trees, but here in Toronto, they are at the northern edge of their range. For winter protection, spread mulch 2-3″ deep over the root zone, but make sure the mulch doesn’t touch the trunk. Another thing you could do is put a circle of hardware cloth (mesh cloth made of plastic or metal and sold in rolls at hardware stores) around the base of the tree to prevent damage from mice and possibly rabbits (depending on where you live). The hardware cloth should extend 2-3″ below ground for mice and up to 30″ above ground for rabbits.
I did find one mention of tree wrap being recommended for the first 2-3 years after planting. The tree wrap should be light coloured and it’s main use is to prevent sun scald as redbuds have thin bark. I think that often wraps can cause more problems than they solve and except for the one site, none of the other sites I looked at recommended tree wrap. I wouldn’t use it, but if you do decide to try it, you should build a frame so the wrap doesn’t touch the tree. Rather than wrapping the tree, you could build a burlap fence shading the south and west sides of the tree. Sun scald is mainly a problem on the south side of the tree. In your question, you didn’t say which direction your tree faces. If the sheds are on the south side of the tree, I don’t think wrap or a fence would be necessary
Below are a couple of links on protecting delicate plants for winter although none of them mention redbuds specifically.
This link has some good general information about the tree.