Forest Pansy Tree Care – Tips On Growing A Forest Pansy Tree
By: Teo Spengler
Forest Pansy trees are a type of eastern redbud. The tree (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’) gets its name from the attractive, pansy-like flowers that appear in spring. Read on for more information about the Forest Pansy redbud, including Forest Pansy tree care.
What are Forest Pansy Trees?
These are lovely small trees that work well in gardens and backyards. Forest Pansy redbuds offer lovely, shiny heart-shaped leaves that grow in purple-red. As they mature, they deepen to maroon.
The chief attraction of the trees, however, are the brightly colored flower blossoms that fill their canopies in early spring. These rose-purple, pea-like flowers are especially noticeable because they appear before the leaves emerge, not like that of other redbuds.
In time, the flowers evolve into seed pods. They are flat, some 2-4 inches long and resemble snow peas.
Growing a Forest Pansy Tree
Forest Pansy redbud trees are native to eastern and central North America. They grow well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 8.
If you are thinking of growing a Forest Pansy tree, you need to know how large the tree will become when mature. It usually grows to about 20-30 feet (6-9 m.) tall and the horizontal branches spread some 25 feet (7.6 m.) wide.
When you start growing a Forest Pansy tree, you should choose its planting location with care. Forest Pansy redbuds do not transplant well, so be sure to place them appropriately.
These trees thrive in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Pick a spot in partial shade if your summers are hot, in sunny locations if your summers are mild. A Forest Pansy redbud will grow in either sun or part shade.
Forest Pansy Tree Care
Irrigation is a key to Forest Pansy tree care. The tree does best in soil that gets regular, consistent moisture, although it is known to be drought resistant once its root system is established. It will decline in wet soil.
The Forest Pansy redbud is a low-maintenance tree that requires little care. It is not invasive and it tolerates deer, clay soil and drought. Hummingbirds are attracted to its flowers.
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Forest Pansy Redbud Overview
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Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Pruning
Redbud is a tree that usually does not require much pruning, if any at all. The ones in the wild are never pruned and they do fine. That being said, you can prune a redbud to enhance it's shape.
If you prune do so in spring right after the tree has finished blooming. Before pruning assess the tree's natural shape. Stand back and see how the branches naturally grow and use this as a starting point for beginning your pruning. You want to be careful not to remove any main branches that would spoil the shape and look of your tree. You also want to be careful not to remove too many branches as this can cause shock to the tree.
If your redbud tree is planted close to a drive or walk, you can start by removing lower limbs that might be difficult to drive or walk under later on.
Next, you can cut off any branches in the trees canopy that cross over or rub on each other. Select and remove only branches that will not disturb the shape or form of the tree when removed.
If you just want to create a denser canopy, trace back to a point from the tip of a stem or branch to where it intersects a larger branch and make a cut above an outward facing leaf bud somewhere along the stem. You should see these small bumps/buds along the stem. I like to prune to an outward facing bud because a new branch will emerge that grows outward instead of inward. You don't want your redbud tree to become too congested with branches on the interior of the canopy. Overall, when pruning your redbud tree, don't remove more than 25 percent of the canopy during a single pruning session.
At any time of year you should remove dead, diseased or broken branches, as leaving them on the tree can cause disease. I always cut out the tiny twigs and branches that have turned brown. Also cut off any shoots/suckers that are coming up from around the base of the trunk.
Forest Pansy Redbud Is a Garden Tree with Fall Color
Virtues: We love Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ for its clusters of stunning rosy-pink flowers that bloom profusely atop of thin, bare branches in late winter through early spring, just before the foliage emerges. In late-spring, brilliant scarlet-purple leaves cover the branches ultimately fading into a deep maroon-green in summer, later transforming into beautiful hues of reds, oranges and yellows in fall.
Common name: 'Forest Pansy' redbud, 'Forest Pansy' eastern redbud
Botanical name:Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’
Flowers: In late winter to early spring, bundles of tiny, pea-like purple-pink flowers fill the bare branches with striking color—before the new-growth of spectacular foliage arises. After the charming blossoms fade away, long, pendulous, bean-like seedpods appear in late spring.
Foliage: Glossy, heart-shaped, deeply veined radiant reddish-purple leaves emerge in spring, fading into a charming, rich maroon-green in summer. During fall, the gorgeous foliage becomes a display of spectacular color with hues ranging from vivacious yellows and oranges to magnificent purples and reds.
Habit: These colorful deciduous trees grow irregularly when young, but mature to form a graceful, flat-topped vase shape. They can reach a height of 20 to 30 feet with a similar spread.
Season: With an abundance of small, bright reddish-pink spring blooms, breathtakingly beautiful, continuously changing foliage and a nice form, Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ looks lovely all year long.
This tree is best used in naturalized areas, where the flowers are contrasted against evergreens or woodlands. It can be used as a specimen or in groupings in a shrub border.
Although the redbud does well in most soil types, it prefers moist, well-drained sites. It does not, however, like those that are permanently wet. It tolerates acid or alkaline soils. It grows well in full sun but prefers some shade in the heat of summer. Although it will grow in fairly dense shade, it blooms more heavily when exposed to sun. Redbuds tolerate moderate dry spells, but do better when irrigated in summer dry spells.
Transplant when very small, as they have difficulty surviving, transplant after the root system has developed.
As redbud is native to such a wide range of climates, it is important that you purchase a tree that was grown from locally harvested seed. Trees grown from seed collected from trees native to South Carolina will adapt to our climate. If the seed were collected from trees grown in the north, the tree may not withstand the heat of our summer.
When located near a walkway or patio, low branches must be pruned for clearance beneath the canopy. It can be trained to grow with a single or multiple trunks. Prune out dead branches.
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Thanks to the hard work of breeders, today we can enjoy a wide range of redbud varieties. Some of them can be a great alternative to Forest Pansy Redbud and Eastern Redbud, so let’s take a quick look at them.
Ruby Falls Redbud
One of the most beautiful varieties is Ruby Falls Redbud. Its size is much smaller than today’s two, and it reaches up to 10 feet in height and up to 15 feet in width. This variety has a mushroom-like weeping shape that gives it additional attractiveness.
The color of Ruby Falls Redbud leaves, as in Forest Pansy Redbud, is dark purple. A distinctive feature is that the leaves are much wider and therefore more beautiful.
This variety also has good frost resistance and can be grown in zone 5.
The color of the flowers is pink with a slight tinge of purple. However, unlike other redbud trees, the flowers on the drooping branches look just fabulous.
Carolina Sweetheart Redbud
The next great alternative is Carolina Sweetheart Redbud. This is just a fantastic variety with variegated leaves, and part of the foliage turns red. This means that in addition to pink flowers, you get unique leaves with wonderful colors.
This redbud reaches up to 15 feet in height and a little more in width, i.e., it is a fairly compact tree, and you should not have problems with its placement.
Frost resistance is excellent. Carolina Sweetheart can be grown from 5 to 9 USDA hardiness zones.
This variety is sensitive to sunlight. To get bright colors of foliage, it needs at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. But in hot climates in full sun, variegated leaves can burn. Therefore, in zones 7-9, it is recommended to plant this tree and partial shade.
Ace of Hearts Redbud Tree
Ace of Hearts Redbud Tree is an unusual dwarf-sized redbud. Leaves have a very distinctive heart shape, and they grow symmetrically, which gives a unique effect.
It blooms very abundantly with pink flowers and is not inferior to Eastern Redbud.
This variety reaches 12 feet in height and 15 in width. Due to its compact size, it does not require much effort to maintain. It can be grown, like most redbud trees, from 5 to 9 USDA zones.
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History and Origins of the Forest Pansy Redbud
The Forest Pansy Redbud is a selected form of the Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). Although this tree has ‘Canada’ in its name, it in fact only grows naturally in the most southern part of Ontario, near Niagara. It is much more common as a native tree in the USA, all the way down the east from the Great Lakes into Florida, as well as west as far as eastern Texas and Nebraska.
This special form, called ‘Forest Pansy’, cannot be grown from seed, as the seeds will just produce plants with green leaves. Instead, our growers take stem pieces of the tree and attach them to the roots of seedling redbud trees. These develop into a single plant, which thrives and soon becomes a full-sized small tree. If you see branches developing from the base with plain green leaves, cut them off flush with the ground. If necessary, dig down carefully and cut these stems flush with the roots.
The Forest Pansy Redbud has stolen the heart of everyone who has seen it, and it is difficult to keep up with the enormous demand for this tree. We recommend you order now, while we still have stock available – it’s going fast.