I have a redbud tree that I planted last spring from sapling. I pruned off one limb that was growing straight out from the trunk last fall. The two branches that are left are getting quite tall now, higher than my head and I'm 5'9". I was wondering if I should prune them a little shorter or should I just leave them? I have them staked so they will go straight up. Thank you for your help.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
A mature Redbud tree can reach 20 to 30 feet in height.
Never top prune a tree.
The best time to prune is in the spring just after the flowers have finished. Alternatively, you can prune it in late winter while it is still dormant and before it starts to bloom but you will be removing some of the blooms.
Redbuds often have more than one trunk and will grow in a shrub-like manner that could end up being nearly as wide as it is tall. They can be pruned and trained to have one straight trunk and be grown like a small tree. It is important to start training a redbud in its early years. Stand back and take a look at the branching structure and select the ones that you want to keep. Look for branches that have U-shaped junctures instead of narrow V-shaped branch crotches that could break in gusty winds. Also consider removing branches that are crossing each other, growing into the center of the tree, or are damaged.
Redbuds frequently have low branches when they are young. Take off one or two of the lowest branches each year as it grows until you are satisfied with the shape and branching structure. Pruning the branches when they are still small is more desirable than taking off larger diameter ones.