Don Egolf Cercis Redbud Tree
Cercis chinensis 'Don Egolf'
Though most of us love Redbuds, nobody likes the thousand-and-one seedlings they produce after scattering their seed all over the garden. Left unchecked in a woodland setting, this shrub can even be invasive. That's where 'Don Egolf' can make such a difference. It is non-fruiting, so it sets no seed, and you don't have to root out a single one of those little heart-shaped leaves on amazingly strong stems from your garden!
And 'Don Egolf' would be a glorious addition to the garden even if it weren't seedless. The blooms are super-abundant, and the color is magnificent: sort of a light maroon, or a combination of rose, red, and lavender. Neon-bright, it will be the only one of its shade in the entire garden!
This multi-stemmed little shrub grows very slowly, eventually reaching 8 to 10 feet high and wide. The dark green heart-shaped leaves are deciduous, falling to reveal an attractive bare skeleton in winter. And 'Don Egolf' is wonderfully resistant to canker, unlike most other Redbuds!
This cultivar was released by Margaret Pooler in 2000, but began as one of a batch of seed sent from the botanical garden in Yunnan, People's Republic of China, to the U.S. Arboretum in 1984. The seed was originally identified as Cercis chingii, but after it began growing, it was corrected to C. chinensis. Dr. Don Egolf was originally in charge of this project, in which the seedling that would eventually be named for him was spotted quite early as being distinctive from the rest: it was unusually floriferous, and it set no seed. Eventually it was trialed in 14 states in addition to the U.S. National Arboretum test fields, and found to be non-fruiting as well as very free-flowering and particularly well-adapted to dry soils. Then the canker resistance was discovered -- icing on the cake!
Whether you use 'Don Egolf' as a specimen planting, as part of a border, or in a woodland setting, do give this stellar little shrub a special place in your landscape. It will repay you richly for decades to come, both in beauty and in labor-saving! Zones 6-9.
|Item Form||4-inch Pot|
|Zone||6 - 9|
|Bloom Season||Early Spring|
|Plant Height||8 ft - 10 ft|
|Plant Width||8 ft - 10 ft|
|Additional Characteristics||Bloom First Year, Easy Care Plants, Free Bloomer, Seedless/Sterile|
|Bloom Color||Dark Red, Light Maroon, Light Purple|
|Foliage Color||Dark Green|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun, Part Shade|
|Moisture Requirements||Dry, Moist, well-drained|
|Resistance||Disease Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Humidity Tolerant|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy, Poor, Sandy, Clay|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|
How to Plant Your Tree
When planting a new tree, know the strengths and weaknesses of your treevariety. For example, if your tree has delicate leaves placing the trees fully exposed to drying sun and wind will certainly lead to scorched leaves
and a puny trees. Think of your tree's habit and mature size when
planting. You would not want a tree that will be 15' wide in a few
years planted too closely to any permanent structure or other trees.
Choose a place with plenty of room in a partially shaded place,
preferably a spot where your tree can get a nice dose of morning sun
and be protected through the harshest part of those hot summer
Gardeners will often plant their trees in holes that are too deep and too narrow. Roots need access to oxygen and room to grow. Dig a hole about three times the width of the root ball, and the crown (the place where the roots meet the trunk) should be level with the soil surface. If you have clay soil, make sure to break up the sides and bottom of the hole to prevent water from being trapped and rotting your brand new tree. If your tree was in a container, carefully pull apart the roots to ensure that your tree does not become girdled and strangle itself. Recover the soil to the crown, but do not pack it down tightly—loose dirt allows roots to become established.
How to Feed and Water Your Tree
Trees, once established are very low-maintenance for most of the year. Most trees love moisture—during the warmer months, make sure you give your tree a deep watering
about twice a week during hot, dry summers to help it establish strong roots.Some
varieties with more delicate leaves may have a tendency to
dry up and scorch in the summer or freeze in a late frost and scorch.
If you suspect a late frost is headed your way, just go ahead and cover
the more delicate plants in your garden. Deep watering may be your only
hope against drying in the summer.
An all-purpose slow-release fertilizer or rich compost will supply the basic nutrients to feed most trees. Just work the fertilizer into the soil around the tree at the beginning of every season to get the best results.
How to Prune Your Tree
your tree has been properly planted, has established itself, and has
developed a strong root system, the only thing left to do is periodic
pruning and shaping. Pruning maples is really simple. Remove dead or
damaged limbs, and any new growth that appears on the main trunk
(allowing your tree to focus its energy on filling out its distinctly
beautiful branches). You may also want to shorten long limbs that
distract from the overall shape of the tree.
Choosing Tree Varieties to Suit Your Garden
Want to make a dramatic change in the overall look of your garden? Planting a trees is the quickest way to change the look and feel of your garden. Trees add
structure and height, and they have striking presence and
style. A few strategically placed trees in your landscape design can
change the entire look and feel of your yard. Planting a tree provides incredible results for the modest amount money and time
invested, it's good for the environment, and it's fun.
Some of the quickest growers are also the most interesting. Many varieties of dense firs, colorful maples, and wispy willows grow quickly enough to noticeably change the look of your garden in just one season. Fast-growing trees are as functional as they are beautiful—quickly providing privacy screens, shade trees, and dramatic color and fragrance that could take years to achieve with slower varieties.
Landscape Design with Evergreen Trees and Shrubs
Pines, Cypresses, and Thujas grow incredibly fast, and make a great
quick fix for most of your tree-related garden needs. A tall pine, like
a Loblolly or Rock Pine, can reach impressive shade-tree heights in a
third of the time that it would take many deciduous trees to reach the
same height. And the long, dark-green, wispy needles give an
ephemeral—almost mystical—feel, turning your garden into the setting
of a great fairytale. Thujas, also known as Arborvitae, are the
fastest-growing evergreens around. Their dense green foliage is perfect
for blocking outside sights, sounds, and wind—turning your garden into
a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle.
Grow Your Own Fruit
Growing your own fruit is cheaper, more fun, and usually a lot safer than buying fruit from the grocery store. Also, fruit trees are usually very impressive in the garden--they usually have pretty, fragrant blooms, and they attract humming birds and butterflies.
Fruit trees are always popular, but often it takes several years before a tree produces a substantial amount of fruit. There are a few fast-growing fruit tree varieties that produce a useful amount of fruit within a couple seasons. Dwarf citrus trees are small, and mature very fast, but you can only grow these in containers unless you live in a very warm place. Trees from the genus Prunus, like cherries, apricots, plums, and peaches, all grow fairly quickly, and they are so diverse that any gardener will be able to find exactly what they need.
Redbud / Judas Tree
Set out in full sun or light shade. Widely tolerant of soils from sandy to heavy clayloams, Cercis do best in a moisture-retentive, well-drained soil enhanced with healthy amounts of decomposed organic matter.
Mulch to conserve moisture after planting and again each spring for at least the first two years. Provide supplemental water during periods of drought. Both species naturally have a shrub-like growth habit, with many low and upright branches. Prune only to shape or to remove dead branches.
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