Weeping redbuds will generally not grow much taller than the height to which they are staked. When they come home from a nursery, they have usually been staked to about 4 to 6 feet tall. This height may be perfect for you, but I generally find that I wished I had trained my tree to 6 to 8 feet.
- Drive a stout stake deep enough in the soil close to the trunk but not touching the tree. Your stake should be about as high above the ground as you would like your plant.
- Select a young, pliable branch that is growing as close as possible to directly above the main trunk. You may need to wait until late spring if you purchase your plant in the fall.
- Tie the branch to your stake with a nonabrasive strap.
- Continue tying the branch up the stake until it reaches the desired height.
- Once the stem is rigid enough to support itself, remove the stake
When pruning, always remember the old adage that you can take off more later, but you can’t put a branch back on. Take your time, and step back from the plant frequently to look at your progress.
- Remove crossing, diseased, and dead branches first.
- Always prune to a bud on young stems or to a branch or the trunk. Leave about a half-inch of stem rather than pruning flush with the trunk.
- Remove branches that are growing directly above or below another. While this doesn’t affect the tree’s health, it tends to encourage the development of a more aesthetic form.
- If you do not want low branches once the tree is at its mature height, begin taking some of the largest lower branches out every year or two.
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