May 27, 2014

My Redbud Tree

When our children were young my husband brought home two seedling redbud trees that he found in a wooded area. Thinking how lucky he would be if one of the two seedlings took root and grew. To his amazement both seedlings survived and grew in our front yard.

Each year we enjoyed watching the trees pink flowers burst open. When the wind blew the tiny petals of the flowers floated down like snowflakes on the sidewalk and front lawn.

The redbud tree is often called the Judas tree, there is a fable about how it got that name.

The origin of this fable is unknown;

After betraying our Lord Judas, hung himself from a redbud tree, now often called a Judas tree. As Judas hung on the tree the white flowers turned red because the tree was ashamed the betrayer of Christ died on it.

In grief, the tree vowed never again to grow limbs big enough for someone to hang themselves from.

This past winter was harsh here in Wisconsin and I fear too much for my redbud tree.

This tree should be bursting with flowers from every branch.

Half of the tree has blooms at the tips, and the other half is dead.

Just a few scattered flowers on the tips.

The bark of the tree doesn't look very good either.

I loved telling the grandchildren the story of how their grandpa brought the seedlings from the woods and planted them. It has been sixteen years since my husband was killed in an accident and when I have this tree cut down it will feel like I am loosing another piece of him. Life goes on and so I believe I will try to plant a new redbud tree in the same spot. Perhaps I will gather all of my grandchildren to help plant a new tree and make a new memory.


  1. Redbuds in our area did poorly last year and then came back to life this spring! I wasn't very familiar with them until I moved to the midwest/plains, and I love 'em.

  2. That's a shame, it's such a beautiful tree. I think there are lot of trees in a similar situation after the winter we had!

  3. Is there no way to save the half that is so beautiful? We have seen so many citrus trees perish due to extreme temps that I hate the thought of cutting down a tree with "half a life." Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  4. I've always loved redbud, but we can't grow it up here. Now that I know the legend, I don't think I want to grow it anymore. Maybe I'd grow it and rename it. :-) But still a shame that your tree was treated so harshly by the horrid winter this year. We lost two apple trees and our plum is nearly dead. The flowering crab looks like it may flower in another week or so. Those things that did survive are way behind schedule.

  5. I'd never heard that legend about the redbud Paulette, thanks so much for sharing it. Redbuds and the spring peepers have always meant spring to me, and the Great Scot fell in love with them the first time he saw them.
    It's sad that a tree filled with so many memories may have to come down, but I think you've chosen a wonderfully meaningful way to handle it.

  6. It is too bad that you can't just cut part of the tree down. You ought find a gardener who can tell you if the whole tree has to go.

  7. I love redbud trees! But they don't live very long and we have replanted many times. It is worth it though!

  8. I fell in love with them when we lived n VA. Don't have any on our acreage here in CT...:(JP