Redbud: A Tree For Native Bees


bumble bee on a flower

Redbuds, Cercis canadensis, are native to much of the eastern United States where they are a common understory tree in deciduous woodlands. Redbuds are also commonly planted as a popular landscape tree and many ornamental cultivars have been developed. In early spring, Redbuds produce clusters of pink fragrant flowers that provide an important ecological service for our native pollinators.

Trees For Bees

Many native bees also rely heavily on redbud flowers in the early spring. Redbuds have been recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bee species. Examples of native bees that are attracted to redbud flowers and in the process serve as pollinators include: carpenter bees, bumblebees, mason bees, blueberry bees, and many others. The bee collects pollen on her body and gathers nectar as a meal. Additionally, Redbuds are a special value to bumblebees because the tree provides nesting materials and structures for constructing nests.

So consider planting a Redbud tree in your yard, the local bees will thank you. The environment will thank you because it is a perfect substitute for non-native cherry trees and other invasive species. Redbuds are truly impressive trees in any landscape, a real show-stopper in your early spring garden.

Redbud Facts

  • Common Name: Eastern Redbud
  • Type: Tree
  • Native Range: Eastern North America
  • Zone: 4 to 8
  • Height: Up to 30 feet
  • Bloom Time: April
  • Sun: Full sun – Partial shade




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