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Should You Buy It? Cercis canadensis ‘Flame Thrower’ Redbud

If you will take the time to make sure this tree remains vigorous, it is well worth it! A stellar new tree with loads of color and interest even when NOT in bloom, perfect size for the front yard. To best prevent problems that redbuds can have,  keep the tree vigorous by regular watering, fertilizing, and pruning out dead limbs.

Cercis canadensis ‘NC2016-2’,is a  cross between Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ and Cercis canadensis ‘Rising Sun’ Redbuds.

Bred by Dennis Werner at NC State University.

“I knew I was onto something when a soybean breeder or a plant pathologist would come up to me and say, ‘What is that tree up there on the hill? What is that, with the multiple colors on it?”

– Dennis Werner *
Flame Thrower® Redbud Tree - This is Amazing Tree

Hardiness zone 5-9

Height in 10-15  years: 15’-20’

Width in 10-15 years:10’-15’

Light requirements, part shade to full sun (afternoon shade in hot climates), best color with some direct morning sun.

Flowers: very early spring, February, March, or April, light pink, not only on new growth but along branches and trunk too.

Leaves: New growth is burgundy/red and ages to orangey yellow to yellow, then green fall foliage: yellow

“As the foliage develops and begins to mature, the tree exhibits a combination of colors, including red, purple, burnt oranges, bronze, and gold,”

-Dennis Werner *
Why plant Cercis ‘Flame Thrower’ Redbud:Why NOT plant Cercis ‘Flame Thrower’ Redbud:
Tolerates deerSusceptible to: Japanese beetles, tree hoppers, leaf hoppers, caterpillars, borers, webworms, and scale.
Tolerates black walnutSusceptible to: Canker, Verticillium wilt, leaf spots, mildew, and blight
Tolerates clay soil
Fabulous season-long color
Great smaller size for a yard
Very early spring prolific flowers
. Leaf scorch is very minimal.


  • People’s Choice Best in Show award winner in the New Varieties Showcase, Far West Showcase 2019
  • First place for Plant of the Year at the 2021 Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show.



Toni has a bachelor degree in Plant & Soil Science, has lived, gardened and growing all over the US, in Vermont, Tennessee, Idaho, coastal North Carolina and Virginia. She has been sharing her knowledge through writing, one on one consulting and talking to anyone who wants to listen at social gatherings everywhere : )

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