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Cercis canadensis Hearts of Gold or Eastern Redbud Tree. The Cercis canadensis Hearts of Gold is commonly called the Eastern Redbud Tree. It is known for its easy and carefree growth habits plus its striking visual beauty. The tree flowers in the early spring with purple-red flowers before its foliage emerges. The buds open up to display an abundance of tiny purple flowers. In many cases, the Eastern Redbud is the first tree in most gardens to flower each spring. After flowering, the tree’s foliage starts to appear in shades of red that slowly turn golden as the leaves emerge. Even in the height of summer heat and sun, the tree’s gold colouration does not fade and remains bright. The tree’s heart-shaped leaves that are exposed to direct sunlight exhibit a brilliant yellow colouration and leaves that are shaded from the sun turn to a soft lime green shade. The tree’s rapid and vigorous growth makes it a popular landscape tree choice. It will usually attain a height of 3 meters in less than five years. When fully grown the Cercis canadensis Hearts of Gold will stand around 6 meters with a canopy width of 6 or slightly more meters. It is a popular specimen tree, but can also be used as a screen or hedge tree. Eastern Redbuds Trees thrive in full sunlight or partial shade. Once established, the tree requires very little water and can withstand periods of drought. However, when it is first planted, the tree benefits from a regular watering schedule to encourage its roots to establish themselves. During the spring, the tree enjoys application of general purpose fertilizer to encourage healthy growth. The Cercis canadensis Hearts of Gold trees are notorious for tolerating and thriving in a wide range of soil types. However the tree’s best growth is attained in soil with a neutral pH balance. It is relatively cold hardy and will survive even if the temperature drops to minus 28 degrees Celsius. Eastern Redbuds can be encouraged to grow as a multi-stemmed tree or a as a single tree specimen. Once the tree’s shape has been decided upon, the tree requires very little pruning to maintain its overall characteristics. There is very little doubt that the Cercis canadensis Hearts of Gold tree can brighten up even the drabbest of gardens. It looks amazing as a single specimen tree or in a group. Some gardeners opt to plant it near evergreens so that its distinctive gold colours are highlighted and showcased.