Redbuds are best viewed in context, mixed with other deciduous trees that aren't so showy but have more value as wood. Clip off a small blooming redbud branch and put it in a vase. It is stunningly beautiful, but in this form there is something otherworldly about it, something oriental. In the wild, though, there is nothing foreign about the redbud. To our land it belongs.
Cities have no shortage of redbuds; many are hardy hybrids from nursery stock. They are sublime, but to truly appreciate the splendor of the native redbud, to take in the same experience that our ancestors enjoyed, get out of town. You may not have to go far to see an explosion of rosy pink blooms. It is a generous, giving tree. Its time of color lasts for weeks, not days.
Don't miss the show.
This is adapted from an editorial originally published in The Oklahoman on March 31, 2000, and written by opinion editor J.E. McReynolds.