Native to Woodland
Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) is a deciduous tree or large shrub that is native to all of Woodland, all of Davis, and all of Yolo County except for the part east of there and some small rain shadows just east of the Yolo County foothills. It usually grows 10 to 20 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. It prefers partial or full shade, though it can tolerate full sun by going partially dormant in the hottest part of summer (its leaves will turn somewhat brown). It has low water needs but can tolerate being watered, and it is not picky about drainage. The beautiful magenta flowers bloom early in the spring, typically before the heart-shaped, initially copper-colored leaves appear. The coppery March foliage soon changes to blue-green, and by summer, clusters of flat red or brown seed pods—which are also edible—appear amongst the leaves. Toward late fall the leaves gradually drop, exposing the remaining seed pods, which often hang on until spring.
Different parts of the tree are used by indigenous Californians: The young branches are woven into baskets, the leaves are burned for incense, and the young seed pods are roasted and eaten. The flowers are eaten as well.
Western Redbud has "perfect" flowers (containing both male and female parts in the same flower). It is ranked 5 out of 10 on the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale, indicating a mild to moderate tendency to cause hay fever. It is planted at Wayne Cline Park, in the Legacy Tree Grove at Woodland Off-Leash Dog Park, and at Woodside Park. It is also planted as a street tree on North East Street and on Pendegast Street.
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a slow-growing, short-lived, deciduous tree from eastern North America. It usually grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 25 to 35 feet wide. In 20 years, it might grow to 25 feet tall. It can tolerate considerable shade. It has higher water needs than Western Redbud; however, it does not grow in wetlands. Eastern Redbud has "perfect" flowers (containing both male and female parts in the same flower). It is ranked 5 out of 10 on the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale, indicating a mild to moderate tendency to cause hay fever. It is planted at Jack Slaven Park, Pioneer Park, Ralph Harris Park, and William Crawford, Sr., Park. It is also planted as a street tree on 1st Street, 3rd Street, 4th Street, Alice Street, Bartlett Avenue, Beamer Street, Clanton Way, East Keystone Avenue, Elm Street, Highway 16, Pendegast Street, and Pioneer Avenue.