Flame Thrower® Redbud

Status: Out of Stock
Mature Height: 15-20 ft.
Mature Spread: 15 ft.
Proper Name: Cercis canadensis 'NC2016-2'

Product type: Ornamental Trees

Tags: Bloom Spring, Deer Resistant, Disease Resistant, Flower (Pink), Full Sun, Native (Cultivar), Ornamental Leaves, Part Shade, Part Sun


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Introduced in 2020, this tree is spectacular! A brand new introduction from the JC Raulston Arboretum a NC State University, this is your opportunity to add a unique and rare tree to your personal garden or yard. A cross between the burgundy colored and golden redbuds, the Flame Thrower® displays up to five colors (burgundy, red, orange, yellow, lime) of foliage on each branch. The size of the Flamethrower is similar to that of the rising sun, keeping it small, topping out at 15 to 20 feet high and 15 feet wide. Like most other redbuds, it is a low maintenance tree and can tolerate full sun with minimal leaf scorch, but does best in morning or afternoon sun.

This is a tree that is sure to sell out, so make sure you get your hands on one while our supplies last.

The Flame Thrower Redbud is similar to the rising sun, but larger in stature meaning that it is more useful as a single specimen in a garden bed or yard and that the canopy or structures will play more of a role in selecting a planting location. With it's multitude of bright yellows, reds, and oranges, the flame thrower pairs well with the solid deep greens of hostas, perennials, boxwood, grasses and ferns when in a garden bed, or as a single tree with natural dark brown mulch and elements of hardscaping. Given that it is even more audacious than the Rising Sun, we recommend pairing with companion plants that bring in greens and other neutral colors, which frame the flame thrower in the landscape. The Flame Thrower is a native cultivar, and pairs well with other native perennials when the goal is a native North American garden. 

Proper fertilization is also important. The more new growth on the tree the more color you will see - you can find more information about how to plant and fertilize on the tab labeled "Care" below.

Bloom Color:Purple/Pink
Bloom Period:Early spring
Fall Color:Yellow, red, and orange with shades of green and orange
Foliage Color:New growth emerges red and chartruse and darkens with age. Up to five colors on one branch
Genus & Species:Cercis canadensis 'NC2016-2'
Growth Rate:Moderate
Mature Height:15-20 ft.
Mature Spread:15 ft.
Soil Type:Adaptable to many soil types, including wet soil, but prefers moist, but well draining soil that is rich in organic matter
Sun Exposure:Full sun, partial sun, partial shade
Zone:5 to 9

General care for any tree or shrub is easy, please educate yourself and follow these simple rules.

Caring for Flame Thrower® Redbud

Soil quality and how to plant the Flame Thrower Redbud

The Flame Thrower, like most redbud trees prefers consistently moist soil that is rich in organic matter, but can do well in a wide range of soils. Soil compaction will restrict growth and should be addressed by digging as large a hole as possible. We recommend a minimum of 3x3 ft. and digging at least 18 inches deep to break up the soil. Remove the grass, but retain as much of the original soil from the grass clumps as possible. A higher quality soil can be supplemented, but use no more than a 30% new to 70% original soil ratio. Too much new soil can cause water to pool in the hole, which will drown and kill the plant. With redbuds, mulching is extremely important (especially in the early years) as it suppresses grass and weeds, retains moisture, improves soil quality and reduces the chances of compaction from foot or mower traffic. For more specific details on how to plant see our guide.

When to fertilize the Flame Thrower Redbud

The Flame Thrower depends on new growth for it to maintain it's spectacular appearance, so fertilizer is recommended for optimal growth. A soil test is recommend for accurate fertilization, but a general NPK + micronutrients slow release fertilizer will cover the basis if a test is not performed. We recommend a 10-11 month slow release fertilizer be applied each year as a top dress in the mulch around the growing area. Apply this fertilizer prior to spring, so that the tree has access to nutrients in the spring and fall growing periods.

How and when to prune the Flame Thrower Redbud

Pruning can be a challenge for new gardeners, so unless you are experienced, we recommend limiting pruning to a few branches each season. Pruning can be done during the winter months, but will rob you of the newest blooms. Pruning can also be done in late spring, after the blooms fade. Try to focus on branches that cross into the tree or create a steep V as these can create rubs, restrain growth on the central leader, and lead to breakage. Prune branches that are lower to the the ground to allow for space under the tree for mowing and and a more tree-like appearance. Most redbuds will grow shoots around the base of the tree, trim these back as low to the ground as possible each season. I've seen shoots grow almost to the size of a small tree within a few months, so get them as early as you can. When pruning take care to prune branches when they are as small as possible and take no more than 1/3 of the branches from a tree in one season.

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews
Looking forward to seeing more growth!

Had the tree for about 5 weeks so far, red leaves are coming through and growing happily. Shipping was fast, and packaged very well. Item as described with solid roots and 4-5 branches.

Great service and excited for full bloom!

Arrived in perfect condition! It’s been in the ground for 3 weeks and it is starting to come out of dormancy! We are so excited to see the life it brings to our landscape!

Great service

Thank you to Travis for being so responsive. The tree arrived as expected, no damage. I am excited to watch it grow and blossom!

Lovely Cant wait til treee is full

Highly rec. I got the flamethrower and rising sun. both shippped dormant. 4-5ft Arrived safely and quickly. Althougn pricey both are healthy Flamethrower picture at 4 weeks since recieved. Lots of time trees I get online come half dead not really dormant and I end up having to save the tree. Very happy with purchase wish I had brought other trees b4 they went out of stock. Will be back for more.


I purchased the Flamethrower and Rising Sun redbud trees and they are doing great. I planted them 8 days ago and the Rising Sun is blooming already! Very well packaged and trees came in great condition. Will definitely be a returning customer.