Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ode to the Redbud Tree

One of my favorite trees is the Redbud tree. We had many in our yard in Glendale, MO, a suburb of St. Louis, MO, where I grew up.  It was one of my mother's favorite trees as well.  When we moved to the High Desert in Southern CA I got several from the forest service and planted them on our ranch.  They have started blooming once again and the butterflies and the bees are are having the time of their lives enjoying the tasty nectar.  Even the humming birds love them!  This is a photo I took of one of our Redbud trees yesterday afternoon while out enjoying all of our fruit trees beginning to bloom.

Butterfly in the Redbud Tree
The Redbud is a small tree which grows in the forest, on the borders of fields, on hillsides or in valleys...and now on our ranch in the High Desert of Southern CA!  The leaves are alternate and heart shaped, three to five inches long, turning to a bright clear yellow in the autumn.  The Redbuds bright magenta, pea shaped flowers grow in clusters along the twigs and small branches, and usually appear before the leaves in early spring.

Redbud Tree in full bloom with heat shaped leaves beginning to unfold

A Bit of Oklahoma History

Maimee Lee Robinson Browne, my husband John's grandmother, was instrumental in getting the Redbud Tree to be the official tree of the state of Oklahoma in 1937.  Redbud in Poetry as expressed in verse collected by Maimee Lee Robinson Browne is a beautiful book of poetry that was published in 1964, honoring the Redbud Tree and acknowledging her for all the work she did to get this accomplished.  She was the leader of a state-wide campaign to plant the Redbud tree.  The beautification program took hold all over the state. There are over thirty thousand Redbud trees in Sulphur, OK.  They must be a sight to behold when they are all in bloom in the spring.  That is a lot of Redbuds compared to the seven on our ranch!

"Whereas in the beginning of this great commonwealth, when the sturdy and hardy pioneers thereof trekked across its rolling hills and plains, one of the first sights to greet them spread out in glorious panorama, was the Redbud tree-a tree, that as it arose in the spring from verdant fields, was emblematic of the eternal renewal of all life; a tree that in its beauty renewed the worn spirit and gave hope to the tired heart of a people seeking homes in a new land, and...." a partial quote from the Senate Joint Resolution Number 5 declaring the Redbud the official tree of the state of Oklahoma on March 30, 1937.

Bees enjoying the nectar from the Redbud blossoms

Beauty in Our Forests

Deep in the forests in spring
When the redbird makes her first call
She sees only the green of the cedar
and the Redbud through brown leaves of fall.

Brilliant buds tempt travelers to gather
Small sprays to take on their way,
Denuding the forests of slender
and wasting God's glory each day.

To protect this miracle of springtime
When drab colors become radiant hue,
Help God keep beauty in our forests
For birds and mankind to view.


Redbud Tree in Full Cycle

 This Redbud tree still has its seed pods on from last fall and is in full bloom with its flowers and the beginnings of the heart shaped leaves unfolding.

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