Pittsburgh Redbuds 7 Years On

A redbud branch in full bloom, Frick Park, 12 April 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

13 April 2023

Hot weather this week is speeding up spring and Pittsburgh’s redbuds are bursting into bloom. Yesterday at Frick Park I found most buds ready to burst with a few branches in full bloom.

Redbuds seem to be everywhere now but this wasn’t always the case.

Seven years ago the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy launched Pittsburgh’s Redbud Project to beautify Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. Envisioned by landscape architect Frank Dawson, the goal was to make Pittsburgh as beautiful with native redbud trees as D.C. is during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

They originally planned for 1,200 trees but by now they’ve planted three times that many along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio riverfronts. The project also inspired redbud plantings in Pittsburgh’s parks and neighborhoods by Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Tree Pittsburgh.

Seven years ago today I wrote about the Pittsburgh Redbud Project as I was about to participate in the launch event on 19 April 2016. We gathered for tree planting on the North Shore near the Mister Rogers statue and learned why our assignment — digging holes! — was so important for a tree this size.

Pittsburgh Redbud Project: Volunteers watch how it’s done, Pittsburgh’s North Shore, 19 April 2016 (photo by Kate St. John)

The trees have now been in place for seven years and they are beautiful. This stand near the Frick Environmental Education Center drew attention yesterday even though they were still in bud.

Redbuds drawing attention at Frick Park, 12 April 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

With temperatures in the low 80s this weekend will be the perfect time to see redbuds at their best.

Check out the Visit Pittsburgh website — Insider’s Guide: Pittsburgh Redbuds — for tips on where to go and photos of what you’ll see.

It’s definitely time to get outdoors!

(photos by Kate St. John, Pittsburgh Redbud Project logo from Western PA Conservancy)

5 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Redbuds 7 Years On

  1. I rode from Homestead to Downtown on the GAP trail this morning and the redbuds were numerous and spectacular! I’ve noticed them along Commercial Street as well and I suspect those trees weren’t intentionally planted, but are “wild”, considering where they are located.

  2. We biked into town today and around the point…redbuds are gorgeous, hot pink and frothy. Such a welcome sight after grey Pburgh winter!

  3. Kate – thank you for the redbud reminder. I biked from Milvalle to the Science Center today. The redbuds were spectacular!

  4. Kate!
    Thanks so much for your support and the reminder. It’s been an awesome year for their display of color.

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