Pittsburgh Redbud Project

The Redbuds Are Coming – thanks to the Pittsburgh Redbud Project!

Pittsburgh Redbud Project logo

The Pittsburgh Redbud Project is an exciting new initiative of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy funded by the Colcom Foundation to plant 1,200 flowering redbud and other native trees on trails, hillsides and open spaces in downtown Pittsburgh in view of the city’s riverfronts.

Imagine standing on Mt. Washington in late March each year – and seeing a sea of bright pink, purple and green as part of the spectacular view of downtown Pittsburgh.

The Inspiration to Plant Redbuds
Imagine celebrating spring annually in Pittsburgh with the vibrant purple and pink colors of native redbud trees lining the city’s trails, promenades, hillsides and open public spaces along the three rivers in downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Redbud Project will advance this effort, having begun in the spring of 2016 with the planting of more than 500 trees along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers. The idea was developed by Frank Dawson, a Pittsburgh-based landscape architect. Frank observed that, “In the spring, when the landscape is still varying hues of brown and grey, the last vestiges of winter, you sporadically come upon the delicate burst of pink of the redbud tree, dappling the tree line.” The main goal of the Pittsburgh Redbud Project is to introduce bursts of spring color to downtown Pittsburgh’s three rivers through the planting of hundreds of native redbud trees.

Why Redbuds
Simply put: Redbuds are beautiful, flowering trees and are among the first trees to bloom each spring! Flowering occurs before the trees' leaves form. Flowers are usually pink, but can have either white or purple foliage. Some wildlife feed on redbud seeds and bees use the tree’s flowers for honey production. We will also plant evergreen trees along with the redbuds to provide tree diversity and encourage tree health.

Partners and Funders
Every good project starts with great collaboration. Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is the managing partner for the Pittsburgh Redbud Project with Riverlife and the City of Pittsburgh as collaborating partners. This project is funded by the Colcom Foundation in recognition of the foundation’s 20th anniversary.

Volunteer to plant redbud and other trees.

Did you receive free redbud tree or seeds? View planting instruction here.