This is my first post so I'm not sure this is the proper place for this question but here goes. We live in southern New York and have an Eastern Redbud that for the first time this year (we have had it for 7 years) grew black "pea-pod" looking type things that have remained even after the leaves fell. Anyone know what these are? Very unattractive!
The Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis, is a member of the legume family. One of this botanical families characteristics is that it's root system fixes its own nitrogen and it bears is seeds in pods. Many ornamentals take a few years before they reach reproductive maturity. As you have described, this species is in the pea family. Purdue Forestry - 1975.
To add to Twoshot, whenever a plant gets severely stressed it tries to reproduce itself by putting out a lot of seed. I'd do some fertilization if possible. I don't know about you guys in NY, but we had a pretty severe drought last summer and it's going to affect a lot of plant material. There is a product call "florel" that can help with the reduction of seed production.