When trees are planted at the correct moment, they are more likely to flourish. Here are the best times to plant to maximize the return on your landscaping investment.
In addition to being expensive, trees add a significant amount of value to your home. According to some estimates, a mature tree increases the value of your property by close to $10,000.
Therefore, it’s crucial to plant trees when they have the best chance of surviving.
It’s not as easy to determine the ideal time to plant trees as you may imagine. The primary concept is to arrange the planting so that it will probably be followed by a period of temperate weather, which will give the tree time to establish itself. Survival odds are favorable if the transplant is done correctly and the weather cooperates. But how flawlessly does everything need to operate? There’s usually some leeway, but it depends on the kind of tree you’re planting, for example. Let’s examine those elements in more detail.
Check Out Best Time to Plant by Tree Type
While a healthy evergreen never loses all of its leaf, deciduous trees do so as part of their normal seasonal cycle. This occurs in the autumn. Nevertheless, not every deciduous tree sheds its leaves at the same time each fall. For example, oak trees (Quercus spp.) maintain their leaves longer into autumn than maple trees (Acer spp.).
Falling deciduous tree leaves are a sign that they are beginning to go dormant in the autumn. They remain in that condition throughout the winter, and the springtime unfolding of buds is the first sign that they are emerging from dormancy. In general, between these two points in time, when the trees are dormant, is the best time to plant deciduous trees (aside from when the ground is frozen).
Even though they don’t grow as swiftly in the winter as they do in other seasons, evergreen trees don’t go into the same kind of hibernation that deciduous trees do. They don’t even provide blatant signals that tell you it’s okay to place them. However, evergreens are typically more resilient than deciduous trees. You have a bigger window of opportunity to plant them because of this toughness. They can be planted later in the spring and sooner in the fall than deciduous trees.
When to Plant Trees in Cold Climates
In zones 1 to 3 (colder temperatures), the window of opportunity for planting trees is somewhat small. There are only a few months left to plant before the ground freezes once more, and you can’t dig until the ground has warmed.
Early spring, simply as the ground thaws, is the quality time plant. Fall can be too overdue, because bushes might not be capable of continue to exist the freezing temperatures that could harm roots and prevent moisture from attaining the tree.
Planting Trees During Warm Climates
In the deep South — zones 9 and 10 — fall is the ideal season to plant.
- Trees go into dormancy and need less food through their young roots after the first frosts.
- Instead of promoting canopy growth, tree carbohydrates may be used to promote root growth.
- Trees can create root systems that will endure scorching summers thanks to mild winters, which give them enough time to flourish.
During dry winters, be cautious to maintain young trees well-watered.
Types of Trees and When to Plant Them
Bare root trees: These trees are pulled out of the ground while they are dormant, preserved in a moist environment, and then transported without any soil. Planting these trees in the spring will prevent winter damage because their roots won’t be covered in snow. More importantly, plant these trees as soon as you receive them. The key is to place your order properly so that they will arrive at the time when they have the best chance of surviving.
Container trees: These trees’ roots are covered in dirt and have been grown in pots or burlap sacks. Timing is less crucial because they are less fragile than bare root trees. Plant whenever your tree will have a few months to grow roots before being stressed by extremely hot or extremely cold circumstances.
Deciduous trees: Deciduous trees make the choice simple because they drop their leaves to signal when they are about to enter dormancy. Plant them in the fall and continue to water them throughout the winter.
Evergreens: Plant this any period that doesn’t experience high heat, like as early fall or late spring.
Conifers: These cone-bearing trees are particularly vulnerable to cold weather because, despite the tree’s dormancy, their needles lose moisture all winter. Plant in the spring if you live in an area where frozen soil keeps water from reaching conifer roots.
Transplants: Trees should be transplanted either in the spring, after the ground has warmed up, and before the tree begins to form buds, or in the fall, after the leaves have fallen and the ground hasn’t frozen. Trees that are younger will adapt to the transplanting process better than mature trees, which dislike the shock.
What Are Bare-Root Plants?
The term “bare-root” refers to plants that have been dug out when dormant and stored without any soil surrounding their roots. This includes perennials, shrubs, and trees. The nursery packages them in plastic, places them in boxes, and mails them to the receiver when clients order them online.
Because the nursery has invested fewer resources and time in generating bare-root plants, they are more affordable than container-grown plants and plants that have been balled and bur lapped. However, the buyer foots a number of the bill for these savings. A bare-root plant needs special attention when it first arrives, so be more careful. When you purchase a tree that has been grown in a pot, you are getting a plant with a healthy root system.
You’ll be putting the entire root ball—dirt and all—into the earth when you plant it. This avoids disturbing the roots. The thick plastic has also used to shield the roots of a tree that has been planted in a container. Thus, despite the amount of movement it has experienced in the nursery, it has been protected from harm. The roots of a bare-root tree, on the other hand, must be assumed to have been handled carefully by nursery personnel.
Bare-root tree roots still need to become established in the soil, even if they have been handled carefully. In this sense, specimens grown in containers and those that have been balled and burlapped are ahead. Therefore, bare-root plants are more susceptible.
This susceptibility influences when to plant bare-root trees (vs. container-grown or balled-and-burlapped trees).
Planting Bare-Root Trees
Less room for error exists with bare-root trees. They only need one failure to die. Early spring would undoubtedly be a better time to plant because an early winter in the North would almost certainly kill a bare-root tree that was planted too late in the fall. Simply apply the opposite logic in the South: Choose a fall planting because an early summer there would almost certainly kill a bare-root tree that was planted too late in the spring.
Planting Container-Grown and Balled-and-Burlapped Trees
In contrast, there is more room for error with plants that are grown in containers or wrapped in balls and burlap. Even though spring plantings are still more likely to succeed than fall plantings, or vice versa, if you follow the fundamental transplanting guidelines, there’s a good chance the tree will survive transplanting in either season.