Best Time to Plant a Tree
Updated: Aug 16, 2022
Many people plant trees in spring, and understandably so. As the days lengthen and the weather begins to get warmer, many people are excited to refresh their gardens and yards during spring.
But, is spring really the best time to plant trees? Fall (late August, September, and October) is often considered the best time of the year to plant trees, but it all depends on your region and the type of tree you want to plant. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere with cool, wet springs, you can plant trees in spring or fall. For people who live in warmer climates, the best time to plant trees is mid to late fall. Deciduous trees like maple and birch should be planted in fall and well-watered through winter; while conifers are excellent candidates for spring planting because they are susceptible to cold weather. You can plant evergreens in early fall or late spring, as long as the weather isn’t hot. For transplants, you’ll have to wait until the spring when the ground starts to warm up or in fall after leaves have fallen.
Why Fall Is the Best Time to Plant Trees
Planting in fall gives trees a chance to develop stronger roots they need to collect water and nutrients before the stress of summer. The fall rain and cooler temperatures allow trees to establish roots before they are exposed to stressors like extreme heat and drought.
Many people shy away from planting trees in the fall because they believe that young trees may not be able to withstand the stressors that come with winter. However, trees go dormant when the cold season sets in, thereby slowing down the tree’s growth and metabolism.
What Are the Best Trees to Plant in Spring?
Trees with fleshy roots such as oaks, dogwoods, tuliptrees, and magnolias do best if you plant them in spring. Broadleaf evergreens such as hollies, boxwood, and mountain laurel are also excellent candidates for spring planting. However, trees planted in spring require a lot of water, so you must keep them well watered.
Many landscaping professionals recommend fall as the best time to plant trees. The cool weather allows trees to develop new roots without having to feed the leaves. If you’re not sure about the best time to plant trees in your region, it’s best to consult with a professional arborist in your area.
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