When is the Best Time to Plant New Trees?

Adding trees to your landscaping doesn’t come cheap. Mind you, thriving happy trees not only add beauty and charm to a space but enhance the property value. With that said, you want to protect the greenery–and your investment–by planting trees when they’re most likely to flourish.

When to Plant Trees

The details of planting will vary depending on the climate and type of tree, but more about that in a minute. You want to plant a tree when it has plenty of time to establish roots–meaning, before stressors like extreme temperatures or draught threaten the area. In most parts of the country, late summer and early fall make the most sense.

In cold climates (zones 1-3), ideal planting time is limited, so early spring (as the ground thaws) yields the best results. In warmer climates, fall works better–before the first frost–but ensure trees get plenty of water throughout winter so their roots can survive the summer heat.

Best Planting Time by Tree Type

  • Container Trees – If a tree has initially been grown in a pot (or burlap wrapping), it has roots already covered in soil and can withstand more stress. Still, you’ll want to plant them so they have at least two months to establish roots before extreme temperatures set in.
  • Trees with Bare Roots – Bare root trees have been dug up during dormancy and get shipped without soil covering the roots. Because of this exposure, they should be purchased and planted in the spring. Waiting to plant them leaves them vulnerable, so timing is essential.
  • Evergreens – Evergreen trees fare best when planted in early fall or late spring. The most important thing is to get them in the ground before heat can add unnecessary stress.
  • Deciduous Trees – These prefer to be planted in fall with plenty of water through cold weather. You’ll know they’re dormant because they will drop leaves.
  • Transplants – If you plan to transplant a tree, do so in warm ground (spring) before buds have formed. Transplants also do well when planted in the fall (before the ground freezes but after leaves have fallen). Young trees have a better chance than older ones, which stress more easily.
  • Conifers – With cone-bearing trees, cold weather wreaks havoc on their needles, so make sure to plant them long before winter (spring is ideal).

To learn more about how routine tree maintenance can help keep your trees happy and healthy, call Gordon Pro Tree Service at 770-282-1616.

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