If you ask a hundred people the best time of year to plant a tree, you’re likely to come up with a single, predominant answer – spring. While it’s true that a large portion of young trees are planted during the spring and early summer months, regions that experience seasonal weather – such as here in the Pacific Northwest – can safely plant trees in other seasons, as well. If you weren’t able to get your new trees into the ground during the warmest months, here are four reasons not to wait until next spring:
- Additional growing season before summer stress. As opposed to planting in the spring – immediately before the drier, hotter months of summer provide extra stress on your tree – planting in the fall gives a tree an additional growing season before next summer. Think of this extra season as additional time to establish itself before the heat of summer.
- Optimal root growth. The cool, rainy months of fall are a perfect recipe for healthy root growth. As mentioned above, accessing this extra growing season before the more stressful months of summer can help ensure your trees have staying power to last through multiple seasons. This is particularly true of trees that have already established root balls in a container before planting versus trees that were dug up and transplanted.
- Dormancy means safety. Many people worry about a young tree’s ability to withstand winter conditions. In fact, trees become dormant – or hibernate, in a sense – in the winter. During this time, trees do not grow and require very little nutrients or energy. As long as the tree is established before the soil is frozen, trees planted in the fall should weather the winter just fine.
- Minimal work. While it’s important to provide adequate care and fertilization to any tree you plant, fall-planted trees require very little work through the winter months. Why? Since they are dormant over the winter, trees have minimal to no energy requirements during the coldest months. In the spring, you can resume your regular fertilization and care schedule.
Are you considering planting a tree or shrub this month? Early fall is one of the best times to plant before the more strenuous seasons ahead. If you’d like more information about tree planting, fertilization, pruning, or other tree services, contact Quality Tree Service today.