Why Fall Is the Right Time to Plant a Tree

why planting a tree in the fall is great timing

There is a crispness in the air and the leaves will begin changing soon. This transition to fall marks a great opportunity to add to your landscape.
Since spring marks the start of “planting season”, many people overlook the fact that fall is actually a more ideal time for planting trees.

Why Is Fall a Better Time to Plant Trees?

Don’t panic… if you planted a tree in the spring it doesn’t mean that it won’t make it through. Spring is a perfectly fine time to plant a tree; there are just some challenges with the season. Along with spring being rather wet, planting a tree at this time will mean that you are subjecting the new plant to the heat stress of summer, making this crucial growth time more challenging. Temperatures are cooler in the fall, but the soil temperatures tend to stay warmer, which is a good thing for the roots of a newly planted tree. Planting a tree in the fall means less stress on the tree, increasing the chance of survival.

Can All Trees Be Planted in the Fall?

The key to planting in the fall lies in the type of tree you want to plant. There are some species of trees that may not do as well when planted in the fall, such as magnolia, cherries, red maples and many oak species. You can often purchase trees at a good discount in the fall, so it may be worth the gamble. Personally, I have planted trees in early December and they have done just fine.

What Is the Fall Planting Process?

If you do plant a tree in the fall, it is a good idea to add about 3 inches of composted mulch around the base of the tree, making sure not to pile the mulch up on the bark at the base of the tree. Many people ask if they should wrap their tree after it is planted. The general answer is no, unless you live in an area that is prone to rabbit or vole activity during the winter and you have a good deal of snow each winter. If this is the case, then it could be a good idea to wrap the tree after it has been planted in the fall to protect the trunk. If you do wrap your tree, make sure to remove the wrap in the spring right away. The presence of that wrap can increase disease development and insect activity.

If you have been waiting to plant a tree, then this fall is a great time to do so. You can find some great deals at nurseries and garden centers right now. Just be sure you purchase a tree that will grow well in your area and choose a site that will fit the eventual size and shape of the tree.

In addition to planting trees, get your lawn and landscape ready for the winter by core aerating and overseeding, winterizing your sprinkler system, or taking advantage of one of our other services. Find your closest Spring-Green today!