When is the best time to plant a tree?
Trees are the perfect way to add some curb appeal to your home. In addition to that, they can add value to your property. However, they are a big-ticket item, and you want to make sure they are planted at the right time. If you don’t plant the trees at the best time, they could die. You will be left with an unsightly problem in your yard. Here are some things that you will want to know before adding trees to your outdoor space.
Know Your Zone
The USDA divides North America into 11 separate planting zones. These zones maps can show where plants will adapt to the local environment. If you want your tree to survive and grow, then it must be able to tolerate conditions throughout the year.
The Best Time to Plant Trees
Trees need to have enough time to establish their roots before exposed to stressors, such as low temperature, high heat, and a lack of water. For many people, the best time to plant is in the late summer and early fall, especially for those who are in planting zones 4 to 8. During the winter, the tree roots will still be active, and it can acclimate itself to the soil.
When spring comes around, the tree will bud with flowers and leaves. However, not all trees act in a similar manner. Trees are different, and they may behave differently in certain climates. If you want to have the best start for your tree, you need to consider the species, environment, and other factors before planting it in your yard.
Cold Climate Planting
In colder climates, the planting season can be relatively short. You will not be able to dig until the ground is warmed up. At that time, you only have a few months to plant before the ground freezes again.
When the ground thaws in early spring, it is the best time to plant your trees. In most cases, fall can be too late as the tree will not survive the freezing temperatures. The cold weather can cause damage to the roots and prevent moisture from reaching the tree.
Planting in Warmer Climates
In the south, fall is typically the best time to plant. After the first frost, the tree will become dormant, and it requires less food to the roots. During this time, tree carbohydrates will go towards root growth. These mild winters will give your tree enough time to establish a root system that can handle hot summers. If you have a dry winter, you will want to keep the tree watered throughout the season.
Planting Certain Tree Species
Depending on your species of tree, you might have to make an exception to the planting schedule. Some trees have special needs that you should consider before planting them. These trees include:
Deciduous trees: They will tell you when they are going dormant by dropping their leaves. You will want to plant them in the fall. They need to be watered throughout the winter.
Evergreens: You can plant evergreens in the early fall or late spring. They will thrive as long as you don’t plant them in any extreme heat.
Conifers: These cone-bearing trees do not like the cold weather, and they tend to lose moisture in their needles. If you live in a cold climate and water cannot get to the root, then you should think about planting them in the springtime.
Bare root trees: These types of trees are removed from the soil when they are dormant. They are stored in either moist soil or none at all. These roots will be naked, and you will want to plant them in the spring. If you plant in the winter, then the roots are susceptible to winter injuries. Since you have to order these trees, you want to do it at the right time to avoid any shock to the tree. You also want to plant them as soon as they arrive on your property for the best chances of survival.
Container trees: These trees have grown in burlap wrapping or pots. Most of their roots are covered in soil. They are not as fragile as a bare root tree. You will not have to worry about planting time when they arrive at your home. These trees can be planted during the months without extreme heat or cold to limit any stress to the plant.
Transplants: If you are transplanting a tree, you will want to plant in the spring after the ground has warmed up. It is best to get it into the ground before the tree starts to bud. In the fall, you can plant these trees after the leaves have fallen. Younger trees can handle the transplant process better than mature trees.
Avoid Summer and Winter Planting
In any case, you want to avoid summer and winter planting. High heat is the enemy for newly planted trees. In the summer, the weather is too hot for new trees, and it causes the plants to lose moisture at a higher rate than other times of the year.
During the winter, the weather will restrict your opportunities to plant into the frozen ground. However, if you have dug out the ground before it freezes, then you could plant in the winter. However, it is still not a good idea to plant trees in the winter. While there is snow on the ground, moisture cannot reach the roots. Your trees will not get the right nutrients and water to keep it alive during the colder months. If you continue on a spring or fall schedule, your trees will be able to handle the climate and start growing roots to establish themselves into your soil.
Planting a tree can be very complicated, and you will want a professional company to help you determine the best time to plant in your area. Charlestown Landscaping has a staff of professionals to help you choose the right trees for your area. We can help you keep it healthy and thriving.
If you would like to know more about our services, make sure to fill out the form to set up a consultation with us.