While you might think of spring as the optimum time for planting and gardening, when it comes to trees, fall is actually a great time to plant. Some of the reasons why include:
1. Lack of leaves. Without leaves to support, trees and shrubs are able to grow stronger roots.
2. Better soil. Heat takes its toll on soil which is why the cooler temperatures and rainy days of fall are more favorable for planting trees.
3. More predictable growing conditions. Early spring weather conditions can fluctuate wildly. It can be 70 degrees one day, below freezing temperatures and snow, the next day.
When you plant a tree in the fall, it is well established by the time spring comes along, making it hardier and more able to deal with the fluctuations in weather conditions that come as winter transitions to spring. Now that you know when to plant your tree, it’s time to learn how to plant one.
As they say with all plants, location is key. Think of how big your tree will become and plan (and plant!) accordingly. Also, choose a spot where your tree will have sufficient light to thrive. After you decide where to plant your tree, dig a large (approximately double the size of your tree’s container) hole. Make sure to mix together 50% existing soil with 50% of new garden soil to give your sapling a healthy start. Next, clean up the root ball to make sure it is free of debris, carefully place it in the hole and add water. Finally, be sure to top off the area with mulch which will act as a barrier to protect your newly planted tree.
As for what kind of tree to plant, the choices are endless. While ornamentals and fruit trees have become popular, there is nothing more beautiful than the classic choices — maples, sycamores and oaks!
Planting a tree makes sense in so many ways. It helps fight global warming, increases the value of your home (most estimate it increases home value by as much as 15%!) the birds will love you and a tree adds incredible beauty to your outdoor space. Go ahead — plant a tree today!