Thread: when to plant trees

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  1. #1

    when to plant trees

    i'm interested in planting some shade trees in our yard and always thought that you plant trees in the spring, but the website indicates that you can order now for fall shipping. is that just for certain trees? or can you plant trees... like shad trees in the fall? i live in pa

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: when to plant trees

    Fall is a good time to plant. I prefer to plant in the fall personally. Some trees tend to prefer transplanting in the spring. Tulip poplar comes to mind but really can be planted anytime.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Central Oklahoma (Norman) and north Tx (Gainesville)

    RE: when to plant trees

    I have always had the best luck in the fall and I know I have read that typically the worst time to plant is in the heat of the summer. Then again, I'm no expert.

  4. #4

    RE: when to plant trees

    When to Plant Trees

    The climate of your area is a major factor when determining the appropriate planting time. Newly planted trees do best when exposed to moderate temperature and rainfall; they need time to root and acclimatize before the weather extremes of summer or winter. Therefore, Spring and early Fall are generally the best planting seasons (depending on your location). In the southern United States, which do not experience an intense winter, planting can take place during the winter months.

    If you live up north spring is the best time to plant before the trees in your area begin to bud and leaf open. If you live in the south you can easily plant spring or fall. If you plant in fall you need to do it as soon as the tree leafs in your area all fall off and well before the ground freezes (this is mainly for northern climates) so that new water absorbing roots can grow before the cold of the winter.

  5. #5

    RE: when to plant trees

    thanks treeman!! ...if i could ask one more question... if i do plant the trees in the fall do i need to do anything special to them to protect them from snow? i live in pa and and we get a little snow thru winter but usually a storm bringin a couple feet in the spring. do i need to build anything over them so they don't get blown over or wrap them or anything?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Eastern PA

    RE: when to plant trees

    Snow makes a great mulch, and then it melts and waters the trees.

    Deciduous trees don't generally have a problem with snow - sometimes ice can weigh the branches down; evergreen trees collect more snow and ice, and tend to have a tougher time of it. The worst thing to do is knock off a frozen coating - if you're not careful, the branches will break with the ice.

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC

  7. #7

    RE: when to plant trees

    Some species of plants do not adapt well to fall planting because they are unusually susceptible to winter damage. Magnolia, dogwood, tuliptree, sweet gum, red maple, birch, hawthorn, poplars, cherries, plum and many of the oaks are among the plants that are best saved for spring planting.

    Cold winter winds and sunshine cause plants to lose water from their branches, and the roots must be able to replace that water if plants are to survive. Evergreens, particularly broad-leaved evergreens, are more susceptible to winter desiccation because their leaves have more surface from which to lose water than narrow-leaved evergreens and bare trees.

    The snow should be harmless if the tree is dormant and if the temp. doesn’t get to cold. I don't think the wind would be a problem if it is a deciduous tree. If you plant it now during fall, be sure to keep it watered well until the ground becomes frozen so it can develop small water absorbing roots before the cold of winter hits. Even after deciduous plants have lost their leaves keep watering them until the ground freezes. Now would be the time for planting in your area for fall planting. You can wrap the trunks of thin-barked, young trees in late November to prevent frost cracks, sunscald, and animal damage, but be sure to remove the wrap in March. You can dig the grass up in a circle about 2 or 3 feet wide and put 2-3 inches of mulch around the tree, it can help the roots of the seedling do better through the cold of the winter by keeping the roots insulated better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Eastern PA

    RE: when to plant trees

    Speaking of desiccation, know of any good anti-desiccants? I have a number of broad-leaved evergreens and I'd like to help them out this year.

    As for putting down mulch, sometimes it's best to put it down after the ground freezes to prevent mice and chipmunks from nesting in it. I've lost a few trees - some a few years old - after chipmunks nibbled off the roots.

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC

  9. #9

    RE: when to plant trees

    There are a variety of preventative measures. The most important is water, but the timing of this is crucial. If a plant is watered heavily in the late summer the plant is likely to send out new growth and will not be ready to harden off for the winter. A plant that does not harden off is susceptible to a variety of problems. Water the plant sparingly in the fall before the deciduous tree leaves fall. After the deciduous leaves have fallen begin heavy watering once a week until the ground freezes. Until the ground thaws again there is not much that can be done. Another way to prevent desiccation is to place evergreen trees out of sunny windy areas.

    There is a product called Transfilm:

    Dupont Frost Blanket:

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