When Can I Plant Trees and Shrubs?

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Just because summer flowers have faded doesn’t mean that planting season is over!

The fall is the best season for planting trees and shrubs.

By early November, trees should be dormant, the period in their development cycle when planting is recommended. To be precise, planting six weeks before the average first frost date is ideal. Soil may be warmer in autumn, but early March is also a good time to introduce new trees and plants; it’s important to do so before new growth appears. Trees and shrubs planted during these relatively temperate seasons have time to strengthen before the more extreme conditions of winter and summer arrive. Since tree and shrub selection is best in the fall and spring, conforming to this schedule is even more beneficial. As a general rule, however, it’s possible to plant trees and shrubs in soil that’s 40 degrees or warmer.

If the ground isn’t frozen, you can also transplant balled and burlapped trees and shrubs, as well as container plants, whenever you want. Balled and burlapped trees and shrubs are especially convenient. They can be planted any time of year as long as they were dug when they were dormant. Ensure that they receive enough water during dry spells and these plants will develop healthily.

If you’re interested in planting a tree, think sooner rather than later; it takes a year for one inch of trunk diameter to grow. But good things come to those who wait!


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