Fall Planting: Is it the Right Time to Plant Trees in Autumn?

September to November is an ideal time for planting trees as it allows roots to establish themselves before winter begins. However, it is strongly recommended that you do not continue planting until late in fall.

Fall Planting: Is it the Right Time to Plant Trees in Autumn?

September to November is the ideal time to plant trees as it allows the roots to settle in before the ground freezes and winter arrives. However, it is highly recommended that you do not continue planting trees until late in the fall, as this can have a detrimental effect on plant health. When adding trees and shrubs to your garden, planting in the fall has several advantages. It's an ideal time for you, as all the hard gardening work of spring and summer maintenance will come to an end, and besides, it's the best time for the tree. The combination of warm soil and cold air encourages root growth to help the tree or shrub get established before the ground freezes.

In the fall, trees and shrubs are sold in containers or with root balls, where the root and soil are wrapped in burlap (often called “flakes and burlap”). Planting in the fall is not without risks, and the chance of plant damage increases the later in the season you wait. Try to give plants at least six weeks of mild weather for roots to grow before freezing temperatures hit. Early October is a good deadline for planting trees. You should avoid planting too close to your house or a neighbor's property, as it could damage buildings and tree roots.

To ensure successful planting, remove some soil from around the trunk of the tree to create a doughnut-shaped ring of soil that will act as a container to hold water and channel it to the roots of the trees. Irrigate moderately once planted. As your trees and shrubs get established, water two or three times a week, adjusting them to the climate and soil conditions. Plants with fibrous, shallow roots are often best for fall planting because they recover faster than those with large, thick taproots. Many people assume that spring is the best time for planting trees and shrubs because they have all season to get established.

This reduces stress on plants and more energy can be spent on root production. For this reason, plants such as magnolia, tulip, oak and ginkgo are more suitable for spring planting. The key elements of successful fall planting are selecting healthy plants and properly planting and caring for them. You'll also want to consider how much sun, shade, and moisture the tree will receive at its new home. Give trees and shrubs enough space to grow, making sure to research their full size.

For beautiful flowers, consider a red flower bud or an ornamental cherry tree in northern regions, a crepe myrtle in the southeast, or a desert willow in the southwest. For many people, spring has become the default season when it comes to gardening work. But autumn can be just as good a time for planting trees and shrubs if you take into account all of these factors. Planting trees in autumn can be beneficial if done correctly; however, it is important to remember that there are risks associated with late-season planting that should be taken into consideration.