Five reasons why fall is the time to plant trees: 

  1. Tree roots are active in the winter time. Since trees are not producing leaves, that energy is directed to the roots. Tree roots continue to be active even as temperatures go into the mid 30s. This winter root development prepares the tree for spring, allowing it to become anchored. That helps the tree overcome our drying spring winds.
  2. Fall offers the best choice for getting the tree species you want. This is when local tree nurseries dig up their trees from the fields and get them ready for sale.
  3. Less watering is required in the fall because the soil retains more moisture than in the summer.
  4. Holes are easy to dig since the ground is not yet frozen.
  5. Trees planted in the fall perform better come spring, compared to those planted in the summer.

Newly planted trees do, however, need water. Do a thorough watering at planting. Water again about 3 days after the first planting. Then water once a week for the next four weeks. Continue watering once a month for the rest of the winter. Every time you water, make sure it is a deep soak. That means watering to a depth of 24 inches. See Time to winterzie for instructions on how to measure watering depth.

Be sure to add mulch around your new trees. We recommend using a wood chip mulch installed to a depth of 3 inches around the tree. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk of the tree, too.

Take advantage of our TREEBATES! The Water Authority offers money back on the purchase of new trees and for the care of existing trees such as professional pruning or mulch. Learn more here.