Three reasons why fall is a great time to plant trees:
- Trees planted in the fall perform better come spring, compared to those planted in the summer, because tree roots are still active over the winter. This winter root development of newly planted trees, prepares it for spring, allowing its roots to spread out and then help the tree become established faster when temperatures begin to warm again.
- If planting a large ‘ball and burlap’ tree, 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. If planting a smaller containerized tree (nursery pot), be careful about selecting a tree that has been drought stressed all summer or has been in a container for too long and is too root bound. See this handy cue card for more information about selecting a good quality tree from your local nursery. https://www.urbantree.org/pdf/treequalityonsheet.pdf
- Less watering is required in the fall because the soil retains more moisture than in the summer, due to lower temperature, shorter days, and the fact that plants are not transpiring as much water. For tips on watering and caring for a newly planted fall tree, check out our other articles on trees.