Not only is fall the best time to plant shade trees and flowering trees, fall also gives you a different perspective of your landscape. Fall leaf color can help you choose shade trees and flowering trees that will not only give you beauty in the spring and summer, but will continue to beautify your landscape once the weather cools down. Fall will also help you determine how much leaf raking different tree types will require so you can choose and plant shade trees and flowering trees that not only beautify your landscape, but also fit your lifestyle.
Plant balled and burlapped or container grown trees in late September through the end of October. When your local nursery receives their new fall shipment of trees is the best time to plant trees in your area. Shade trees and flowering trees will be entering their dormant stage by late fall and completely dormant by early winter. Planting trees during the dormant stage is best for the tree and increases it’s survival rate.
Look for healthy trees to plant. Trees with a straight, central trunk and smooth bark with no obvious injuries. Shade trees or flowering trees should not be loose in their containers, and always pick the tree up by the container, not by the tree trunk, which can cause root injury.
When you have selected your shade trees or flowering trees for fall planting, consider the intended planting location. Know how big your tree will be when it’s mature and make sure there is enough space for it. Also consider the amount of sunshine the location receives and soil structure. If the leaves have already fell from the surrounding trees, of course the location will be sunny now, but how much sunlight will it receive next July? Trees are like any other growing plant, they like well drained soil and room to spread their roots. A large shade tree planted near your house may sound good now, but how about 15 years from now when the ever-expanding tree roots begin to break through sidewalks, driveways and possibly the home’s foundation? Large shade trees are great for planting around a properties perimeter or to anchor a corner of your landscape, but consider the mature tree height and width before planting close to your house.
Dig a planting hole for your tree twice as deep and twice as wide as the tree’s root system. Partially back-fill the planting hole with loose soil and plant the tree at the same depth it was at in the container. Firm the soil around the tree slightly, water in the newly planted tree, mulch it and leave it be until spring.
The colorful fall foliage will give you a different perspective and possibly different ideas on which shade trees and flowering trees you want to plant in your landscape, and fortunately fall is the best time of year to plant trees, so you won’t have to wait till spring to get your ideas planted and growing.