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Fall Planting of Trees and Shrubs

Posted: September 5, 2014

Fall plantings can be very successful as long as you do not wait until late fall.

If you just did not get to that job of planting a new tree or shrub in your landscape this spring, it is not too late.

Fall plantings can be very successful as long as you do not wait until late fall.  Now is the time to plant.  From the middle of August through the middle of October, moderate and fairly stable air and soil temperature prevail along with adequate precipitation.  One thing to keep in mind with fall plantings is to select species that are quick to establish roots.

Most of the container grown or balled and burlapped deciduous trees and shrubs make excellent candidates for fall planting.  These plants usually have well defined root systems and they usually will continue to grow their roots systems when the temperature cools to around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  Evergreen conifers such as spruce and pine prefer warmer soil temperatures so they do not do as well in a fall planting program.  It is best not to plant conifers after the end of September.

Trees that have shallow, fibrous roots can usually be planted with greater ease than those with fewer and larger roots.  Magnolia and tulip trees both have thick fleshy roots so they do not do well as transplants in the fall.  Other slow to establish species that are better planted in the spring are fir, birch, American hornbeam, American yellowwood, ginkgo, larch, sweetgum, oak, willow and hemlock.  A few trees that can successfully be planted in the fall include maple, buckeye, honey locust and crabapple.  Most deciduous shrubs can be easily planted in the fall but the broad leaved evergreens like rhododendron and narrow leaved evergreens like you prefer to be planted in the spring.

It is important to select healthy trees and shrubs to plant in the fall.  Make certain you follow the proper procedures to plant the tree or shrub and remember to give them plenty of water.