We’re often asked at Warner’s when is the best time to plant a tree. The short answer, of course, is any time the ground is not frozen, because trees are awesome and the more of them we can get the better.
But, in looking at this topic a little more closely, we’d have to give fall a slight edge. And by fall we mean when the worst of the summer heat is over, the nights are cooler and the ground is wetter. This is particularly true in places like northern Arizona where we get the bulk of our rain during the monsoon season in July and August.
So why do trees planted in the autumn flourish? There are a few reasons:
Planting in fall gives your tree an extra season (and some extra energy) to establish its roots. During the spring, a lot of a tree’s energy is spent on its foliage and producing fruit or leaves. As the summer fades, that energy can be spent on the tree’s network of roots before it goes dormant for the winter.
Pair that with the fact that the soil is warmer in fall than spring, which means that your tree is less likely to go into transplant “shock.”
There’s also an argument that you don’t have to water as much when your tree is planted in the fall and while that’s somewhat true, you really can’t ignore good watering. Water regularly and if you have any questions about how frequently to water your trees, just ask of our Warner’s associates.
Are there any downsides to planting trees in fall? Yes – the variety available. Smaller trees, including Apsens and some shade and fruit trees are available for planting during the fall. Many larger trees (the ones you get wrapped in burlap and not in containers) aren’t available until the spring.
Regardless of when you plant your tree, however, your home and life will benefit. Trees mean more oxygen, increased value to your home, reduced energy costs depending on where you plant your tree, and the calming affect trees have shown to have in numerous studies.
Plus you’ll be creating another home for birds and other critters to enjoy, so you’ll be adding to the natural ecosystem of your neighborhood.
If you have any questions about trees – or any other gardening issues – please feel free to ask our experts here at Warner’s Nursery. We are happy to help.