Is it Too Late to Plant a Tree

Signs of the Best Times

Watching all the leaves change this time of year may bring about fall tree fever: the feeling of wanting another tree in your yard. But is it too late to plant a tree? There are a few factors to consider before breaking ground to add a new tree to the family. 

Best Time for Tree Planting

Typically, transitional seasons like spring and fall are ideal times for planting. The temperate weather and added rainfall creates favorable conditions for root development and growth. Different trees thrive in different conditions, so you still want to make sure whatever tree you’re planting can survive the winter outdoors, period. Pick a native plant to be on the safe side. To be even safer, plant a deciduous tree that will shed its leaves this season anyway. This means it’s already gearing up to go dormant over winter and won’t require as many nutrients as a species like an evergreen that requires more to keep their color year-round. 

Is it Too Late to Plant a Tree?

While the conditions may be ideal right now for a tree to thrive, you want to make sure it has enough time to acclimate to its new home before harsh weather sets in. Some say mid-October is the deadline for planting trees. However, others argue that as long as there are leaves on neighboring trees, it’s not too late to plant. 

One of the main conditions to measure is the temperature of your soil. A tree is only as good as its roots, so if the soil stays around 50 degrees consistently, feel free to plant that tree. Planting a tree in soil that’s too cold won’t make the plant very happy. Think about how you feel stepping into cold water. The urge to recoil can be compared to the reduced root growth a tree experiences in chilly conditions. 

Proper Post-Planting Care

There are ways to help improve conditions and counterbalance colder soil.

  1. Add a layer of mulch around the trunk to act as a nutrient-rich blanket. Don’t tuck it in too tight though. Too much mulch on the bark may lead to fungal disease.
  2. Water the tree regularly every week until the ground freezes. The mulch also helps to retain moisture for when the tree needs it. And newly planted trees need more moisture than normal. 
  3. Create a plant health care plan for your new tree that includes how often to water, fertilize, prune, and mulch. All of these factors contribute to the health and longevity of any plant.

It’s never too late to call a professional arborist—like Elite Tree Care—to help create this plan, maintain your tree, or consult on what it needs to survive season after season.

Tree Planting Guide

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Planting a tree is a cinch, as long as you are properly prepared. Get prepped to plant one tree or 100 with our straightforward guide.