Why You Should Be Planting Trees and Shrubs in the Fall (And How You Can Get Started)

When many think of fall, they mentally conjure up images of pumpkin picking, hot apple cider, ghouls, and goblins. Rarely do people think of getting their hands dirty in their backyard!

Spring and summer aren’t the only times of the year to get growing. Did you know that fall is actually an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs? Believe it. Read on to find out how you can get your green thumb on in your garden this season.

Why fall is the best time to plant

Fall Temperatures and Conditions Are Optimal For Trees and Shrubs

Many envision spring and summer as an optimal time to plant trees and shrubs, but fall is an excellent time for several reasons. First, fall planting encourages good root growth and encourages root systems to grow deep before the parching summer heat returns. With more focus on root growth, trees and shrubs will be ready to put on top growth in the spring. When planted in spring or summer, it can sometimes take up to an entire year to see the same kind of growth. Root development is especially important because trees and shrubs store water and nutrients in roots when they go dormant for the winter.

Fall weather is often cooler and wetter compared to other seasons, which also encourages growth and lets you take it easy when it comes to watering maintenance. Not only is soil wetter from fall weather, but it also stays warm for quite a while before winter sets in, compared to spring weather that is unpredictable and can make working in soil difficult.

Another benefit of planting trees and shrubs in fall? Less pest and disease problems. With cooler temperatures, insects that love to feed on plants are less active, making life a little easier for your garden. With winter approaching, it also means in many cases that they’re nearing the end of their life cycle. So what does this mean for your beloved backyard? Your trees and shrubs that are planted are able to grow and be affected less by insects before winter arrives compared to being planted in the spring.

Fall weather isn’t just good for planting, it’s better for gardeners as well. Instead of sweltering in the hot summer heat, the cooler temperatures provide a more comfortable working environment, helping you to stay outside longer to tackle all your backyard projects.

Getting Started with Trees and Shrubs

Now that you’re (hopefully) sold on fall planting, there are a few things to consider first before actually getting started:

  1. Where to Plant
    While cooler weather has its benefits, it’s still important to consider where you’re actually planting your tree or shrub. Make sure your space has the correct sun requirements. For trees, make sure you consider the size of the mature tree so you’ll know the distance you’ll need to plant from your home, fences, and overhead wires.
  2. Underground Utilities
    It’s important to call before you dig so you can protect yourself from the possibility of hitting any underground utility lines. Avoid hitting these by calling 811 or checking with your local utility companies before you dig so you can prevent damage to utility lines, your property, and any possible injuries.
  3. Selecting Your Trees and Shrubs
    Think about what kind of tree or shrub you want to plant. Most will last for a long time, so think about how they will pair with your backyard landscape and how they’ll look throughout the year.

Planting Your Tree or Shrub

Trees and shrubs are usually sold in different ways. Larger shrubs and trees can be burlapped, while ones of many different sizes can come in containers. With smaller trees and shrubs, you can sometimes find them bareroot. Here’s a basic breakdown on how you can get trees and shrubs started in your backyard.

  1. Create a hole that’s about twice as wide as your root system (or root ball), and make sure it’s deep enough. Break up the soil you just dug and save it for later.
  2. Remove the container and hold the tree by the root ball and place it in the hole. Gently loosen the roots to help them grow out. For burlapped trees, make sure the rope that holds the burlap together is untied and removed.
  3. Backfill the same hole with soil that you dug before, then add water to settle the soil.

So, there you have it. Fall isn’t just a time of cooler weather and changing colors, it’s also a great time to get out in your yard and plant! Interested in using trees and shrubs to liven up your outdoor space? Our team can help. Contact us today!

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