Tree Planting Guide

Planting season has arrived, and it is the time of year when we all look around the yard and think of new ways to refresh and revive our landscaping. One of the best ways to increase curb appeal and add value to your home is the addition of trees. But when is the best time to plant trees? Spring, Summer, or Fall? Google that very question and you will find all kinds of tree planting advice, but the debate on the timing of planting is especially contested and can be confusing for most of us. Essentially, the ideal time of year to plant a tree is when we receive regular rainfall. Based on that both spring and fall in the Midwest are good times to plant because these are times of the year when we tend to get more regular rainfall.

There are also some species that do better when planted in spring. Trees that are slow to establish should be planted in the spring. These include bald cypress, magnolias, hemlock, and willows. Evergreen trees are also a great option to plant in the Spring, but it is important to keep in mind that it is best to avoid planting in the heat of the summer. The extreme temperatures lead to transplant shock which can dry out the roots and slowly kill the tree.

Regardless of when you plant, the survival of the tree depends on its care for those first two to three years in your yard. The first year especially is important. The first watering after planting should be a deep soaking. It is also critical that newly planted trees are well-watered going into their first summer or winter. Continue to provide supplemental watering at least once a week after planting. You will need to keep an eye on the water for up to three years, which is the time it can take for a tree to become fully established.

Mulch helps to insulate the root system and protect it from both winter and summer weather extremes. Use some type of organic-based mulch that will break down and add organic matter to the soil. Mulch two to four inches deep. Make the mulch ring as wide as possible. Avoid mounding mulch against the trunk because this can lead to mold or rot.

Spring and fall-planted trees should have their trunks wrapped in the fall to protect them from animal and winter damage. A loose paper-based wrap or burlap works best. Remove wrapping as it begins to warm the following spring.

Stop in to see our wide selection of trees ready to plant along with all of the tools and necessities you need!