The gardening season doesn’t have to end with fall.
Sure, we spend a lot of the warm weather months in spring and summer preparing and maintaining our yards and gardens. But the growing season doesn’t need to stop when summer ends. This is a great time for planting trees and shrubs.
“Fall is really an ideal time for planting,” says Dr. Ken Tilt, a horticulturist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. “It’s definitely an optimal time because after you get a few frosts, the plants go dormant and are less active.”
The combination of cool air and warm soil encourages root growth before the ground freezes. Autumn brings chillier weather and more precipitation, so you won’t need to water as often. And trees planted in the fall will be better at dealing with heat and drought during the following summer.
Here are a few steps to take when planting new trees or shrubs this fall.
1. Trees and shrubs will last for a long time if you keep them healthy, so plant with your long-term landscaping strategy in mind. Give the trees or shrubs a lot of room to grow. Research the plants you’ve chosen to find out how big they typically get. Measure the space that you have. Letting a tree or shrub get too close to your home – or to your neighbor’s property – can lead to damage.
2. You may want to pick a tree that will benefit you throughout the year: fruit in the summer, colorful leaves in the autumn. Among the best trees for fall planting are sycamore, elm, maple, buckeye, honey locust, crabapple, spruce, pine, horse chestnut, and ash.
3. Depending on the location, you may want to test the soil the before planting. You may need to add a fertilizer that’s not high in nitrogen. Too much nitrogen can lead to excess top growth at the expense or root growth.
4. Once you’ve chosen the tree you want and found the right spot in your yard, you can start digging. In the fall, you’ll likely be working with a plant that’s sold in a container or with a root ball. Tilt says plant experts no longer recommend digging a very deep hole, but rather one that’s wide so the roots can spread out. Make a hole that’s twice as wide as the container and deep enough that a root ball’s soil line rests just above the surface. Make sure you’re planting your tree in nutrient rich soil.
5. Use mulch to help your new trees and shrubs get used to their new home. Mulch conserves moisture in the soil. You should put about three inches of mulch over the soil surrounding the plant, leaving about an inch or two of space around the trunk to avoid disease.
6. While your new plant won’t need as much water in the winter, it’s going to be thirsty at first. Water two or three times a week depending on weather and soil conditions, and give the plants a deep soaking.
Willow Tree Service in PA & NJ
If you need help with selecting and planting new landscape trees this fall, you can turn to Willow Tree and Landscape Service for exceptional tree service Bucks & Montgomery County homeowners trust. We’ve been helping customers in the Philadelphia area and New Jersey plant trees and shrubs for more than 30 years.
Our professional crews are experts in every aspect of putting in a new tree, from soil care to planting to proper irrigation, all designed to give your plant a healthy start. We are experienced in every phase of tree service, from planting to tree trimming & tree removal.
We can provide you with a free consultation with a trained horticulturist to make sure you choose a plant that’s the right fit for your property. And we work with the best nurseries in the region to find quality trees, shrubs and plants.
Fall is almost here, and the perfect tree for your home may just be a mouse-click away.