The Best Time of Year to Plant New Trees
Date January 06, 2022
New year, new trees, right? But when truly is the BEST time for planting new trees? Believe it or not, that cozy niche between mid-winter and early spring will be most likely to give your new arbors their best chance for success, along with a bit of thoughtful preplanning and know-how from these tree planting tips!
WHY IS WINTER BEST?
Winter is usually the best time of the year to plant new trees, as they will begin to grow during springtime as it warms up a bit. Planting during dormancy will likely be the least disruptive to their growth cycle, as this quiet window of time helps get them off on the right footing before taking root in their new environment when it’s time to wake up again! Although some species can be planted year-round due to their ability to handle severe weather conditions, they luckily also have short, shallow roots that prevent them from having too much trouble dealing with the snow and cold. With deep, sudden freezes being a concern even for us in North Texas, those few species may also consider when deciding which types of trees to plant.
Sure, many may argue that planting during rainier seasons like between May and October may mean less work for you in terms of care, but it also can mean a higher risk of overwatering at critical times in your tree’s growth. Did you know that trees can drown? Well, at least their roots can!
STRONG ROOTS, HEALTHY TREES
Trees need to be watered well when they are first planted in order for them to develop strong roots and grow into healthy trees. In wintertime, trees still get water from any natural rainfall or snowfall that can help keep them hydrated during this time. Planning your digging ahead of time can also make a huge impact on the success of your new saplings and make your overall task much easier when it does come time. That disturbed ground will be less likely to freeze over in the event of, well, a freeze and keep those potentially vulnerable roots more likely to access that vital moisture.
THE BALANCE OF WATERING
Wintertime rainfall will also help settle the tree’s roots and make sure they can make it through winter without having to expend much energy. If your area doesn’t see much rain or snowfall in winter, watering during this time is also less likely to cause overwatering because of lawns often being dormant during this time; overwatering, especially in new trees, can lead to complications such as root rot and drowning as well as attracting pests like mosquitoes. Winter can also typically be dryer than other times of the year, depending on geography, so overwatering can be prevented more efficiently. Winter tree watering is good for new trees because it introduces them to the way they will need to hydrate themselves in their future environments without drowning their roots or causing significant stress.
LEAVES AND LOCUSTS AND (SUN)LIGHT – OH MY!
Winter is a great time to water new trees because it does not expose them to significant amounts of leaf loss. Winter watering helps get your tree settled into its new environment and allows it to get used to conditions such as sun exposure, wind, humidity, etc. With the weather being less than hospitable to their foraging, cold winter temperatures can also help protect young trees from pesky insects like the North American beetle that love to munch on them. This staving of hungry insects can helpfully last well into early Spring, beautifully complementing the ideal mid-winter to early-spring planting seasons. Winter-planting can usually last for around 6 months or so, at best before early summer when the sun becomes more intense than winter sunlight.
With both some foresight and insight into planting new trees in winter, you’ll have your garden set to tend and enjoy for decades to come!
If you need advice or assistance with planting new trees in your yards this year, get in touch with the ISA-certified arborists at TreeNewal and enjoy tailored tree care advice.
To learn more about The Best Time of Year to Plant New Trees, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams
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