The Q&A Archives: Time Of Year For Planting

Question: We recently bought a Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Fat Albert Colorado Blue Spruce, and a Majestic Beauty Star Pine to plant in the yard outside our home. We live in Scotts Valley (Santa Cruz County)and were not quite sure if it would be to cold at this time to plant the trees as they are young and the temperatures sometimes fall in to the low 30's. When would be the ideal time to plant the trees?

Thank you.

Answer: The best time to plant trees and shrubs is in the fall, winter or early spring when natural rainfall is abundant. Frequent watering (or rainfall) will help the roots of your trees settle in so they'll be all ready to grow when the weather warms up. As long as you can dig in the soil (as long as it is not frozen), you can plant trees and shrubs. The only time I'd avoid planting would be during the height of summer. Cold temperatures shouldn't hurt the roots of your trees, so go ahead and plant them now. When planting, make sure the hole you dig will accommodate the root system without crowding, and plant so the trees are growing at the same soil level as they were in the containers. Dig the hole, then place a small mound of soil in the bottom of the hole. Spread the roots of the tree out in a natural fashion and backfill with the soil you removed from the hole. Tamp the soil down lightly to eliminate air pockets around the roots, then water your new trees well. Hope this information helps!

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