The Q&A Archives: Tree Planting Time

Question: We want to plant more trees on the farm we just bought; when is the best time to buy and plant?

Answer: Trees and shrubs can be planted just about any time the ground is not frozen. Most places ship trees and shrubs at the proper planting time for your area. When buying from a nursery, I like to do my planting either in the early spring or early fall because either time provides the transplant a period in which to establish its roots a bit before having to go through the winter. It is also a good idea to plant new shrubs/trees when the day is slightly overcast and not windy. Sun and wind are enemies of the tender roots. Avoid days in the thick of the summer heat as well, it will be much easier on you and the plants! Try to have your holes dug and ready to receive the new plants although you don't want to dig them more than 24 hrs. in advance. Also, keep in mind when planting new shrubs/trees it is very, very important to water them in well. Most transplant failures are a result of inadequate watering at transplant time and during the first year. I would also be sure to work some organic material such as compost, leaf mold, or composted cow manure into the planting site.

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