The Q&A Archives: When is the best time to plant a tree?

Question: I would like to buy trees from our local conservation department, and was told, (by family), to plant a tree in a month that does not have

Answer: Your family tradition might have some truth to it. In general, you can plant landscape trees and shrubs whenever the ground is not frozen. We recommend either spring or fall planting because that's when ground and air temperatures are cool and rainfall abundant. Both will allow the root system to establish itself without also having to produce enough energy for the tree to leaf out or to grow. I try to avoid planting in mid-summer just because plants can go through a short adjustment period after being planted, which can be stressful. Coupled with hot, muggy weather, this adjustment period can be extended. I'd plant in March, April or May, or wait until late September or October if possible.

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