When to Plant Trees and Shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

Tellico Plains, TN
Avatar for My3Cherubs
Question by My3Cherubs
August 6, 1998
I have read and have heard varied ideas about the best time to plant trees (fruit and flowering trees) and shrubs. We moved to South Eastern Tennessee last fall and are planning our gardens. We want to plant a variety of fruit trees and flowering trees and shrubs, but we are really rather confused about when is the best time to plant them. We have noticed that the nursery and greenhouse places here are having big sales on trees and shrubs, but we are concerned about buying now if we really should not plant now. Any assistance in the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Answer from NGA
August 6, 1998
It doesn't hurt to shop around now to see what's available, but there are reasons that prices are slashed on nursery stock: the stock has likely been there all season long, and may be root bound if in pots or balled & burlapped (B&B), or hurting a bit from competition (those heeled into nursery plots). If evergreens are in your plan, you can safely transplant them now, but I'd wait til next spring to plant bare-rooted fruit and deciduous trees/shrubs. Better yet, spend this summer and autumn working on soil improvement. Have your soil tested and adjust as necessary for various plants (e.g. some will prefer acidic soil). If you don't already have "The Southern Living Garden Book" (Oxmoor House, 1998; ISBN# 0-8487-2023-7), you may want to consider buying a copy (or at least look at one in the book store) - I think you'll find it very helpful in planning and planting your new landscape. Enjoy!

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