Skip to Main Content

Fall Tree Planting

You may wonder if it is a good time to plant a new tree in your yard or not and the answer is “yes.” Fall is a good time to plant trees in your yard because we have cooler temps, weather conditions that reduce heat and water stress on trees, and this is the time of year when trees are focused on root development. That root development means better establishment for the root system and more protection from next year’s summer heat and/or drought. Even with the good growing conditions that we have in the fall, you should still take the time to mulch and water the new tree once you have it planted.

Before you plant your new tree, you need to select the right tree for your given area. To know if the tree will grow good in your area and meet your needs, spend some time looking at the label. The label tells you a lot of valuable information and will help increase the likelihood that the plant will survive. Some of the information that it tells you is the zone the plant grows in, how large the plant will get, sunlight and water requirements, along with how to plant it. 

When it comes to trees, knowing how large the tree will get and how deep to plant it are two big factors in its success. When planting a tree, I strongly suggest you think about how big it can get in relationship to everything else around it. I have been on several client visits lately where homeowners forgot to think about this and the new landowner is having to figure out ways to maintain the tree without destroying other items around their property or the tree is getting stressed because it is planted too close to the driveway, house, or sidewalk. Before you plant the tree, be sure to call #811 to make sure you don’t dig into any utility lines.

If you do decide to plant trees this fall, select balled-and-burlapped or container-grown trees. Bare-root plants should only be planted in late winter or early spring while the plants are still dormant. Also, don’t select the largest tree at the store as they tend to be harder to plant for various reasons.

Ultimately, it is important to know that you can plant trees in the fall and have them survive. You just have to decide if you want to wait until the spring and pay more for the tree or take a risk by purchasing one on sale now. If you do purchase one now, remember to read the label to see how it needs to be planted and how big it will get. Then in October or November you may want to add 2-4 inches of mulch around the base of the tree to help with moisture retention and temperature fluctuations.  

To Top