Friday, August 12, 2011

Can you plant trees in the Fall?

Fall planting of containerized trees can be quite successful. Roots will continue growing until the soil freezes though watering up until ground freeze is an important step. A nice layer of mulch will ensure the freeze happens evenly. There are a couple of MN extension publications that describe tree planting through November even. Here is one:

Spring and fall are the best time to plant trees in Minnesota, because temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold and soil moisture is plentiful. Trees planted during the summer need more regular watering.
Spring Planting Season: April to early June
Fall Planting Season: late September through November

As far as we researched, fruit trees don't really have any other particular planting demands in this regard than other trees and shrubs (we did ask). Regardless of the time of planting, fruit trees owners should consider installing rodent protection because winter bunny chewing can destroy a tree.

Some urban foresters are starting to consider fall being the better time to plant. A spring planted tree may only have a couple of months to toughen up for the usual summer hot and dry (this year being exceptional).

Of course, every season can vary, as will the performance of a particular plant, which will also depend on how its cared for. Bareroot trees are a different story entirely-they need spring planting.