When is the Best Time to Plant Trees?
That is a good question we get asked all the time. Some claim the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago; the second best time is right now. When exactly is right now? You certainly cannot achieve the same success rate when planting any time during the year.
We like to tell our Indianapolis clients that the best time to plant trees is generally in the late winter to early spring. Summer is a bad choice, because the weather is too hot and the actively growing trees are too susceptible to damage. This summer was especially bad with the drought conditions we experienced in central Indiana. Fall can also be a good time to plant when the trees begin to enter their dormant stage. When trees become dormant, the branches do not grow, which puts all the tree’s focus into making the roots stronger to help the tree withstand the colder months. By planting in the Fall, the tree develops a stronger root system, which prepares it for the Spring rainy season.
Intense heat is a major enemy to newly planted saplings. But lack of water for their root systems is worse. Although you may not think of winter as a dry time with all the snow—remember, the moisture from the snow can not get to the roots until the snow melts and the ground thaws, creating desert-like conditions. That is why watering trees properly in the Fall is so important for your trees. They need to be hydrated to sustain them for the long winter months.
When planting trees this Fall, remember to dig a wide hole, not necessarily a deep hole. Nurseries used to recommend that you dig a very deep hole and pile up the soil and plant the tree. However, it is now known that most of the roots on the trees grow in the upper 12-18 inches of soil, and they spread out two to three times the canopy of the tree. This makes it important to dig wide and shallow. The greatest cause of death to newly planted trees is planting them too deep. Indiana has a large clay base. This clay base often creates a bathtub effect when it does rain. Rainwater or even artificially watered trees will not thrive when their roots are constantly being held in water.
With proper planting and care, your new trees will take root and start providing much needed shade in the summer while helping to regulate temperature extremes. Additionally they will purify the air by removing carbon dioxide. The sooner you plant new trees, the sooner you will be able to enjoy the benefits now and into the future.
For more information on tree planting or where to purchase trees in the Indianapolis area , contact All Seasons Landscape Management at 317-259-9222.