Flower Gardening

Planting Trees and Shrubs in Your Garden

By Marianne Binetti

Fall is in the air the weather is changing. This makes autumn the perfect time to add trees and shrubs to the landscape.

Three Reasons to Plant a Tree Now:

Roots grow best in the fall

Event though the nights bring cooler air, the soil is still warm from the summer season, encouraging newly planted trees to use their energy on new root growth below rather than top growth above. This means, your fall planted trees will have a better root system.

Fall rainstorms help keep the soil moist

The number one reason new trees fail to thrive is because their roots dry out. Planting in the fall means Mother Nature will most likely do the watering for you. Be sure to check the soil, and make sure it stays moist for a few months after you plant a new tree. Sometimes a light rain does not penetrate the soil all the way down to the new roots. In that case, you will still need to hand water your newly planted tree.

Fall plant sales make new trees affordable

Many nurseries, both independent and big box stores want to unload summer plants especially trees in the fall to make room for winter merchandise. You can take advantage of fall clearance sales and invest in a more beautiful landscape, save money on air conditioning with more shade, and help clean the air we breathe all by planting a tree – at a bargain price.

How to begin:

Once you have your tree on the property, give the planting location some serious thought. Trees are hard to move should you plant in the wrong location. Potted trees can be set in place, then stand back and imagine how the tree will look 5 or 10 years from now when it is over 30 feet tall. Will it run into overhead power lines? Block the morning sun from a second story bedroom? Drop leaves into gutters or on roof tops? Trees grow out as well as up. Don’t plant a tree where it will need pruning to keep it in bounds or where branches will grow to block pathways. Read the plant label or look up the type of tree you’ve purchased to confirm the mature size – a little research might inspire you to move the location of your new tree farther away from the house.

The night before….

If you are planting a bare root tree, one without soil around the roots, soak the roots overnight in a bucket of water. If the new tree is in a nursery pot, water thoroughly the night before the transplant operation. This will not only insure a well-hydrated patient but a moist root ball will slip more easily out of the nursery pot.

If you live in an area with dry or sandy soil, dig the hole the night before you want to plant. Then fill the newly dug hole with water and let it soak into the surrounding soil overnight.

Related Videos

Growing Trees and Shrubs from Cuttings and Seedlings
Growing Trees and Shrubs from Cuttings and Seedlings
Runtime: 6:17
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Bare Root Trees: An Economical Way to Enhance a Lot
Bare Root Trees: An Economical Way to Enhance a Lot
Runtime: 3:05
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