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Tree Planting Season: Tips for the Best Success

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

Waiting for warmer spring weather can be like watching grass grow – a slow, and tortuous process. While you wait for winter to finally melt away, think about the springtime tree planting. One of the first things to consider when selecting any plant for a landscape should be the functional role the plant will play in the overall landscape.

When to Plant

The optimum planting time can vary drastically by region and elevation in the United States. The celebration of Arbor Day in any given state is a good indicator of optimum planting conditions for that region. Spring planting allows tree nurseries to provide a much wider selection of trees, than in the fall. Planting trees in the spring allows more time to establish and grow more over the course of the warmer months in order to best survive the dormant season. Additionally, a qualified tree care provider has the experience and knowledge to help you plant a tree at any time of year provided there is a follow up with an after-care program to ensure the best plant health.

Plant It, Don’t Bury It

Planting the tree too deeply will drastically reduce its healthy lifespan, as well as cause potential hazards as it grows. Planting trees too deeply can fall over in even moderate winds – usually causing damage or injury. Dig the planting hole slightly shallower than the tree root ball and at least twice as wide. This is to allow for flattening and settling of the root ball. The uppermost large woody lateral roots should be planted within one to two inches of the soil surface. You’ll have to poke into the top of the root ball with a stiff wire to find the topmost lateral roots. Place the root ball on a stable subgrade to minimize settling. Water the rootball sufficiently and add a 3 – inch later of composted wood chip mulch over the top. TCIA hopes you will enjoy the spring with a successful tree and shrub planting in your landscape.

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