Why Fall is the Best Time for Tree Planting

Prime tree planting time is just around the corner. Everything resource out there agrees that Fall is the best time to plant a tree. But, have you ever stopped and wondered why?

Everyone can get in on tree planting!
Everyone can get in on tree planting!

Less Stress

Do you find moving stressful? I know I do and trees and plants do too! The heat of summer adds stress to plants because they lose moisture through transpiration and evaporation. In summer, trees have to work harder to get enough nutrition and moisture for good health. Sound familiar?

Lower temperatures = less stress on your trees.

Less water requirements

I’m a little afraid to suggest that you can water freshly planted trees less in the fall . . . but it true. Summer heat causes transpiration in a tree. Transpiration refers to the movement of water through a plant and evaporation from the leaves and flowers. That moisture must be replace to keep your tree healthy. In the fall and winter when a tree is dormant (or at least, isn’t growing vigorously), transpiration slows and nearly stops.

Whether you water or not, you should still check the soil around a newly planted tree every week. If it’s try a shovel deep, give it a nice soak.

Less water requirements

Additional Root Growth

In the summer, a trees “job” is to grow leaves. When you first plant a tree, you want it to spend its energy growing roots. Roots anchors it in place and provide it with water and nutrition. If a tree is not using its energy to grow leaves, it can use that energy for root growth.

Did you know that ground temperature is warmer in the fall than it is in the spring? It takes a while for the ground to warm up after winter cold. In retrospect, the ground is nice and warm after hot summer temperatures. Soil cools down slower than air temperature does and that warm autumn soil stimulates root growth.

Additional Root Growth


More Roots = Spring Benefits

For more information about choosing, installing, and caring for your trees, you may want to check out these resources:



Mary Beth

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