Trees add beauty, shade and structure to your yard, being both functional and ornamental. But when is the best time to add new trees to your yard? Many professional arborists say that spring and offers the ideal, mild conditions for new tree planting, but others say fall is the better option for planting new trees. Here we look at what makes the right time to plant a tree and how you can get the best results for new trees in your yard.
Trees are an Investment
The trees in your yard are not just an investment in the appearance of your yard, they can also add to the value of your home. By some estimates, a healthy, mature tree can add up to $10,000 to the value of a property. So, it’s important to make the right choice about when to plant your tree and how to nurture it to optimum health. Your local arborist is an expert on which trees are best suited to your climate and environment, and which choices will add the most value to your home in terms of beauty and quality.
Spring or Fall?
In warmer climates like California where it doesn’t usually get cold enough for the ground to freeze in winter, the timing of planting a tree isn’t so critical as long as you can provide the tree with sufficient water. Usually the best time for planting a new tree is late summer and early fall, where the weather is starting to cool down and rainfall increasing, but while the temperatures are still not so cool as to discourage tree growth and development.
In the initial stages after a tree has been planted, the tree needs to immediately lay down new root systems to support itself. This tends to happen better in the cooler weather of fall and winter as root growth is increased in cooler soil. Trees planted in spring expend more energy putting forth new leaf and flower growth and often don’t have the resources to lay down a root structure as well, and this actually disadvantages trees in the long run.
However, some types of trees tend to survive better when planted in spring, including magnolia, dogwood, tuliptree, sweet gum, red maple, birch, hawthorn, poplars, cherries, plum and many of the oaks. If you are thinking of planting one of these trees, consult with your local professional arborist about when you should plant these trees in your specific location and climate.
Tips for New Tree Success
In order to give your new trees the best chance for survival, make sure they receive plenty of water in the months after they are first planted. It’s often helpful to water less often, but water deeper, so that moisture reaches the deepest roots. Avoid pruning the tree while it is still newly developing by Berkeley Tree Pruning professionals or anyone else. Don’t fertilize under the second growing system, but you can use mulch on the planting area, about 12 inches away from the young trunks.
If you’re thinking of planting new trees in your yard in California, consult with your local arborist for more specific guidance on determining the best time to plant trees for your yard and local conditions.