The leaves are changing, the nights are sharp. In much of the Earth, gardeners are putting down their tools, cleaning up their gardens and possibly breathing a sigh of relief that another gardening season has come and gone.
But the planting season is not over. Fall — especially until late October in colder regions of the country and until November from the South — is the favored time to plant several species of trees. Planting conditions are near perfect: The soil is warm, the sun is not too hot and there’s generally more rain. The weather which makes people say, “Fall is my favorite time of year,” is ideal for many recently planted trees, also.
Different types of trees prefer different living conditions. Not every tree ought to be planted in fall, of course. The main reason is from the roots: Trees with bigger, thicker roots which reach deep into the soil, such as magnolias and oaks, are better off planted in spring. Trees perfect planted in fall, such as crabapples, maples, elms and honeylocusts, have fibrous root systems shallow enough to readily reach nutrients and water. This permits them to settle in and put fresh root growth before the weather turns icy.
One of the best trees for small gardens, crabapples (Malus spp.) Top out at a manageable 20 feet. They flower gloriously from the spring in shades of pale pink, dark pink or white. Vegetables follow, and although they have to be cooked for people to find them palatable, birds depend on them to get through winter. Hardy to zones 5 (to -20°F) to 8 (15°F), crabapples require full sun and well-drained soil.
Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting
At the garden centre, start looking for trees that are in containers or which are balled and burlapped. These can be planted in fall. Dormant (bareroot) plants have to be planted in spring.
When buying a tree, check to be sure it’s healthy: no dead branches, splits or harm to the back. A damaged trunk interrupts the stream of water up and down sugars the tree. A tree may recover, but a damaged trunk can finally kill a tree.
Some Fantastic Trees for Fall Planting
Native to North America, honeylocusts (Gleditsia triacanthos) have fern-like leaves which offer airy shade, so they’re a good choice if you want shade but not too much. The species includes fierce thorns and develops well over 80 feet tall, but cultivars are thornless and grow to about 40 feet. They need full sun and are hardy in zones (-40°F) to 7 (0°F).
Dear Garden Associates, Inc..
Green hawthorn (Crataegus viridis) is a lovely shrub with three seasons of interest: white flowers in spring, red fall foliage, and in winter, red berries that birds adore. Hardiest in zones 5 (-20°F) to 7 (0°F), hawthorns remain under 40 ft) They need full sun and do best in soil that’s not too rich or too moist. The cultivar ‘Winter King,’ revealed here, is especially disease-resistant and drought-tolerant.
Landscape Design Associates of Westchester, Inc..
There are about 35 species of spruce (Picea spp.) , cone-bearing evergreens, indigenous to the planet’s colder zones. Many are hardy up to some teeth-chattering zone two (-50°F), but a few tolerate the warmth of zone 8 (10°F), meaning there’s a spruce for almost every garden. Their compact branch structure and sharp needles offer protection and shelter for birds. Many, like the native Colorado blue spruces (Picea pungens) here, grow 50 to 75 feet tall. Spruce trees require full sun and a neutral to slightly acid soil.
Bliss Garden Design
Perhaps the greatest specimen tree,Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) come in an almost bewildering array of shapes, sizes and leaf colours. They are elegantly beautiful in every season, in leaf or bare-branched. Japanese maples are hardy in zones 6 (-10°F) to 8 (10°F) and require both shade and sun. Too much sun and their leaves may burn off at the tips.
In the USA, our indigenous elms (Ulmus americana) have been all but wiped out by Dutch elm disease. These massive shade trees, reaching 80 feet and taller, once lined roads across the country. Researchers are trying to breed indigenous elms with non-natives which are resistant to DED. A few of those non-natives, such as lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia), which grows to about 50 feet, are lovely in their own right. Hardy in zones 5 (-20°F) to 8 (10°F), elms need full sun and a great deal of space to grow.
A fantastic tree to the hot zones 6 (-10°F) to 9 (20°F), Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis) doesn’t, alas, produce the edible pistachio nuts we all covet. That takes nothing away from the tree that is versatile. Pollinators see the flowers, it’s brilliant fall foliage, and it produces blue fruits in winter. Maturing at about 35 feet, it requires full sun and well-drained soil, and is drought-tolerant formerly established. Do not be put off by its gawky and unpromising look when young; this shrub grows up to be a showstopper.
Don’t forget to website your tree based on its needs for shade or sun, soil pH and moisture conditions. And always check with your local utilities before you begin digging to identify underground electricity, gas and cable lines.
Whether fall, trees are planted exactly the same manner: Dig a hole twice as broad as it’s deep, set the tree in the hole to the depth of the main flare, backfill with dirt, water mulch.
Do not fertilize; this promotes top growth which may be killed by frost. You want the tree to focus on root growth.
The old information was to bet every recently planted tree; the new thinking is that the shrub grows stronger and wealthier without being staked. But, staking is a good idea if your website is especially windy or the shrub is in danger of being clipped by a lawn mower. The stakes will continue to keep the blades of the mower out of getting too close.
Creo Concepts Inc..
And most important: Trees planted in fall ought to be watered occasionally throughout the wintermonths, when there’s no snow and the ground is a little thawed. Water trees in the back from the drip line (the distance the branches stretch.)
Jocelyn H. Chilvers
Want another reason to plant a tree (or trees) in fall? Garden centers are slashing prices on plants that are abandoned. You might discover a bargain which rewards you for years to come.
More guides to drop gardening