Table of Contents
The art of planting trees in fall – Pros and cons you shouldn’t ignore!
While spring is often considered the default season for planting a new tree, autumn is the best time to plant trees in many regions. The optimal air and soil temperatures, reduced stress on the tree, and diminished maintenance efforts make fall an ideal season to plant new fruit and ornamental trees. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of planting trees in the fall.
Pros of Planting Trees in the Fall
- Fall planting is advantageous for your trees for several reasons, including:
Reduced Pressure on the Tree
- Spring-planted trees face significant pressure as they have to sprout new leaves and develop fresh roots simultaneously. This dual demand for photosynthesis and root growth requires sugar reserves, typically stored in the roots. This means trees planted in spring undergo these challenges right from the start.
Additionally, the onset of summer heat can strain young trees with underdeveloped root systems, making them more vulnerable to pests and diseases. On the other hand, trees planted during the fall experience milder weather conditions without the need to grow too quickly. This allows them to direct their energy towards developing a strong root system instead of generating new foliage.
Optimal Soil Temperature
- Contrary to a common misconception, fall planting offers an advantage regarding soil temperature. In spring, you must wait for the ground to thaw and become workable for planting in the garden. However, the soil temperature is warmer during the fall as it has consistently warmed throughout the summer and maintains its warmth for an extended period.
This allows newly planted trees to establish roots and absorb essential nutrients before dormancy. Root growth initiates upon contact with moist soil and continues as long as the soil temperature remains above 45°F. When spring arrives and stimulates the growth of new shoots, a tree planted in the fall already has a well-established and actively growing root system.
Require Less Maintenance
- Watering newly planted trees is crucial for their growth, even for drought-tolerant varieties. However, the fall reduces the stress of this task due to several factors. In the fall, there’s typically more wet weather, accompanied by cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours, which help retain soil moisture for longer periods. This means consistent watering is still necessary, but it becomes a less demanding chore than spring planting.
Cons of Planting Trees in the Fall
- Here are some of the downsides associated with fall tree planting:
Risk of Pest Damage
- It is assumed that pests are no longer a concern in the fall, as many insects are dying off or becoming less active. However, it’s essential to be aware that your yard may still host other pests actively searching for new trees to feast upon, especially as their usual food sources become scarcer. Therefore, it’s advisable to safeguard your trees with protective measures such as tree guards or trunk protectors to reduce the risk of pest damage.
Threat to Newly Planted Trees
- The winter weather can be surprising, and you might have a sudden cold spell or even a big snowstorm just a week after you put your tree in the ground. However, taking crucial steps to protect young saplings from the potential hazards of winter is necessary.
These include mulching your trees immediately upon planting and maintaining a weekly watering schedule. Consider using watering bags for multiple trees to allow gradual water seepage. Watering bags prevent pooling or runoff, keeping your newly planted trees hydrated throughout the winter.
Make the right choice for your trees. Contact American Tree Experts, Inc., for comprehensive tree care services in Montclair, New Jersey. Reach out to us today at (973) 744-6091 to ensure your trees receive the expert care they deserve.