When to plant a tree

Planting a tree is all about good timing. Learn what the best time is for your tree.

Published on July 6, 2016

Fall leaves on the ground with autumn trees.

By: Jacqueline Waters, Communications Manager


Planting a tree is all about good timing.


Ideally, you should plant a tree when they have enough time to establish roots and before they’re exposed to stressors like high-heat, low temperatures and lack of water. Many factors such as the climate of your location, the type of tree you’re planting or who you’re talking to can play into your decision on when to plant. However, all avid tree planters agree on the established planting seasons which take place in spring and fall.


When should you plant:


In the Spring: Early spring, just as the ground thaws, is the best time to plant. This is because soil moisture is high and the cooler conditions help seedlings to not dry out. Trees that do best when planted in the spring are bare root trees, conifers and transplants.


In the Fall: The ideal time to plant trees and shrubs in autumn is after the leaves have dropped. It is a cooler time of year when plants go dormant and are less active. In autumn, the air temperatures are cooler than the soil which encourages new root growth without new top growth. The result is a stronger, better developed root system for the next spring when the plant begins to grow. Trees that do best when planted in the fall are container trees, deciduous trees and evergreens.