Can I Plant Trees in Winter?

planting a tree in winter

Fall and winter months are not the traditional times for planting trees, but you might be surprised to learn that it can actually be one of the best times to do so. So, can you plant trees in winter? Well, it’s not a straightforward yes or no. The answer depends on several factors, including your local climate, the type of tree or shrub you want to plant, and the timing in relation to severe weather. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of planting trees in winter and provide you with some helpful tips for success.

The Best Time to Plant Trees in Winter

Related Posts: tree planting with ashes

Related Posts: planting-a-tree-in-summer

Ideally, trees and shrubs need about six weeks to establish roots before a heavy freeze. However, you can still plant them anytime the ground is workable. Many bare-root trees and shrubs are actually planted in early spring while they are still dormant. It’s essential to look at the trees in your area for guidance. If the trees still have leaves, it’s a good indication that you can plant new ones.

Deciduous Trees vs. Evergreen Trees

Deciduous trees, which shed their leaves before winter, are more resilient to cold temperatures. They focus on growing and providing water to their roots during winter, requiring less energy. On the other hand, evergreen trees, like pine and spruce, hold onto their needles year-round. They need all the nutrients they can get before the ground freezes. To ensure survival, avoid planting evergreen trees when the soil temperature is lower than 60°F.

Exceptions to Fall Planting

While fall is generally a great time to plant trees, some states have exceptions. In Alabama, planting in winter (November through March) is even better. Florida enjoys a more flexible planting schedule due to its rainy season from May to October. Georgia recommends late fall or winter, particularly November and December. Louisiana encourages expanding your home’s forest in November or December. Tennessee suggests autumn and early winter as the best times for planting.

Winter Planting Tips

When planting trees in winter, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Keep plants watered: Newly planted trees must be properly watered to prevent desiccation. Water them every week or two until the ground freezes, and especially before a heavy freeze.
  2. Apply mulch: Mulching is crucial in cooler times of the year. It helps maintain constant soil temperatures, allowing plants to grow roots when the soil temperature is above 45°F. A layer of mulch also helps retain soil moisture.
  3. Avoid stimulating growth: Hold off on fertilizing or overly amending the soil. While a little compost and bone meal to stimulate root growth is acceptable, save fertilizers for spring.
  4. Consider staking: In windy areas, consider staking trees to minimize stress on new roots.
  5. Protect against winter winds: Evergreen plants are susceptible to drying winter winds. Consider using a wilt-preventive chemical spray to safeguard your investment.
  6. Handle with care: Avoid pruning or disturbing plants during winter planting. The stress on the shrub may be too much to handle. Only trim broken branches if the tree is damaged during shipment.

Tips Tree Planting

Remember, these tips are meant to guide you through the winter planting process. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us. Happy planting!

Sources: Davey, Todays Homeowner, Garden Goods Direct, Nixa Lawn Care, Davey

Related Posts: planting-a-tree-with-burlap

Related Posts: schools tree planting day