It finally feels like autumn in Cincinnati! We were beginning to wonder if fall would ever arrive with the extended hot temperatures in September. It’s great to finally feel those crisp mornings and see those clear cool skies. You have probably heard that this is the perfect time to plant trees. But have you ever wondered why? Fall is such a perfect time to plant trees and shrubs for two main reasons: focused energy and ideal environmental conditions.
Think of the springtime-leaves and limbs growing, flowers erupting, new plants getting established in their new home. It’s a busy time for plants. They have a lot of work to do and they have to do it all at once! It’s like your boss giving you 10 jobs to accomplish all at once. A plant’s energy is pulled into many directions simultaneously.
Fall is a different matter. A new tree has only one job to do in the fall-grow new roots. This is exactly what you want a new plant to do for it’s long-term health. A tree will grow roots until the ground freezes in the winter, establishing a strong foundation for it’s future.
What season follows spring? Summer. Hot, dry summer. A spring-planted tree will require careful maintenance to insure its immediate health. It is a stressful time for plants, particularly newly-planted ones. Fall planting is less stressful for trees and shrubs. The growth processes are slowing down as the tree goes dormant. This allows the tree to conserve its energy into root production as talked about already. The cooler temperatures and fewer leaves mean that the tree isn’t using as much water which translates into less maintenance for you.
Can you successfully plant trees in other seasons? Of course! But the focused energy and the environmental conditions of fall allow for less transplanting shock on newly-planted trees. A tree that is not stressed is a happy, healthy tree. Which translates into less work for you. More time for you to enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch on these crisp mornings.