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HOMELawn Care Articles

by Carole Schwalm A single tree sapling growing on a beach at the waters edge.

He that plants trees loves others beside himself.
(Thomas Fuller/Arbor Day Foundation site)

This is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs. The weather is cooler, but the soil stays warm. Whatever your location, just ensure that the soil temperature is above 55° F at 6". For many of us that could be thru October and even during part of November.

Recommended for planting now: alder, ash, buckeye, catalpa, crabapple, elm, linden, hackberry, honey locust, maple, pine, spruce, sycamore. Select the proper tree for the location.

Avoid: azaleas, birch, boxwoods, broadleaf evergreen, cherry, dogwood, hollies, magnolia, many oaks, plum, poplar, red maple rhododendrons, sweet gum, and tulip tree. If you just have to plant make sure your trees and shrubs are well protected. Treat with an anti-desiccant. The trees with foliage are better planted in the spring.

An illustration demonstrating the proper depth to bury a tree rootball.

First, if you aren’t going to plant your trees immediately, find a shady area and keep them watered. When ready:

A large, diverse collection of large trees. CONTAINER TREES

The plants are great for decks and patios!

Use clay or wood pots slightly larger than the root system in depth and width. Use a heavy container so it won’t blow over. Provide adequate drainage, and a tree needs lots of holes, but make sure deck and/or patio are protected. There are plant mixes especially for trees and shrubs. They also like additional peat moss.

Container potted trees are subject to cooler weather than those planted directly in the ground. Cover the pot in the winter to keep in the heat and to avoid the freeze/thaw pattern that damages the roots.

To plant:

Drawing courtesy of Maryland Cooperative Extension

Share your tree planting experience or if you'd like more information.