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My Annual Reminder That Fall Is For Planting

We’ve just been through a summer that was difficult for us and for our plants. Now that the temperatures are starting to moderate and the rain is returning, it’s time for me to remind you that fall is for planting. If you’re planning to add trees, shrubs or perennials to your yard, many are best planted in fall. Besides weather conditions that plants prefer, fall planting also gives them an opportunity to become established in their new location before they have to withstand an unpredictable winter.

There are only a few trees and shrubs that would prefer that you wait. That list includes some slow to establish species, like bald cypress, American hornbeam, ginkgo, larch, magnolia, hemlock, sweetgum, tulip tree and willow. Also, broadleaved evergreens, such as rhododendrons, and narrow-leafed evergreens, such as yews, prefer spring planting. In general, plants with shallow, fibrous root systems can be planted easier in the fall than those with fewer, larger roots. The fall planting list includes pines and spruces as well as most deciduous trees.

I can assure you that Fall is for Planting is sound plant biology, not a scheme by the nursery industry to get rid of their nursery stock that suffered through the hot, dry summer. Many nurseries and garden centers order new plants for fall planting. This year, you should have no trouble differentiating the new stock from the old. If you’re looking for a bargain, you may be able to negotiate deep discounts on the survivors. Personally, I don’t like to do that. I rather pay list price and get new stock.

Right Plant, Right Place, the other arboricultural axiom, holds just as true for fall planting as it does for any other time of the year. You also plant the same way as I’ve discussed in past blogs, all of which are listed by month and year on the right sidebar. If you don’t want to select the plants, haul them home and plant them yourself, call us. We have landscape professionals who will do it for you.

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