A very common question that I get often here at the Extension office, “when is the best time to plant trees” The answer is pretty simple, fall or spring.

The best time to plant most trees is fall or spring; however many trees can be planted any time if handled properly. The key word “handled properly”, plants installed during the growing season tend to be susceptible to high transpiration rates leading to desiccation of plant tissues. Now that the proper planting times have been identified, I would like to share a few simple guidelines that will lead to enjoying that tree for many years.

When to Plant

• Early fall is best for container-grown and balled & burlapped (B&B) trees.

• Mid-February through mid-April is best for bare-root plantings.

Preparing the Hole and Planting the Tree

• Dig planting hole 2 to 3 times the diameter of tree’s root ball and no deeper than the root ball itself.

• Plant trees at original grade or plant trees 1 to 3 inches above grade if soil is poorly drained.

• Do not put crushed stone or gravel in bottom of hole.

• Remove all bags, containers, strings, and wires from tree root ball.

• If roots are excessive and circling inner walls of pot, score outer edge of root ball by slightly severing or scratching root system. Do not cut deeply into root system.

Next week we will take a good look at fertilization, watering and mulching of that new planting. Remember if you have any question about fall plantings; feel free to contact your local OSU Extension office.

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