When the weather gets cold, you may wonder which landscaping updates, if any, can still occur. For instance, can you plant trees in winter? The simplest answer is yes, but it depends on the type of tree and your climate zone. The success of your planting also depends on whether you plant in early, mid, or late winter. If you want to know your options, the tree experts at Scientific Plant Service can provide you with accurate guidance.
What Is Your Tree Type? Evergreen or Deciduous?
First, consider which type of tree you are interested in planting. Evergreens need all the nutrients they can get before the ground freezes, so they have a narrower planting window than deciduous trees. You should plant evergreens when the soil is no lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Deciduous trees do not need as much energy to survive the winter months. This means temperatures can be lower when you plant them. For optimal results, plant deciduous trees when the soil is 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your Climate Zone
The climate has a considerable impact on whether you can plant trees in the winter. For most of the northern United States, fall is the best season to plant trees. In USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 1 through 7, mid-August to mid-October is the best time to add a new tree to your yard. In southern states, Hardiness Zones 7 through 11, November and December are acceptable times to plant trees.
When Can You Plant Trees in Winter?
The winter season can be divided into early, mid, and late periods. Early winter has fall-like characteristics, making it suitable for transplanting saplings. However, once the ground freezes or snow falls, it’s best to wait until late winter or early spring. New saplings are vulnerable to frost damage, and their roots may dry out if you plant them in midwinter. Unless, of course, you live in a southern climate where snow and ice are not a significant concern.
Nourish New Trees with Special Care
No matter where you live, if you plant trees in winter and want to help the sapling survive, remember the following tips.
- Continue watering: saturate the soil around the tree every week or two until the ground freezes.
- Apply mulch: insulate the ground with 2 inches of mulch to maintain a consistent temperature. Make sure not to cover the tree’s root flair with mulch.
- Stake the tree: Windy winter conditions can stunt tree growth. Staking the tree helps the sapling grow straight. Remove tree stakes after one year.
- Consider anti-desiccant application: This product provides a protective waxy coating to evergreens to prevent drying out during the winter.
- Don’t prune: Pruning a young tree can add too much stress to the sapling.
- Protect from deer: Treat the tree with a deer repellent, and consider installing a protective tube on the trunk to deter deer from rubbing their antlers.
If you want to plant trees in winter or wait until the perfect time next year, Scientific Plant Service can help you understand how to provide the best care for your young plants.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.