When is the Best Time of Year to Plant Trees? (Evergreens, Maples and Fruit Trees)

When is the Best Time of Year to Plant Trees? (Evergreens, Maples and Fruit Trees)

We so wish we could say that the best time to plant a tree is all the time! After all, doesn’t the world need more trees?

Not only are they inspiring to look at, but trees also do a lot of good. They remove pollution from the air, reduce heating costs up by 20 to 50 percent and lower stress levels.

To maximize the benefits of trees, set them up for success by planting them at the right time of year. Learn the best time of year to plant all different types of trees below!

Best Time of Year to Plant Trees Like Pines, Maples, Fruit Trees and More

Generally, when is the best time of year to plant trees?

Fall is often considered the best time of year to plant new trees. Generally, late August, September and October are the best months.

It all depends, though, on when it actually feels like fall. As long as the hottest days of summer are gone and the ground isn’t frozen yet, you can still plant trees.

Is fall the best time to plant trees in all states, like Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Utah? Or when I should plant trees in different zones (zone 5, 6, 7 and more)?

For most states and zones (including the ones mentioned above), fall really is a fantastic time to add a tree to your yard!

Of course, while that’s a great rule of thumb, there are a handful of exceptions. The below states play by their own rules. And again, if your state isn’t mentioned below, go ahead, and plant a tree this fall!  

  • Alabama: Fall is okay, but winter (November through March) is even better.
  • California: Fall through winter will set your trees up for success.
  • Florida: Planting in the rainy season from May to October is smart. But you can probably plant any time of year. Lucky you!
  • Georgia: Late fall or even winter will work. November and December are perfect.
  • Hawaii: Go for the rainy season (November through March).
  • Louisiana: Expand your home’s forest in November or December.
  • Tennessee: Autumn (and early winter) are best.

Why should I plant a tree in fall?

There’s less chance of drought or sun scorch harming fragile, newly-planted trees. Plus, the cooler temperatures help encourage new root growth. And this effect is compounded. Since trees focus on growing new roots in fall, planting new trees now helps them develop more, stronger roots.

“The more time the tree has to establish roots, the more quickly the tree will grow and the better life it will have overall,” said Davey’s R.J. Laverne in a recent Parade article.

Is fall the best time to plant all trees? What about maples? Evergreens? Fruit trees?

While fall is a great time for planting trees, we’re breaking down the best time of year to plant all different types and species of trees below.

Also, a good rule is to plant at least four to six weeks before either the extreme conditions of winter or summer are expected to arrive in your area.

When is the best time to plant…

Maple trees (Japanese maple, red maple, and more)? Plant these in fall.

Birch, dogwood, willow or magnolia trees? Since these need more time to establish, plant in spring, and make sure to properly water throughout the summer.

Pine trees or evergreens? Because evergreen trees don’t go dormant, you can plant in fall or spring – as long as the weather isn’t hot.

Fruit trees? If you experience winter, plant trees in early spring to avoid winter damage. If your area has a mild or warm winter, plant in fall.

Now learn the best way to plant the tree – whether it’s a seedling, potted tree or a burlap-wrapped root ball.

  • The Tree Doctor August 14, 2018 >Hi Beverly, This is hard to answer without inspecting the tree itself and the cuts that were made. I recommend having a certified arborist come out to inspect the tree. Unfortunately, Davey Tree does not service your area. Here is a resource to help you when hiring a certified arborist or reputable tree service: http://www.davey.com/arborist-advice/articles/hiring-a-tree-service-provider-or-an-arborist/. Best of luck to you, Beverly.
  • Beverly Gerald August 8, 2018 >I have 2 huge oak trees in the front of my house and their root system has caused problems with my foundation and plumbing. the plumber came out to replace my sewer system and cut some of the roots, will the tree survive. thank you.
  • The Tree Doctor July 9, 2018 >Hi Susie, Bradford Callery pear does bloom white in early spring before the leaves emerge and it is quite beautiful. If you search the internet for images of Bradford Callery pear, you will find many photos showing what your tree will look like when it matures. I recommend you pay close attention to the proper pruning of your tree as it grows because this cultivar will develop many weak crotches if allowed to grow unchecked. If not pruned properly, many trees split when mature from storms or heavy snow/ice loads. Hopefully, this helps. Here if you have any more questions, Susie.
  • The Tree Doctor July 9, 2018 >Hi Susie, Bradford Callery pear does bloom white in early spring before the leaves emerge and it is quite beautiful. If you search the internet for images of Bradford Callery pear, you will find many photos showing what your tree will look like when it matures. I recommend you pay close attention to the proper pruning of your tree as it grows because this cultivar will develop many weak crotches if allowed to grow unchecked. If not pruned properly, many trees split when mature from storms or heavy snow/ice loads. Hopefully, this helps. Here if you have any more questions, Susie.
  • susie cartwright July 6, 2018 >We had a large pine tree that they cut down today. I would like a fast growing tree. I have planted a Bradford Pear and it seemed to grow quickly. I don't recall does it have blooms in the spring?
  • The Tree Doctor May 21, 2018 >Hi Ryan, Generally, we want to avoid planting during the more moderate times of spring and fall. We want to avoid planting when potentially harsh conditions of high summer temperatures or cold winter temperatures may adversely affect the new transplants. While planting during more stressful times is certainly possible, more attention needs to be paid to monitoring water levels until the trees become established. The date for “Arbor Day” in your particular state is always a good guideline. Hopefully, this helps! Here if you have any more questions, Ryan.
  • Ryan Dhakal May 21, 2018 >1) Generally, what's the best time of the year to plant rubber trees? 2) Also, in particular, in tropical region.
  • The Tree Doctor March 21, 2018 >Hi Vusi, So sorry to hear about your stolen tree! Hopefully we can help with a replacement suggestion! A tree you may want to consider is a monkey puzzle, Araucaria araucana. Our only concern is the small planting space available. Not sure if dwarf cultivars of this species are available, but it would be worth a look. Hopefully this helps, here if you need anything else!
  • Vusi Ntuli March 21, 2018 >Hi there, thanks for all the interesting information, sadly I just got my Christmas tree stolen from my outside garden that i planted almost a year ago, so I wanna plant another tree while the soil is still fertile before the start of winter. This time a tree that has a spiky branch any recommendations ? was thinking of a palm tree, it will be on a paving that is 50cm X 50cm Kind Regards Vusi
  • The Tree Doctor September 28, 2017 >Hi there, Elenir. We would be happy to help you with your planting needs. I have passed along your information to your local office, so they should be reaching out to you soon. Or, if you’d prefer, you can contact them at 702.570.4695 or online, davey.com/local-offices/las-vegas-tree-service/.
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