When is The Best Time to Plant New Trees in the Mid-South?

Doug Bedford March 30, 2021

Though we here at Red’s Tree Service mostly deal with tree removal, we try to keep ourselves sharp on all aspects of the tree life cycle. We’re certainly thankful for this preparedness because we’re often contacted by friends and clients who all want answers to the same question: when is the best time to plant new trees in the Mid-South

Though it may be counter-intuitive, the best time to plant new trees in the Mid-south is actually the fall. Want to know why? Read on below!

Cooler weather means better roots

You may think that planting in warm weather is the best way to produce the largest and prettiest plant. Unfortunately, and perhaps due to the fact that most plants lack frontal lobes, plants get so immediately distracted by the warm sunlight that they grow upwards and outwards instead of downwards, meaning that they don’t develop a sufficient root system. This can lead to a severe lack of water, nutrients, and stability, and can result in a dead plant. 

When the temperature cools in the fall, most trees and shrubs enter a dormant period. This means that the plants are not producing new growth or flowers which allows them to store and save energy in the root system to be used for growth in the spring and summer. 

During a tree’s first year in the ground, the root establishment process lays the, well, roots for leaf production down the road. The longer that your tree’s roots have to establish themselves before the growth explosion that is spring, the sturdier they will be. And the sturdier and better established the roots become over the winter, the more water they can take up as the weather warms, thereby helping produce more leaves!

Other benefits of planting during fall

As fall befalls the Mid-South, the cooler weather and increased rainfall mean that your trees will need less watering and less general maintenance to be happy. They won’t mind some time by themselves to grow at their own pace and to do their own thing, and eventually will enter a sort of pseudo-hibernation as the chill of winter sets in. They’ll more or less remain in this state of reduced water requirement and growth energy until cued by the warmth of spring to burst forth in new glory!

Don’t wait too long to plant

Planting when the ground is too cold means that the roots won’t be able to penetrate the soil as well, and your tree might struggle to situate itself. In extreme cases, this can kill your tree before it has a chance to establish itself, but at the very least your tree might develop unsightly blemishes like withered limbs or leafless areas.

Other things to consider when planting new trees

It’s always wise to check your soil conditions before planting, paying special attention to how the weather has affected the soil around your desired planting area. Hard and compact soil can cause problems for root growth by making it more difficult to expand, so look for areas with loose and well-aerated soil.

Soil needs to be loose for water to drain as well, so the roots won’t drown and dirt won’t be washed away when it rains. Make sure to loosen the ground beneath and around where you plan to plant your tree; this allows the main center roots to reach down to firmly establish the tree, while the bulk of the periphery roots can reach horizontally and stay closer to surface level. 

Trust Red’s Tree Service for your tree needs!

As your tree grows into a beautiful behemoth, it might need some professional care and upkeep to help it stay in tip-top shape. Certain species of trees will require more precise timing and different approaches for proper pruning, and having an experienced arborist like ours on hand helps keep both you and your trees safe. By using a licensed tree service professional like Red’s, you’re ensuring that a correct pruning and trimming job will be done. This will create and maintain strong tree structures that will look beautiful for years to come. If you have trees you’d like us to inspect or are overdue for a pruning, get in touch with us today for a FREE estimate!