What to know about planting in the winter
In order for a new tree or shrub to establish themselves, they need to have warm roots and be well-watered. This is complicated in the winter because the soil isn’t warm and it’s harder for water to get to the roots. If you’re having an unseasonably warm winter or you live in a place where winter is warm – you can probably risk it – but understand what you’re getting into.
The only trees that are an absolute ‘no go’ in the winter are evergreens. Deciduous trees don’t maintain their foliage in the winter whereas evergreens do – so it’s really hard for them to both establish roots and preserve their needles with adequate moisture levels. So long as the ground isn’t frozen or won’t freeze for four-six weeks – every other species of tree is fair game. And if you live in a warmer climate where the ground doesn’t freeze – we fully encourage you to plant!
What’s the right/wrong way?
The most important ingredient to planting any tree is soil temperature. Using a soil thermometer a few days in a row can help you figure out whether your soil is warm enough to plant something. If the reading comes back 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher then you’re in the clear and ready to plant. But, if it’s too cold – it’s time to wait a little longer and either plant in the spring or the fall.
So in sum – it’s important to take a variety of factors into consideration when you’re looking to plant a tree in the winter. It depends on what type of tree you’re looking to plant, the climate you live in and even the time of winter you’re looking to plant.
Just be cognizant that extreme temperatures are never a tree’s friend – whether it’s too hot or too cold. Spring and fall remain the two best times of years to plant, so our recommendation is to hold off until the time is more appropriate. However, if you’re still unsure of what to do, give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Good luck!