User avatar
Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:25 am
Location: Toronto, ON

Planting young trees in fall?

I was going through this article about fall garden maintenance, so I don't forget to do something crucial this fall and I was kinda struck with this statement
Early fall is ideal for planting young trees into the ground
Whole my life I thought that spring is the time for planting plants, trees and everything else in your garden.

I've planned to plant new apple trees next spring, but now I am somewhat perplexed if I shouldn't do it now right, when the fall has just begun.

User avatar
Posts: 29332
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

It's because as the writer of the article mentioned, plants/trees grow roots even after the foliage dies down until the ground freezes, and their root growth stirs and starts a lot earlier deep down even when the surface ground is still frozen in late winter/early spring, before you can even begin to think about digging a hole. (in fact, some people say you should dig the holes for planting in spring in previous fall and keep a supply of unfrozen soil to fill with -- but I've no idea how to do that without having the tree to eye-ball the hole size with :?.)

There are some species more suited to fall planting, and there are some that shouldn't be planted in fall where the winter temps are severe.

But I'm pretty sure fall planted apples do very well, even before frost if potted or B&B, or bareroot and dormant after frost and light freeze.

Its a good idea to put a plastic or metal trunk guard and put up a fence to protect from mice/rabbit/deer munching on them, and mulch well to protect from soil heaving due to freeze thaw cycles.

User avatar
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

yep, lots of trees and perennials do well with fall planting.

regarding root-chewing rodents, we've taken to planting young fruit trees with a couple shovels-full of sharp gravel. seems to keep them out.

Green Thumb
Posts: 311
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 2:44 pm
Location: Radnor, OH

I am planning on putting in a number of different fruit trees and bushes next spring - apples, peaches, pears, grapes, raspberries, cherries and blueberries. I have read numerous things from my extension's website and suppliers sites and they all say to plant in the spring due to frost heave. You can plant in the fall but you need to heavily mulch to make sure the frost doesn't heave the plants/trees/etc out of the ground this winter.

Prior to reading this summer I did always think that planting in the fall was better (as stated in the posts above). I don't know why fruits are any different...?

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Its raining in Ohio where I sit, I want to add; watering watering watering is needful with new arbor plantings.

Mulch is both something to reduce freeze motion to new roots. It also keeps moisture where your trees needs it most.

Full Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:21 pm
Location: Europe

Almost everyone plants trees in fall here in Europe. It's even hard to find young tress on the market in spring. As far as I know this is the best option for countries with moderate climates. Those who live in the south may better plant in spring.

Return to “Organic Gardening Forum”