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Best time for Planting Trees..

This came from a question to my website a few months back...

Thank you for your site and for your help. My wife & I have two, sort-of abstract questions (for now-LOL): First, would the best planting time for "most" trees (e.g. Weeping Willows, Royal Empress, Maples, etc.) be the same - Early Spring? Also, we want very much to do a "Berry Patch" with BlueB's, RaspB's, StrawB's, Perhaps-Other-B's - are they poisonous to small dogs, or, other pets? And, can you direct us to any good refs on starting such a patch? (Web refs would obviously be more convenient, but I am willing to go to the library if necessary. Thanks again for you help. What you're doing is great and you wife should be proud of your moniker. :-) Glenn & Karen


Sorry I am late with this response - it's been a busy week!

There's really no "bad time" to plant anything its just that different seasons require a different response on your part.

Fall is generally regarded as the best time to plant in colder climates. Let me preface that by saying fall in Arkansas does not occur the same time as fall in Minnesota. During the dormant periods (fall/winter) trees, shrubs etc are not trying to grow. The roots however do grow and acclimate in the soil. The colder the soil the more slowly they grow.

By springtime you have an acclimated plant that has been spreading roots for months ready to put on new growth!

Keep in mind your tree needs water in fall/winter should you experience dry periods. Never, never, NEVER improve or amend the soil when planting trees! If you put those roots in "happy dirt" they won't want to leave it and spread out like they should resulting in stunted growth and death!!

Plant your tree 1-2 inches HIGHER than surrounding soil - don't disturb any hardpan on the bottom. Should your tree settle below grade (planted too deeply) it will stifle growth and usually die.

DO dig the hole at least twice as large as the container - bigger is better to loosen surrounding soil and to aid in root development.

Liquid root stimulator/fertilizer is best to use on all fall plantings. It is readily taken up by the roots whereas time release or granular are not. Follow directions on the label.

Don't forget to open up the root ball or everything I've told you is moot!

Berries - wow! Lot to talk about here.... Different types have different requirements, generally all require lots of sun and well drained soil. If you plan on eating lots of 'em you'll have to fight off critters, bugs and disease. Say hello to your sprayer because you'll be spending a lot of time with it!