Why Fall is the Best Time to Plant Trees

gillnurseryBest Practices, Timely Tips7 Comments

We are lucky that we can garden year-round here in South Texas, but Fall is our best season for planting – especially for trees! Here’s why. 

Trees (shrubs and perennials, too) get a great bonus when planted in Fall. South Texas enjoys relatively warm soil temperatures through Fall and Winter, and cooler air temperatures direct the new tree to grow roots instead of foliage all through this time. 

So, a tree planted in the ground in Fall will grow much faster the following Spring due to having already developed a healthy root system. That root system will also help the tree take up deeper moisture and not suffer as much stress during its first South Texas Summer.  

More Tips for Tree Success:

  • Consider size:  starting with a small 3 to 15 gallon size tree makes planting easier and you get to watch it grow. Planting a larger tree gives you instant impact in your landscape, but planting is more involved. Be sure to choose a space suited for the size the tree will be once it has matured. We can help you choose the right tree and location and take care of the planting for you if you like. 
  • Dig the hole as deep as the container & about 12” wider. Plant the tree so the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding ground or slightly higher. Don’t plant too deep! 
  • Use Nature’s Blend compost to improve existing soil when planting. Don’t put the compost in the hole – mix it with the soil that you dig up, then back fill with the soil + compost mixture. Better yet, spread compost over the area where the tree will be planted, till it into the soil using a roto-tiller, then dig your hole and plant your tree in the middle. 
  • Fertilize with Agriform tablets or Plant Tone mixed into soil around the root ball.
  • Mulch around trees & keep grass & weed eaters away from tree trunks.
  • Stake trees especially in high wind areas.
  • Follow watering instructions. New trees need TLC and W!

– James and Debbie

7 Comments on “Why Fall is the Best Time to Plant Trees”

  1. I love these gardening tips and I just purchased a Pink Lemon tree from you so the tips are timely! Thank you!

    1. Thanks Barbara! We do highly recommend CitrusTone fertilizer be used at the time of planting. It not only supplies the necessary nutrients, it is a huge boost to the newly developing root system. If you did not use it at the time of planting, then you would want to spread it on the surface right around the outside of the root ball and gently work it into the soil a few inches deep.

  2. To replace a citrus tree that did not make it through the freeze, can we plant the new one in the same spot where the old one was? If so, is there any kind of special treatment that we need to do to soil before plating the new tree, or a waiting period once the old tree is out of the ground?

  3. Hi Laila
    yes you can replant in the same spot as the previous citrus provided…
    1…the old tree trunk has been removed-dug out not just ground down
    2…the old tree was in good health prior to the freeze.
    you will probably have old roots still in the ground that will decay over time but this usually does not create trouble for the new tree.
    it is a good time to plant, adding Natures Blend compost to the planting hole will benefit the tree. Fertilize with Citrus Tone… completely organic and will feed the soil as well as the tree.
    Happy Gardening!

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