Jason Underwood, Landscape Department Leader of The Parke Company, says that the fall weather creates the perfect conditions for planting.
“Weather conditions are cool and allow plants to establish roots in the new location before spring rains and summer heat stimulate new top growth,” Underwood says.
The top half of the trees slow their growth and, instead, the roots become the focus of growth.
“As tree shoot growth halts, the trees require less water because the days are cooler and shorter and the rate of photosynthesis decreases,” Underwood says. “Stable air temperatures also promote rapid root development. Soils stay warm well after the air temperature cools, also encouraging root growth. During shoot dormancy, trees grow to establish roots in new locations before warm weather stimulates top growth.”
Trees planted in the fall have time to establish a hardy root base and are better equipped to deal with heat and drought the following season.
But according to Underwood, fall planting is perfect for all species.
“Avoid planting broad leaved evergreens in the fall such as rhododendrons, azaleas, boxwoods and hollies,” he says. “If planted, provide them with protection from winter winds and have them treated with an anti-desiccant.”
Another good thing about fall planting: Fewer weeds, insects and other pests are present in the cooler fall temperatures, allowing for much-needed growth in plants and trees.
If you have questions about fall planting, leaf collection or tree care as the weather continues to cool, please contact us.