Sunday, January 6, 2013

Winter Tree and Shrub Planting

How many of us put off our landscape planting needs until the growing season resumes with warmer spring temperatures? How many of us think we cannot plant in winter? How many of us think winter is a bad time to plant?

You don’t need to wait for spring to plant! Winter is actually an ideal time for planting because there is no water stress on newly planted trees and shrubs. Sometimes when we plant a containerized tree or shrub during the growing season we may inadvertently damage some roots as we remove it from its pot. During the growing season plants are actively pulling water in through their roots. If roots are damaged during planting your tree or shrub may wilt. A tree or shrub with damaged roots may take some time to recover and may look “wilted” for a couple days.  As long as you keep the soil well watered it generally recovers in a couple days.
Planting a dormant tree or shrub during winter avoids this water stress issue. If roots are damaged during winter planting your tree or shrub won’t wilt.  Plus when growth resumes in spring your plant will begin growth in place based upon its functional root mass with no further disturbances. Cold temperatures or frost will not harm your dormant tree or shrub.

As long as your soil is not frozen, you can plant!
Dig the hole to accommodate the root dimensions, place your tree or shrub in this hole, replace the native soil (just removed) using no amendments, cover with mulch, then water thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots.

Winter watering consists of watering once every 3-4 weeks dependent upon your soils moisture content.

Follow this link to download a printable Planting Instructions from Trees That Please Nursery.

Contact Trees That Please Nursery for more information.

Written By:
Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist


  1. I loved these post.Thanks for sharing this informative post.

  2. Hi,great blog post. Information is very usefull and saves my huge amount of time which I spend on something else instead of searching posts like this. Thank you!!