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When is the Best Time to Plant a Tree? An Argument for Spring

Posted on February 27th, 2020

When it comes to planting trees, timing is everything. Choosing the perfect time to plant your new tree helps set the tree up for a healthy start to its life. So, when is the best time to plant a tree? Here in Massachusetts, spring is a popular time to plant trees for a reason. An argument could be made that spring is the best time to plant a tree in Massachusetts.

Why Spring?

The truth is that the best time to plant a tree really comes down to location. Some places, like Washington state, have dry summers, making fall their best time to plant. It depends entirely on the region you live and the environmental factors where the tree will be growing. Here in Massachusetts, spring is the best time because it ensures the tree can grow and thrive throughout the spring and summer. In the fall, it’s roots and branches will have grown enough to help it weather our New England winter.

How to Plant a Tree in Spring

Finding the best time to plant a tree is essential to ensuring your new Massachusetts tree has the best opportunity to grow strong this year.
Before spring arrives, make sure to choose the tree you want and determine the best place to plant it in your lawn depending on the tree’s needs for sunlight, space, and access to water. This will help keep your tree healthy all year. Next, you must wait until after the last frost of the year and your lawn has dried out a bit. Planting a tree in waterlogged soil only encourages root rot and other problems. Once the lawn is sufficiently dry and warm, it’s time to dig.

Before you start digging, take a look around. Are there any nearby power lines, underground lines or pipes, or other plants that need access to light nearby? If so, then reconsider your planting area. When digging your hole, the depth is entirely dependent on the size of the root ball. Try to dig a hole that is as deep as the root ball. It’s important not to dig too deep or too shallow as both results in struggle and damage for the tree.

Place the root ball into the hole, making sure all the roots fit without wrapping around the hole. Finally, fill in the hole with fresh topsoil with high drainage. Make sure to hold the tree up straight while you fill in the hole. After you’ve filled in the hole and stamped down the dirt, it’s time to give your new tree its first drink in its new home. Slowly pour 2-5 gallons of water into the root zone, carefully avoiding any runoff so your tree can get a full first drink.

Early Tree Care for Your New Tree

In the beginning, your new tree only requires water and sunlight. Planting in the early spring allows your new tree access to the bright, warm spring sunlight and the wet weather it brings as well. This creates the perfect environment for strong leaf and root growth, both of which are essential to a new planting. By keeping your tree strong and healthy, you can prevent infestations of tree-damaging pests and common tree diseases.

In about 2 weeks, you can apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to give it a boost through the summer. In preparation for the heat of summer, applying mulch around the base of your young tree protects the roots from the intense heat and helps retain essential water. The mulch also helps in the fall and winter, protecting from temperature shifts and retaining moisture throughout the frozen winter. These strategies will help you keep your tree healthy all year long.

Trust Your Tree Care to the Experts at Turf Unlimited

Now that you know when is the best time to plant a tree in Massachusetts, it’s time to start thinking about effective tree care. Here at Turf Unlimited, we know what goes into the best tree care strategy for newly planted trees in spring. With a full suite of tree and shrub care services, we have everything it takes to give your tree the best shot at a healthy and successful life.

If you’d like to get started planning now, give us a call at (888) 649-9919 or send us a message here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest updates and greatest deals. If you’re looking for more great tips on tree care, lawn care, or anything related, then head over to our informational blog.

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