How Late In The Fall Is It Safe To Plant Privacy Evergreen Trees?
Evergreen trees need to be able to absorb water even in the middle of the Winter in order to survive. Although the ground may be solid frozen in the top 10-15” in much of the Midwest in January, established trees will have roots running in depth beyond the freeze line to take up water.
Fall planting is ideal for most trees as they are either in dormancy or near dormancy and is generally a low stress environment: short days & long nights, low temperatures, high humidity and plenty of precipitation.
Trees such as the Green Giant Thuja or Eastern White Pines can be planted anytime in the Fall and even in the Winter as long as roots are protected from being completely frozen. Therefore, for late Fall planting, especially North of Columbus or Indiana we recommend heavy mulching or composting for trees planted in late November. This layer of insulation protects the roots from being completely frozen even in the case of extreme cold. If mulch or compost is not available, a bail of straw or hay will work just fine.
As long as some of the roots are deeper than the freeze line, they will take up water and the tree will continue to grow and establish in its new environment. Once Spring comes around it will be ready to put on a full year’s new growth.
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