The Woodlands of Missouri

The Woodlands of Missouri
...a stroll through the forest, a beautiful diverse biome.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Tree Planting is Here!

Fall Tree Planting is Here!

Now is time... Finally, as our temperatures have dropped, good amount of moisture in the ground, and the trees starting to change color, we can resume lifting and shipping of many of the trees.

What is really fascinating to watch, is how the trees respond to the seasonal weather. In July, it is typically really hot and dry, with warm night time temperatures. Then comes August, also warm, but we seem to get a rash of storms which creates a flux in the 'hot-dry continuum'. This often sparks a pre-fall response of some trees like the Aspen and Birch, where some of the inner less energy-efficient leaves turn yellow and drop off. In the tree nursery, we push this by keeping the tree beds and containers drier, which tends to push the early seasonal response. Then as normal, temperature and moisture jump all around throughout August and September, which makes the trees slow down their growth.

Then somewhere between mid-September to mid-October, there is more rain, cooler night temps, dramatically so compared to the previous fluctuations, yet with warm days. Hence, we have Autumn as we know it. But watching the trees respond is interesting, as more and more of the leaves, not just the inner less productive leaves, but all of them start to turn colors. And more tree species start changing as well. As this signals the time where the last bits of sunlight-energy are being stored in the roots, trees can then be lifted and shipped in this pre-dormant or lightly dormant condition. Granted, it is always preferred to ship trees when fully leafless and dormant, but many (hardwood) tree species can be handled earlier.

Keep in mind, that Fall tree planting is not for everywhere. We like to say, in general, the northern half of the country (basically Plant Zones 1-5) should not plant in the Fall, just because the window of opportunity is short. Even planting a lightly dormant tree, although it would sit fine, it may still be frost-heaved or damaged by the forth-coming colder weather. If in doubt, wait until late-winter or early spring.

On the other side, the south half of the country (Plant Zones 7-10), we generally say - "Plant, plant, plant..." and "Plant all winter!". Zone 6, is a middle-ground, can be Ok for Fall tree planting, it depends, more of a case by case basis.

Planting trees in the Fall can work out, it really comes down to your area, the type of trees, and timing. But we are excited that many of our trees are ready or getting close to that point where general shipping can resume...


Written by Empire National Nursery, Your North Carolina Source for Fast Growing Trees.

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