You might be thinking Spring or Summer would be optimal seasons to plant and nurture a new tree, as these are the seasons that we see lots of growth and when we give more attention to our gardens. Whilst it is possible to grow new trees in these warmer months, planting a new tree during November through March will give it a better chance to thrive.
In the colder months, trees go into a state of dormancy, meaning they pause from actively growing like they do throughout the warmer months, when we see them outwardly flourishing with beautiful leaves, berries, acorns, and flowers.
This means, during the Winter all the tree’s energy can go into growing below the ground rather than above – into expanding its root system. Water is a key ingredient in helping the roots to grow and as the months of November through to March are generally wetter months, the soil is kept in the perfect moist conditions to support slow growing and establishing of a strong root base. If you plant in the Summer, you will need to be very diligent in watering your new tree daily, sometimes twice a day. Planting in the Winter means less maintenance.
In the UK you can purchase rootballed trees throughout the Winter, which are great options for planting new trees. Rootballed trees are where the tree’s root system has been wrapped up in the soil surrounding the roots into non-galvanised wire mesh and hessian sheet bags, making a solid root ball. These can be planted straight away into the ground with the wire mesh and biodegradable bag still in place.
Another great reason to plant in the winter, is lack of competition for the nutrients in the soil. Other plants and shrub are becoming dormant, weeds have also died off providing your new tree more of the water and nutrients is desperately needs. Different trees do have different needs so always read and follow the instructions for your type of tree to give it the best chance of survival.
If you take advantage of the cooler months to plant a new tree, by the time the Spring comes around next year, your tree will have a substantial base of roots and be ready to thrive!