What’s the Best Time to Plant a Tree?

Healthy, well-cared-for trees make properties look nicer, feel nicer, and sell better. Yards and properties can seem bare and devoid of life without a tree, but the second you add one, it’s a game changer.

So if you’ve been wanting to plant a tree but you’re worried about when the best time to do that is, we’ve got you covered. Here is our comprehensive guide on when you should be planting your new tree.

When to Plant a Tree

The short answer is that there is no short answer or hard and fast rule for when to plant a tree. It depends on a variety of factors that we’ll look at such as the climate you live in and the types of tree that you’re trying to plant.

Generally speaking, however, it’s best to aim for late spring or early fall. The heights of winter and summer aren’t usually the optimal time to let your new tree thrive as they might struggle to get the nutrients they need early on.

Let’s take a closer look at the best time to plant a tree in certain climates.

When to Plant a Tree in Warm Climates

Young trees need the right balance of water and sunlight to thrive. If you live in a warm climate, you’re going to want to avoid planting your tree in the height of summer. It will simply be too hot and your young tree won’t be able to get all the water that it needs to grow and survive.

Fall is going to be the best time for you for a number of reasons. Firstly, once the first frosts have come and gone, trees tend to become dormant and the young roots of your new tree will need less food.

Secondly, the mild winters experienced in warmer climes allow the root system enough time to grow and become healthy before the arrival of the sweltering summer. By giving the tree this time, it will be robust and healthy enough to survive the hot summer.

Thirdly, planting in the fall will allow the carbohydrates that your tree absorbs from its food to go towards root growth, rather than simply aiding canopy growth.

If you live in an area that suffers from particularly dry winters, then it’s vital that you keep the tree well-watered and fed in the early stages of growth.

When to Plant a Tree in Cooler Climates

If you live in a colder area of the country, then your window for planting your tree is considerably shorter and you have a bit less flexibility. You won’t be able to dig into the ground until it has thawed, and it will soon freeze again.

Early spring is the best time for you here. Ideally you want to plant as soon as the ground has thawed. You want to give the tree enough time to establish a robust root system through the summer before the ground freezes again.

When to Plant Certain Types of Trees

Deciding when to plant a tree isn’t only about the climate you live in though. If you live in a more temperate climate that doesn’t experience either extreme heat or extreme cold, it can be more difficult to tell when to plant.

Another factor that can help you decide on this the type of tree that you’re trying to plant. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of domestic trees and when you should be planting them.

Deciduous Trees

This is one of the easier ones. Deciduous trees are very handy because you just need to look at them to know when they’re going dormant. Plant these in the fall and keep them well watered over winter and you’ll have a beautiful tree come summer.


Evergreens are another easy one. They are quite low maintenance when planted at the right time. The key to keeping these trees happy and healthy is making sure that they’re not exposed to too much extreme heat too early on.

Plant them either in early fall or late spring.

Bare Root Trees

These ones need a bit more explanation. When you order these trees, they’ve been grown in the soil initially, then dug out when they are dormant, and then stored in a medium that keeps them moist and healthy.

The roots on these trees are completely naked, so the most important thing with these it to plan them as soon as you get them. That said, you’re better off ordering them in spring so you can avoid any damage that colder weather can cause.


Conifers are particularly sensitive to the cold weather because their needles tend to lose moisture, even when they are dormant in the winter months. Regardless of the climate that you live in, you should try to plant these trees in spring so that they can get a full summer of warm weather before they have to tackle the winter.

Caring for a Tree

The work doesn’t stop when you’ve planted the tree. If you want your new tree to grow well and be healthy then you have to make sure to care for them properly. Keep them well watered in the early days, and look out for any signs that they’re not faring well.

If you’re not sure on how to maintain a tree properly, then reach out to your local tree care company. They are experts in the field that can help you identify problems with your tree and help you keep it looking healthy and happy.

All Your Tree Needs Covered

Knowing when to plant a tree can be confusing, but now that you’ve read this guide, you’re in a great position to get planting and have a beautiful addition to your yard.

If you need any help taking care of your tree, or you want to make room for your new tree by having a dead one removed, then contact Treeline Arbor Care today, we’d love to help you out.