A hard freeze triggers plants into dormancy for the winter. This makes it the safest time to plant and transplant things like trees and shrubs. That way, they can be settled in and ready to start growing and making leaves in the springtime.
Also, plants store energy during the growing season so they can provide energy during the fall and winter seasons that help them grow roots. Plants undertake most of this root growth during the “dormant” season. That is one of the biggest reasons why it makes sense to plant trees and shrubs during the winter season.
However, there are other reasons that make it an ideal time, too. Stress levels are reduced because of the lack of foliage and soft new growth. This means less water is used to keep the trees and shrubs happy. Pruning will also not need to be done.
To be successful with winter tree and shrub planting, there are a few tips to follow. First, mulching is important because it will help to maintain constant soil temperatures and keeps soil moisture at a constant level.
Second, use less fertilizer and use organic fertilizer so it doesn’t burn the roots. It is specifically designed to promote root growth while not encouraging foliage growth. Third, if you live in a windy area, consider staking the trees to prevent undue stress on the new roots.
If the ground is frozen solid and unworkable, then you can store unplanted shrubs and trees in a sheltered spot with southern exposure. When growth starts in early spring, prune any damaged branches, and feed with a balanced organic fertilizer.
Or, consider using a commercial landscape design and management company like Pugh’s Earthworks who can handle all your commercial planting and management no matter what the season. Contact us now to find out how we can help you with all your landscape and planting needs.