Now Is the Best Time To Plant Trees

Tree roots continue to grow throughout fall and winter. So planting trees now gives them a head start to face the brutal heat of summer.

The best time to plant trees is in the fall or winter because tree roots continue to grow throughout these dormant seasons. By spring, young trees are strong enough to face the rigors of summer without serious stress or water deficit.

We generally have consistent rainfall throughout the fall and winter months, and spring is historically our best season for rainfall, so the upcoming winter holidays would be a good time to plant trees.

Of course, if the rainfall does not occur consistently, then supplemental watering your new trees is required to get them off to a good start. The correct way to water all new plants is frequently, but lightly. For new trees, we recommend the 3-2-1 Watering Plan. Only 1 gallon of water per diameter inch of the tree trunk needed per watering event. Use a hand held hose, a bucket or soaker hose irrigation for best results.

Add two inches of woodchips or pine bark mulch in the summer and fall to reduce moisture loss and grass competition. Prune sparingly for the first five years. That is all that’s needed for a strong, healthy tree.

Ensure a green San Antonio tomorrow by planting and caring for a tree today.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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