Return To Blog

When is the best time to plant trees?

Now is the ideal time to plant trees your family will love for generations to come!

By Chris Leinster - August 8, 2019

There are many hot days left in the season, but the stifling heat of mid-summer is behind us. With cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast, now is the perfect time to buy trees and to have them professionally delivered and planted in your yard!

I’m often asked “when is the best time to plant a tree?” The answer, of course, is 20 years ago! Kidding aside, if I needed another tree in my own yard now would be an ideal time to plant. The temperature is cooler, precipitation returns, and we still have three to four months of the growing season left. This means trees have a chance to “root in” before winter creeps in.

Truth be told, there is no great time to plant in Colorado. Spring is about as ideal a time as any, but late frosts and hail can ravage newly planted trees. We plant all summer long, but we must take special precautions to alleviate heat stress and transplant shock. Fall is an excellent time to plant, especially as the leaves drop from the trees as they transition into winter dormancy. The trees over-winter in the ground, and roots begin to establish long before any top growth is evident. Still, severe winter weather and frozen ground can take a toll on vulnerable newly planted trees.

All things considered, now is an excellent time to plant! You still have a few months to admire your tree as it adjusts to its new surroundings and spreads its roots into the amended soil of our planting zone. These new roots give the trees an advantage as winter sets in. They will be better suited to handle the stress of wild temperature swings and deep freezes. As the soil warms up in late winter, the roots will “wake up” and begin to soak up nutrients. By this time next year, you should experience a flush of new growth and your trees should be well on their way to providing years of enjoyment for generations to come!

If you look to the east the next time you head to the airport, you’ll get a good sense of what kind of trees like to live here- meaning, virtually none. In my native Virginia, abandoned farmers’ fields would be naturally re-forested within a decade. This is not the case in Colorado.

While Colorado is blessed with about as an ideal climate as possible for us hairless monkeys, she’s about as tough on trees as it gets. Late snow loads and hail storms assault trees in the spring. Summer brings blistering heat and severe drought, intense sun and dry air. Fall can bring early snow storms and drastic temperature swings. Sometimes winters are so cold it will split the trunks of even established trees. Heavy snow can bring massive limbs crashing to the ground.

All that said, trees have many benefits that enhance our lives and landscapes. With a little extra effort and lots of care we can enjoy many of our favorite trees from around the world in perpetuity. All they need is a little water and nutrition, especially during the establishment period. Downtown Denver is an urban forest with many splendid specimen trees- proof enough that you can successfully grow trees for your kids and grandchildren to adore.

If you’ve been thinking about adding a tree to your yard, whether it be for shade, privacy, or just something beautiful to admire, now is a great time to get it done. Call Happy Trees today and we will help you select the perfect tree for your needs. It’s easy! Give Happy Trees a call today!