Start of planting time - Trees and shrubs

Garden Life
Autumn or spring? When is the optimal planting period for trees and shrub? We ask ourselves this question every year. We will try to explain a few basic factors.

Planting period

As long as you do not have frost, you can plant trees and shrub from October until March.
Bare-root trees can be planted out until late into March. Whereby with these trees, October and November are especially suitable as nurseries have early roses, deciduous bushes, hedge plants and small trees grubbing and stored in cool storage or warehouses. Hence, there is a certain advantage in terms of price and quality to purchasing in spring. 

Plants with balled root can be put in the soil until the beginning of May. Their fine roots have sprouted well.
Trees and roses with pot roots can be planted up into summer. Attention must be paid to sufficient watering.

Shrub and Tree Roots | Planting Period
Bare-root trees and roses | October to March at the latest
Trees with peat or balled roots | October to May
Trees and roses with pot roots | October until late summer

The advantage of planting in spring

Except for bare-rooted roses, spring planting can be recommended for all those plants which are rather sensitive to frost. These are, for example, many evergreen plants such as the rhododendron, box, cherry laurel and photinia, but also some deciduous plants such as the rose mallow, hortensia and lavender. If we give such plants a whole garden season to grow their root systems, they can withstand their first cold period much better than if they are planted just before the onset of winter. In general, all frost-resistant shrubs and trees are best planted from the end of September until the end of April as long as the ground is not frozen and not too wet. Autumn planting means that the plants can develop their root systems until spring, and then start with a growth advantage. They therefore develop better than plants which were not put in until late spring.

Larger trees
Autumn planting is also expedient for larger trees. Trees are already starting to grow at this point. Only in regions subject to severe autumn and winter storms is timely spring planting an advantage.
In particular in winter, tree bark heats up very unevenly in the sun’s rays. In order to counter the risk of tension cracks in freshly planted trees through major temperature differences between sunny and shady sides, trees planted in autumn are wrapped in thin linen fabric. This also protects the plants against severe water loss.

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The Advantage of autumn planting for bare-root trees

Especially now in October and November, it is recommended to plant the bare-root trees. These will take root by the spring and will then begin to sprout heartily. Attention must be paid to sufficient watering during the next frost free weeks and months.

Conifers and frost-hardy deciduous evergreens with soil or root-ball should be planted the beginning of September. Water evaporates here through the leaves and needles also in the winter. This takes energy away from the plant and until winter, the roots have not grown enough. The plants could easily freeze.

 

Winter-hardy – what does this mean?

A rough indication is given by the so-called climate, vegetation and winter-hardiness zones. They are influenced by, among other things, the altitude above sea level, the prevailing winds and the geographical location. What is interesting for the garden owner is the classification of the winter-hardiness zones (WHZ) in Germany from 5b (cool, Alps) up to 8a (warm, Rhine Valley). For every plant variety, a recommendation for the appropriate winter-hardiness zone can be made.

Photo: © roibu - Fotolia.com
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