Planting New Trees and Shrubs

Changing your yard's look and feel is as easy as adding new trees and shrubs to your space. The benefits of having trees and shrubs as part of your landscape are many. They add beauty, shade, shelter for wildlife, increase the value of your home, filter the air and are easy to plant. If you've been thinking about adding these types of plants to your yard, fall is a great time to do so. 
 
Fall lends itself to low transpiration and high potential for root generation. The temperatures during fall are generally moderate and cool, making it easier for the plants to grow without extreme heat. This leads to stronger, better developed roots for next spring.
 
To update the overall aesthetics of your yard this fall, determine which trees and shrubs make the most sense for your environment, personality and style; then learn how to plant by following these tips. 

 

Pick a type

The first step is to pick which type of tree and/or shrub you want to plant. Trees that can be planted in the fall include ash, alder, buckeye, crabapple, hackberry, honey locust, elm, maple, pines and spruces. Shrubs that are perfect for fall planting include hydrangeas, sumac, witch hazel, spirea, Virginia creeper vine and Boston ivy vine. 

 

Yard placement

The next step is to choose where to plant. Do you like to entertain outside? Or relax with a good book in the shade? Consider this when you plan where to plant a tree. Remember that planting trees directly south of your home won't always provide the shade you'd expect - trees need to be at least 30 feet away and very tall to be effective. 
 
If you choose to plant evergreens, they do best when planted to the north and northwest. In many places, winter winds come from the north and northwest, pushing air into the cracks in your home. If you plant evergreens to act as a shield, your house can stay warmer. 
 
When it comes to choosing a place to plant shrubs, consider planting them near your air conditioner (just not too close), as shading your air conditioner can help you save on your electricity bill. 

 

Plant

Once you've chosen your plants and a location, it's time to plant. Follow these steps when planting new trees and shrubs:
 
1. The first step is to dig a hole the appropriate size for your tree or shrub. 
2. Next, place the tree or shrub in the hole and turn it so the best side of the tree is facing your desired direction. 
3. Backfill the hole and pack the soil. Make sure the soil is loose enough for new roots to easily grow.
4. Stake the tree, if needed. 
5. Water soon after planting and every day for a few weeks, helping the roots to grow and flourish.