January 26, 2018 0

Plan Ahead for Spring Planting

Banish your winter blues by thinking ahead to spring. Avid gardeners know that winter is the best time to plan for the warm weather to come and get a head start on plentiful crops during Colorado’s short growing season.

It’s also a great time to reassess your landscape plan.

Do you have trees that no longer fit your needs? Trees that don’t thrive in your individual microclimate? Overgrown trees and shrubs that need to be trimmed or removed? Cold, snowy days are perfect for planning ahead and doing your research so you can hit the ground running when the weather changes.

Spring vs Fall Planting

While fall is the preferred time for planting many trees in Colorado’s Front Range, spring is a close second, especially for evergreens. Spring begins the heavy growth season for all trees and shrubs, and that can cause extra stress on deciduous trees that are trying to grow roots, branches, and leaves at the same time. This means extra care must be taken to supply deciduous trees with water and nutrients if they are planted in the springtime before their roots have had time to reach out into the soil.

Evergreens, on the other hand, keep their leaves year-round, and that means they need water year-round even though they’re mostly dormant in the winter. Frozen winter soil prevents water uptake above the frost line, potentially depriving shallow-rooted young evergreens of the nutrients they need throughout the year.

Spring is Prime Time for New Evergreens

While even young deciduous trees usually have roots below the frost line, many new evergreens don’t. And since they need water year-round, it’s best to plant them in the spring so they have the summer and fall to grow roots deeper into the soil before the ground freezes. This is especially true for broad-leaf evergreens that have more leaf area to nourish.

Can I Plant Deciduous Trees in the Spring?

Certainly. Just be aware that they may need extra care throughout the summer. Leafing out, growing, and bearing seeds or fruit place a heavy demand on broadleaf trees along with their year-round need for root growth. Check with an arborist or knowledgeable nursery staff for the best practices for any tree you purchase, but don’t let the season prevent you from planting the trees you want in your landscape. Besides, plant selection is often best in the spring when nurseries stock up for the new growing season.

Need Help? Call a Pro

The choices of trees, shrubs, and other foundation plantings can be overwhelming. Many landscapers and professional arborists offer design consultation along with their other services. They can help you choose the plants that will work best with your home’s design and growing conditions.

Donovan Arborists offers planting, pruning, and shearing services as well as a complete landscape maintenance package for property in the Denver area. And we’re always happy to give free estimates to homeowners and property managers for any services they may need.

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