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Southern Ontario Fall Tree Planting Guide

August 23, 2021
Written by Aaron

Hot summer temperatures are harsh on young trees and their delicate roots, so fall is a much better time to get planting! The soil has cooled, and the sun doesn’t beat down quite as brightly. This makes the transition into a new environment far less stressful for your new tree.

 

How Late Can You Plant Trees In The Fall?

As long as the ground isn’t frozen or coated with frost, you should be able to safely transplant a new tree! For best results, try to plant sometime between early September until the end of October here in Southern Ontario.

  

Planting Your Fall Tree

If you’d like to start planting some new trees on your property this fall, it’s easy to do yourself! In five easy steps, you can get your tree all settled in its new home, so its roots can spread out and develop. 

large hole dug for planting new tree Eising Garden Centre

Fill the Hole and Eliminate Air Pockets

Hold your tree upright by the base of the trunk and make sure the top of the root ball, or the flare of the trunk is at ground level. Place your shovel handle across the top of the hole while your tree is in place; if there’s a gap between your shovel and the top of the root ball, that will give you a good reference point of how much more soil you should add in. 

Pile the soil up in a cone shape and place the root ball on top to help the soil penetrate the roots and eliminate air pockets. As you continue filling the hole, tamp down the soil with your shovel to get those air bubbles out. Watering midway through planting can also help eliminate air bubbles.

 

Spread Mulch Across the Soil

An all-natural mulch free of chemical dyes will help protect your new tree from the elements. It slows the evaporation of soil moisture that occurs on hot, sunny days, and it helps insulate the roots during cold periods. It also helps to prevent weeds from sprouting up around the base of the tree and hogging all the nutrients from the soil.

person planting tree Eising Garden Centre

Fill the Hole and Eliminate Air Pockets

Hold your tree upright by the base of the trunk and make sure the top of the root ball, or the flare of the trunk is at ground level. Place your shovel handle across the top of the hole while your tree is in place; if there’s a gap between your shovel and the top of the root ball, that will give you a good reference point of how much more soil you should add in. 

Pile the soil up in a cone shape and place the root ball on top to help the soil penetrate the roots and eliminate air pockets. As you continue filling the hole, tamp down the soil with your shovel to get those air bubbles out. Watering midway through planting can also help eliminate air bubbles.

 

Spread Mulch Across the Soil

Mulch is a must-have; it will help protect your new tree from the elements. It slows the evaporation of soil moisture that occurs on hot, sunny days, and it helps insulate the roots during cold periods. It also helps to prevent weeds from sprouting up around the base of the tree and hogging all the nutrients from the soil.

watering garden with hose Eising Garden Centre

Don’t Forget to Water!

Watering your tree generously after planting is essential to help it get established through fall. We don’t get nearly as much rain in fall as we do in spring, and we had a pretty dry year to begin with, so we have to help our new trees out a bit! Follow this guide for watering your new tree:

  • Weeks 1–4: Water deeply 3-4 times per week (depending on weather). A slow trickle of water for 20-30 minutes is ideal to allow for deep watering.
  • Week 5–Frost: Taper down the watering to every other week, and give a big drink before the last frost.
  • Next Spring—Summer: Water deeply once per week during hot/dry spells. As the tree becomes more established throughout the summer, a deep monthly or biweekly watering can be fine.

Once the ground has frozen, you can hold off on watering until spring.  

We have trees, fertilizer and all your planting needs in our garden centre in Simcoe.Fall trees are always a gorgeous sight to behold, so we’re especially motivated to get planting this time of year! If you need any help along the way, our experts at Eising Garden Centre will be happy to share their tips for successful fall tree planting.

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