Given the amount of snowfall and freezing weather we have recently received, winter is clearly upon us here in Camas, Vancouver, and Washougal, Washington. Though winter weather is here for now, some of us are anxious to get started on caring for and improving our landscapes. If you are like many other Washingtonians, then you love our trees and are eager to plant more. Winter is a great time to consider adding trees to your landscape, however, that comes with a few caveats. This post will discuss the things you should take into account before planting trees in winter.
The first step to planting trees in winter (or any time of the year, for that matter) is coming up with a plan. This is the time to sit down and think about your purpose for planting trees. What is your overall objective for planting trees? Are you planting trees for more privacy? Are you planting fruit trees? Or are you simply a lover of trees and want more on your property? This is where you will need to do some research into what type of tree/s will fit your specific needs. Different trees have different needs, obviously, and that is why it is important to evaluate what your goals are and what type of trees will accommodate those goals.
The most important factor to consider when planting trees, especially in winter, is the temperature of the soil. Most trees and shrubs need about 4 to 6 weeks to properly root into the ground. Growing roots takes a lot of energy for any tree, and it needs warm, unfrozen ground and plenty of water in order to do so. Frozen ground is not only hard for trees to grow roots in, but it is also incredibly difficult to dig holes in, especially by hand. The temperature of Washington State can fluctuate greatly. Therefore, it is important to watch forecasts and ensure that your trees will have at least a month to properly root before freezing conditions arrive. Furthermore, different trees need different soil temperature in order to thrive, which is why the planning stage is so important; be sure when choosing your trees that you know what their ideal soil temperature should be. If you are unsure of what the soil temperature in your area is, you can use a soil thermometer to gauge the temperature over several days. If the soil is consistently at an ideal temperature, then you can begin planting, and, if not, then consider holding off planting until the temperature is right.
Benefits of Planting in Winter
Though it may seem like a hassle to monitor soil temperature in order to plant trees in winter, there are benefits to planting during this time as well. Assuming that the soil conditions were optimal, your trees will have a head start in growth when the growing season finally arrives. In other words, when spring arrives, the trees will have already begun taking root and will have more energy to expend on creating new, above ground growth. Furthermore, if, after the trees have had time to root, the weather subsequently becomes colder and the ground freezes, this will actually make your trees hardier. Assuming your trees have been properly cared for before any freezing weather occurred, this will harden off your plants and make them stronger overall.
Hiring a Professional
After planting has been completed, consider mulching around your trees and protecting them and your other plants from freezing temperatures. If all of this seems like too much to deal with, then you still have options! Urban Eden Landscaping has all the necessary tools and know-how to not only plant your trees but also to care for them as well as the rest of your landscape. We would love to help maintain your property and keep your plants thriving. Contact us or fill out a FREE estimate request form today. Stay warm!