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Planting a tree in the fall

In recent years, springs have become shorter due to hotter, drier weather, while falls have been extended with milder weather. From mid-August to mid-October, moderate air temperatures, stable soil temperatures and ideal moisture levels promote rapid root development. Most plant and trees are better planted from mid-August through September.

Test the soil. Testing the soil is imperative to successful fall planting. You want to make sure the temperature is at least 55 F at six inches deep before moving forward.

Drainage test. Regardless of when they are planted either in the spring or fall many plants die during the first few months from too much or too little water. You can check the soil drainage in your desired location by digging a small hole, filling it with water and keeping track of how long it takes for the water to disappear. If the water is gone in an hour or less, the soil is too sandy and won’t hold much water. If it takes more than a day for the hole to drain, the soil will hold too much water.

Location. Before you select a tree or shrub to plant this fall, you need to consider the location where you’ll be planting it. You want to make sure you choose a plant that can tolerate the amount of sun exposure, wind exposure and available space.

Planting trees and shrubs during the fall season allows plants to establish better roots systems and struggle less during a hot, dry summer. You can be successful this fall by paying attention to the details before and during planting.

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