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South Regional Reports

Planting Trees in Fall

Avoid common mistakes and ensure that your tree has the best possible chance going into winter

Photo: Virginia Small

Fall is one of the absolute best times for planting. This rings true for those of us in the South wanting to add trees, shrubs, or more herbaceous perennials to our landscape. For the average homeowner, fall’s advantage over spring or summer is in the ease of up-front maintenance for newly added plants. This mostly comes in the form of not needing to water new additions quite as much.

The first caution to take in fall planting, however, comes with planting anything in fall that may be only marginally hardy in your area. This could take the form of a tree that might sustain an injury if you have a colder than average winter. In my area of Tennessee, this includes crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp. and cvs., Zones 7–9). If you live farther south, it might be things like live oak (Quercus virginiana, Zones 8–10) or various hardy palms.

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