Leaves May Be Falling, But Now is Good Tree-Planting Time

October 15, 2020

For many people, spring has become the default season for o planting or gardening. But in areas that experience distinct seasons, fall may be more ideal for planting trees.

Planting in the fall gives trees an extra growing season before the stress of summer. The combination of cooler temperatures and fall rain allows trees to establish their roots, making it easier for them to adjust to extreme heat or drought in the summer.

Many people fear that young trees can’t withstand the coming winter. However, that’s not the case. Trees go dormant in the winter. This “sleep” state slows down the tree’s growth, energy consumption and metabolism. It’s safe to plant trees until the ground is frozen.

The most important consideration is planting the right tree in the right place. When planting trees around overhead power lines typically found in residential areas, homeowners can help prevent service interruptions and minimize the need for future pruning just by following a few simple guidelines.

If possible, avoid planting any tree directly underneath power lines. Make sure any tree planted within 20 feet of  a line is a variety that will grow to a mature height of 25 feet or less. Small trees such as flowering crabapple, dogwood or serviceberry are ideal for these locations. Such trees often feature smaller root structures so they’re also less likely to crack sidewalks.

Plant taller trees farther away to ensure they can’t grow into power lines. Around long distance high voltage tr​ansmission lines, more clearance is usually necessary.

Check the FirstEnergy website for more about what kind of trees to plant in various situations.

And, whenever you dig, it’s always a good idea to call 811 beforehand to avoid underground utility lines.

No matter the time of year, proper tree care starts by properly planting your tree.

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