The cooler temperatures and increased precipitation of fall make this a great time to start thinking about trees and shrubs.

Trees and shrubs: fall planting tips

The cooler temperatures and increased precipitation of fall make this a great time to start thinking about trees and shrubs. Whether blank spots in the landscape, a need for shade or just a desire for added color and texture throughout the coming years, fall is the ideal planting season for trees and shrubs. Choosing deciduous plants for a landscape offers a home heating benefits from the sun in cooler months and cooling potential in warmer months due to shade.


Selecting trees and shrubs:

Once planted, trees and shrubs will be a part of the landscape for decades. Shop with a plan to avoid wasting valuable time and money. Consider the climate, available space, and design of the landscape when making a selection. For added interest, experiment with a variety of low-growing evergreens in various heights, colors, shapes and textures.

Trees, shrubs and ornamentals can provide a home with many landscaping solutions:

Foundation plantings-Use evergreens for great foundation plantings in the landscape.
Strong vertical forms at the entrance of a home-Pyramidal yews and junipers may be used in this case.
Shield from the weather-Large conifers planted on the west or north sides of open space can reduce wind and heating costs.
Splash of color and beauty-Broadleaf evergreens, such as holly, azaleas, and rhododendrons, produce flowers or berries and maintain their leaves throughout winter.



The combination of warm soil and cool, fall air stimulates root growth to help trees and shrubs get established before frost hits. Look for them in containers, bare-root, or with root balls (called “balled-and-burlapped”). Planting is easy. Follow a few simple steps.

Give room to grow. It is a common mistake to plant trees or shrubs too close to each other or surrounding structures. Remember that fully grown trees may interfere with the foundation or wiring of a home or drop leaves into the gutter.
Start Digging. Dig a hole that is deep enough for the tree’s roots to sit on solid dirt, with the soil line slightly above ground level. If the tree is bare-rooted, dig the hole at least six inches below the soil line, keeping the roots surrounded by loose soil.
Fertilize and Plant. Trees and shrubs need a good home in the soil, with lots of nutrients. Mix one part yard soil with one part soil amendment, such as Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Trees & Shrubs. Make a small mound in the center of your hole and place your tree or shrub on it. The soil line should be slightly higher than ground level. If your tree has a root ball, untie and start filling the hole with the soil mixture. Tamp the soil gently as you go so that there is a slight depression around the base for catching water.


Consult your local nursery for recommendations when selecting plants. Incorporating plants native to your region are typically easy to grow and help attract area birds and wildlife to the yard. As a general rule, choose plants with healthy, vigorous top-growth that have a good root system and no signs of disease, pests, or damage