When is the Best Time for Planting?
A tree is likely the most important planting in any landscape project, not to mention the most expensive. It pays to give it the best chance possible to thrive in its new setting. Transplanted trees need plenty of water, so the height of the dry season is not the best time of year for this work. When transplanting in summer’s heat, it does help to use zip-up water bags on new trees to provide a steady supply of water as they become established. In many parts of the country, early spring is the best time for planting trees. The trees are still dormant, the deepest part of winter’s cold has past, and spring moisture is on the horizon.
In Seattle, however, the fall is a great time to plant new trees. Our rainy season is just about to start, and we don’t suffer prolonged ground-freezing winter temperatures that can keep moisture from reaching a newly transplanted tree’s root ball. By the time spring comes, a fall-planted tree in Seattle has had months of plentiful water and will be ready to burst with new buds.
Trees are Beautiful and Beneficial
Trees, of course, are tremendously beneficial in so many ways. Their shade cools the ground below them, they provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, they contribute to clean air, and they beautify our streets and yards. In Seattle, they also help to cover storm water management requirements in new development due to their capacity to hold water. We have planted hundreds of trees that helped to fulfill Green Factor requirements for building projects throughout the city.
The City of Seattle encourages tree planting, but does keep a few rules about which species are allowed as street trees on the City’s right-of-way. Fruit trees are not allowed, along with a few other species with aggressive roots or brittle wood. Big leaf maples and cottonwoods are examples that fall into those categories. There are also several rules about locating street trees that aim to avoid causing problems for utilities and blocking the vision of drivers.
At True Scape Design, we have learned to work with the City Arborist’s Office to help our clients choose and locate trees in the City’s right of way. Our experience has served to keep both homeowners and the city happy with the trees in our projects. Visit the links below to read tips from the city on choosing and planting a tree, as well as SDOT’s requirements and recommendations for locating trees. It’s the season for planting!