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Fall planting

In the late summer and early autumn, many nurseries and garden centers will discount their inventory of trees and shrubs. While selection may be limited, these sales are a good opportunity to purchase fruit trees and landscape trees at reduced prices.

Fall may be the best time of the year to plant nursery stock in other parts of the country, but it is second best in Colorado, behind spring. When planting in the fall, be sure to finish by the end of October. Some deciduous trees are less likely to transplant successfully in the fall. As a general rule, evergreens are more at risk when planted in the fall because their needles are exposed to the elements in the fall and winter.

Mulching and winter watering will increase a new tree's chances of survival. After planting a tree, water it deeply. Then, mulch with a three-inch layer of wood chips, pine needles or a similar material. Mulch to at least a foot beyond the area of the tree's rootball. Water the tree again to settle the mulch.

Check the soil moisture under the mulch weekly to determine if water is needed. From December through March, water transplants on warmer days when three weeks have elapsed without snow or snow cover remaining on the ground.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).


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Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014