We often think of spring as the proper time to plant trees, shrubs, and flowers, but for many types of trees, fall is the best time! These are 10 trees that can be planted in the fall.
Honey locust trees require full sun and grow to a height of 30 feet. They produce amazing fall colors and are incredibly hardy. These trees are common in New England and can be planted any time from Spring to Fall. Space trees 20-30 feet apart. Keep young trees well watered. Mulching around the base of the new tree improves its survival rate. Honey locusts tend to leaf out late in the spring, so don’t give up on your young tree if it’s taking its time making new leaves! It probably made it through winter just fine.
Elm trees need full sun or partial shade and damp soil. These trees are good choices for areas near sidewalks and streets, but they can cause some cracking in sidewalks (like any tree). These tree can be planted in the fall, but wait until the following spring to fertilize. Add a mulch ring around the tree to increase its odds of survival. Elms are large trees, growing up to 120 feet tall!
Buckeye trees are easy to grow yourself from seed. Gather seeds in mid-autumn when the green fruit splits open to reveal the brown seed inside. Parts of this tree are toxic, so handle with gloves. Soak the seeds for 24 hours in cold water. Following that, seeds can be planted directly into the soil or in large pots. If you plant the seed directly, be sure to mark where it’s planted. Place the seeds about ½ an inch deep. Keep the seed wet throughout fall and winter if possible.
Crabapple trees require full sun and produce beautiful spring flowers. They’re a shorter tree, growing between 6 and 25 feet. They are hardy trees that do well in well-drained, loamy soil. Plant 10-20 feet apart. These trees can be planted in the fall, but add a mulch ring around the tree in order to improve its survival odds. In the spring, remove dead and broken branches to promote good growth.
Hawthorn trees are well known for their beautiful white spring flowers. These trees grow to a medium height of about 30 feet and offer a wonderful fall color to any property. The trees are deer-resistant too, making them an excellent pick for rural tree planters who don’t want to fight against wildlife. These trees like well-drained soil and full sun. Trees can be spaced closer together but thrive best when planted 20-30 feet apart.
Linden trees produce some wonderful fall foliage with rich, golden leaves. Unlike most trees, the best time to plant a linden tree is in the fall. These trees prefer full sunlight but can tolerate partial shade. Mulch around the tree to add essential nutrients to the soil and improve the odds that the newly planted tree will survive the winter. Fertilize in spring. Established linden trees do not require fertilization.
Maples are a popular tree. Their fall colors are spectacular, from golden yellow to red, depending on the type of maple you’re planting. Fall planting a maple tree can lead to a strong, successful tree in the spring. Like the other trees on this list, mulch around the base of the tree but don’t overdo it. Maples like just a bit of mulch.
Sycamore trees are truly hardy. You can plant them just about anywhere in any kind of soil and they’ll thrive. These trees are massive, growing up to 100 feet tall with an equal spread. Trunks grow up to ten feet in diameter. These trees can be planted any time of the year, including fall. If you’ve planted in the fall, be sure the tree gets plenty of water.
Most evergreen pine trees can be planted in the fall, but remember, you won’t get any fall colors from them! They don’t drop their needles in the fall. Pine trees are quick to get established and very easy to grow. Many pine trees can handle full sun to full shade depending on the species.
Like sycamore trees, spruce trees are incredibly hardy and can handle harsh conditions. They thrive well in very cold environments and poor soil. Like many trees on this list, spruce trees prefer being planted in the fall and allowed to establish during fall and winter. By spring, you’ll see plenty of new growth on your spruce tree.