Best Time of Year to Plant Trees in Colorado

Spring is here, and along with the change of season comes one of the best times to plant new trees! And we can think of no better way to beautify your landscape and lower your stress levels than to honor planet Earth with new growth! At the time of this writing, COVID-19 social distancing and quarantine policies are still in place, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t spend some quality time in your own backyard!

(Note that hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot are considered to be essential services, which also means that their respective garden centers and nurseries are still open for business! We contacted our local Lowe’s in Arvada, CO and they assured us that their garden center was still open, so long as the items were checked out inside of the store)!

Tree Planting Season

Although generally speaking, the best time of year to plant trees is in the fall starting in September, Colorado’s altitude, dry climate, and alkaline soil obviously presents some exceptions!

Traditionally, the recommendation to plant trees in the fall stems from the idea that there is less chance of drought or sunscald – both of which can harm newly planted trees which are more vulnerable to the elements. Fall also happens to be when the soil is softest, making it easier to dig into the ground! Planting in the fall means less leaf growth, which will reduce the requirement to water your trees as frequently. Lastly, cooler temperatures in the fall can also help trees to encourage new root growth, which ultimately provides a stronger foundation for a tree’s root system (since the tree can allocate resources towards strengthening its roots rather than towards new leaf production).

That all being said, so long as you’re being mindful of the fundamentals – the best time to plant trees here in Denver, CO is actually in early spring. You can plant as early as mid-March so long as the ground does not continue to be frozen and at least four to six weeks before the extreme conditions of summer arrive. Be aware; however, that if you plant in the spring, expect to water your newly planted trees frequently since your trees will be producing roots and leaves simultaneously. And if you do end up waiting until the fall to start planting trees, you may want to consider wrapping them in tree wrap for the winter just to be on the safe side (Learn more about how to wrap your trees HERE).

Hopefully this goes without saying, but planting your trees in the winter is a recipe for disaster – especially for smaller or newly planted trees that have not yet developed mature root systems (see: Caring For Your Trees In Winter). Tree trunks that experience bouts of freezing and thawing are more likely to experience cracking and rupturing, which means that trees planted in the winter may not make it to the spring. If you must plant in the winter, we recommend contacting one of our tree trimming experts in Denver CO for additional assistance.

Tree Planting Fundamentals

We’ve written a lot about tips and strategies for planting trees in the past, so we’ve decided to save our readers some time by compiling the most useful of them here! Once you’re prepared to plant a tree in the spring or fall, make sure you take a look at the following articles:

NOTE: As an essential service, our doors are still open at regular hours, and we’d be more than happy to assist you with your next tree planting project or other tree removal needs in Denver or the surrounding communities! Reach out to us today for a free Denver tree service estimate, or call us at 720-650-2039!

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