Transplanting Time

By: Ross Latham

Weíre approaching the most wonderful time of the year.

Now for those of you who think Iím getting into Christmas caroling a little too early, hear me out. Iím not talking about winter. Iím talking about the season weíre going into now, fall.

Why would I say fall tops all of the other seasons? Simple. It is far and away the most beautiful season, when nature really gets to show off its colors. The brilliant changes of red, yellow, purple, gold, orange, and every other color this season has to offer are really without equal. One of the best parts of owning a tree, hands down.

But even more importantly, this is tree transplanting time.

Some species of trees will survive transplanting year round, if the ground isnít frozen, but this is a little more rare. You donít want to wait until the ground starts to freeze to move a tree; anywhere close to this drastically reduces the chances of the tree making it. Early fall or, even better late fall, after the leaf drop begins is optimal. Thatís why I recommend this time of year for getting new trees and highly recommend transplanting trees into a yard in the fall.

When transplanting, you should exert strict control over what soil conditions are present and ensure wind protection, so you can be assured of an easy transplanting of the tree into its new home. Make sure you take the same care when approaching a yard and the varying conditions that can be present. It just takes finding the right tree and knowing when to plant.

Now, in this season some of the more traditional and most popular trees to plant are Red Maples, Oaks and Birch. These put on a great display of fall colors and survive well in a yard. But each year are featured different ornamental and unique flowering specimens. You can plant many varieties of evergreens, both as stand alone specimens and privacy trees. Depending on the various conditions, different trees will be better suited to a particular yard; and it also depends on exactly what you want for your yard. When making this decision consult with an expert on tree transplanting who can walk you through the process of identifying trees that will accomplish what youíre looking for.

If you need to get a little more reality than a Google Image Search to find the right tree for your yard (I donít blame you), then you can locate tree nurseries in your area and see the various choices in person to see the different options. Most nurseries will be happy to show you their selection and advise you on the best choice for your yard and your needs.

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Ross Latham is owner of Big Trees Inc. ( in Snohomish, WA, one of the largest Seattle tree nurseries specializing in tree transplanting.

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