Late fall tree planting

Asked September 30, 2017, 10:01 AM EDT

We are waiting to have a nursery deliver and plant an 8 foot Meier Spruce in our back yard. They seem to be putting us off as they are busy now with bigger commercial jobs. How late in the month can we still have this done and expect a good result? Wouldn't it need a good month to establish roots before winter? ( time is running out) Thanks for any info you can give.

Wright County Minnesota spruce fall planting

1 Response

This excerpt from an Iowa State University of Wisconsin bulletin addresses your concern:

"Most container-grown and balled and burlapped deciduous trees and shrubs sold at garden centers are excellent candidates for fall planting. Because these plants usually possess well-developed root systems, and because the roots of many landscape plants are capable of growing even when soil temperatures cool to 45 F, the prospects for successful plant establishment are quite high throughout the fall season. Conifers, such as pine and spruce, benefit from a slightly earlier start, preferring the warmer soil temperatures (60 to 70 F) common in late summer to early fall (mid-August through September)."

This information was prepared for Iowa residents where the optimum fall conifer planting time is presumably a bit longer than it is in Minnesota. In that context your concern is justified or soon will be.

Go here to read the complete bulletin:

https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/1997/8-22-1997/fallplant.html