There is no reason to wait until spring to plant a special landscape tree.
In Georgia, the dead of winter is not all that dead. During the winter, roots grow as they really do not have a dormant period here.
By planting in the winter, you are providing the plant a great advantage over plants added to the landscape in the spring. Roots will grow from late winter to early spring and provide the above ground parts of the tree more “life support” as summer heat arrives.
As temperatures soar, it is the roots that pull the plant through by providing water. If the plant has more established roots, then it will not suffer too badly during the hot days of summer.
The hardest part now may be finding the tree. Go to good nurseries or garden centers that keep a good inventory year-round.
When you are looking at trees to plant, pick out healthy looking trees free from insects and disease. And stay with a native species. Native trees are better suited to Georgia’s climate, soil and weather conditions.
With that being said, make sure the native plant is going to like the specific growing conditions of your yard or landscape.
In your landscape, pick a place where the tree will have plenty of room to grow and mature to its full size without needing to be pruned every few years. Dig the hole no deeper than the root ball or container is deep. Dig out at least two to three times the size of the root ball to allow the roots room to explore and become established.
Add a good 3-inch layer of mulch to help retain water and keep the soil temperature from getting too hot in the summer.
Even though it is winter, give the tree a good watering. This not only will help the soil settle around the roots, but help the tree fight transplant shock.
In the first year, protect the tree from pets, children and lawnmowers. And do not fertilize the tree in the first year. This will encourage the root system to become well established.
Keep the tree well watered when needed for the first year. You should not need to water the tree in years two and three unless there is a drought. From there on out, you should not need to water the tree, except for extreme drought years.
If you have any questions, give the office a call.