Can I plant trees and shrubs in the fall in Chicago?

Yes! Fall is a great time to plant in the Chicagoland area.

The cooler temperatures of September and October produce better planting conditions because there is less heat which can cause stress in plants installed during summer months. This results in trees and shrubs that have an easier time adjusting to their new environment. Also, the soil is still warm from summer which aids in root growth and the excess moisture provided by Mother Nature during fall helps you keep up with the task of watering.

Lastly, most industry professionals believe fall is the best time to plant because trees and shrubs installed in fall direct all their energy into root production whereas plants installed in summer and spring are splitting their energy between root growth and foliage or flower growth. The bigger and better the root system, the better the plant will do come winter.

Most trees, shrubs and evergreens can be successfully planted as long as they are installed before the ground freezes.  It is usually best to have your plants installed before Halloween, but some can even be planted well into November. Let a local nursery, like www.platthillnursery.com , help you figure out the last days of planting.

Moreover, when planting in fall, remember to take advantage of trees and shrubs that have nice fall color.  Burning bush, deutzia, viburnum, barberry and sweetspire are just a few of the shrubs that deliver an impressive show in autumn.  Some of our favorite show stopping trees in fall include maple, serviceberry, katsura, ginkgo and red oak.

Finally, broadleaf evergreen shrubs may need a little extra protection if planted later in the fall.  Apply Wilt-Stop to new rhododendrons, azaleas, boxwoods and holly around mid to late November.  This provides a protective layer on the foliage which protects the leaves from winter’s drying winds.

Remember, fall is a great time for planting! Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and natural rainfall. Stop in to your local www.platthillnursery.com and get inspired for all things fall! We hope to see you soon!