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When to plant

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Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Robert Mineau)

After you have chosen the right plant for the right place, you have to decide on the best time to plant it. Some tips:

  • If possible, chose a cool, cloudy day. If you are planting when it is extremely hot and dry, there are a number of things you should do to limit the amount of water lost to evaporation: water thoroughly and more often, use an anti-desiccant or shelter the plant from the wind or sun.
  • There are different ideal times for planting bare root trees and shrubs and those that are balled and burlapped or container grown. See the information below.
  • When planting in spring, make sure that the ground has thawed and dried out enough to be workable.
  • Avoid planting tender (non-hardy) plants in late fall.

When to plant bare-rooted trees and shrubs

When the plant is dormant:

  • In spring, as soon as the ground thaws until just before the buds open (from about mid-April to mid-May).
  • In fall, after the leaves drop until the ground freezes.

Evergreens:

  • In spring, as soon as the ground thaws until new shoots appear in June.
  • In fall, once new shoots have hardened off until 6 weeks before the first frost (from about August 15 to September 15).

When to plant balled and burlapped trees and shrubs

As soon as the ground thaws in spring until it freezes in fall (special attention required when it is very hot and dry).

When to plant container grown trees and shrubs

As soon as the ground thaws in spring until it freezes in fall (special attention required when it is very hot and dry).

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