“When is the best time of year to plant a [tree] sapling?” Question from Julia of Montello, Wisconsin
Answer: Young trees, or saplings, are best planted in early spring before they have fully broken dormancy. The soil must be soft enough to dig before planting. Planting early will give your new sapling a full growing season to set deep roots and new top growth, allowing it to better withstand the cold winter weather of central Wisconsin.
Saplings of very hardy tree species (USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 3) will overwinter if planted in fall, and larger balled and burlapped trees are also better able to withstand fall planting because they have more stored energy. But overall newly planted trees perform better from transplant shock if planted in spring.
For a good overview or tree-planting methods, read this article about How and When to Plant Trees! I hope this helps!
Happy gardening! Jessie Keith
Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.
This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.