(Image credit: LightFieldStudios)

As spring passes by with lightning speed, you may not be able to fit in enough tree planting time to finish your short list. You may be wondering about planting trees in summer.

Can you plant trees in the summer? The answer is yes for some species and some presentations. Read on to learn about the best trees to plant in summer.

When to Plant Trees

The general rule is that the two best tree planting times during the year are spring and fall. Spring is considered a good season for planting deciduous shrubs and trees since they are just coming out of dormancy and warm weather is just around the corner.

Fall, on the other hand, is also a good moment to plant most deciduous trees. Since they are preparing to cease putting energy into developing leaves, flowers and fruits, they can spend the time between planting and winter developing a deep, strong root system.

Can You Plant Trees in the Summer

Planting trees in summer is possible if you are willing to do a little extra work. The best trees to plant in summer are container plants, ball-and-burlapped trees, and evergreens recently dug up for replanting. These trees already have strong root systems developed, so they have more of a chance of establishing themselves in the new location before winter’s cold.

But summer weather is an issue. The heat and general lack of rain means that the tree needs help to survive a transplant. The gardener must assume responsibility for keeping the soil most for the months after the tree is planted.

Watering a Summer-Planted Tree

When you are planting trees in summer, water the planting hole well before the transplant. Then, once the tree is placed in it new location, water the root ball thoroughly. 

But this is just the start. Keep in mind that these newly transplanted trees will not have extended roots to seek water. That means that the only water they will be able to access is water poured into the soil directly at the base of the plant. You will need to check the soil every few days to see if it has dried out. If so, water again. In this way you can help the tree get through summer into cooler, wetter autumn.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.