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Can You Plant Trees, Shrubs or Evergreens in the Winter?

winter planting

Have you wanted to plant some new trees, shrubs, or evergreens on your lawn? Did you put it off all spring and summer, and now it’s starting to get cold out? You might be wondering if you can still plant them safely.

The question of whether or not it’s safe for you to plant during the winter will depend on where you live and your climate.

Winter Planting: Will It Kill My Plants?

In certain climates, like the ones you will find in AL, GA, or TN, planting in the winter isn’t just ok, it’s highly encouraged. The temperatures in these states stay high enough that the ground doesn’t freeze, so there are no dangers to the plants. If you are in a state with a much colder climate, you might want to wait until the weather warms up first.

No matter where you live, DO NOT plant evergreens in the winter. Unlike deciduous trees and shrubs, evergreens hold onto their foliage all winter. This would make it hard for them to establish roots while maintaining the moisture levels in their needles. 

The most significant danger to your plants is the lack of water. When the ground freezes, the plants are unable to drink the water in the soil around their roots. If you live in a warmer climate where the ground doesn’t freeze, you won’t have to deal with this issue.

When Is It Safe to Plant?

August, September, and October are usually considered the best months to plant trees. This isn’t always the case. What’s important is to plant when it feels like fall where you live. If your state isn’t included in the list below, go ahead and plant away!

How to Test the Soil

It might not be the best time of year for your area, but you still want to plant trees and shrubs anyway. How do you know if it’s ok? One thing you can do is check the temperature of the soil. Purchase a soil thermometer and stick it in the ground. 

Check the temperature for 3 days. If it consistently stays at 50° F or higher, then it’s safe to plant. Make sure you check the weather! Your new plants will need at least 3-4 weeks for them to establish their roots before the first freeze.

Tips for Success

To give your new plants the best possible chance when winter planting, follow these simple tips for success.

Recommended Reading: Tips to Keep Your Yard Alive in Winter

Ask Questions

Do you still have questions that weren’t answered in this article? Contact us, and our staff would be happy to help!