Arborists in Atlanta, GA Share Tips for Fall Planting

The fall to-do list for most homeowners includes things like cleaning the chimney, sealing windows and doors, raking leaves, and cleaning the gutters. But homeowners should be careful not to leave garden work and tree care off the list! 

Fall is a great time to plan and prep gardens, and even plant flowers, vegetables, and trees. Read on to learn more about hardiness zones, which plants are ideal for your zone, and fall tree care tips.

Zone 7b: Ideal For Fall Planting

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to classify every region of the United States according to its temperature. This map helps growers know when the best time is to plant, and which plants will thrive in their region.

Much of the area surrounding Atlanta, GA is classified as Zone 7b, which means the most extreme temperature there is 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, plants that require somewhat warmer temperatures, such as tropical plants, are not suitable for this zone.

There are two reasons why fall is the ideal time for planting in Zone 7. First, planting in the fall allows plants and trees to establish a strong root system before being exposed to cold winter temperatures. This growth is aided by autumn’s frequent rainfall and moderate temperatures. Second, spring in the South often becomes too hot too quickly, making fall the preferred time to grow and harvest more delicate plants and vegetables.

Which Plants To Choose For Fall Planting In Zone 7

Perennials are plants that return year after year (as opposed to annuals, which die back at the first frost and do not return). Perennials are dormant throughout the winter, conserving their energy for a strong spring growing season. Perennial flowers that may be planted in the fall include pansies, peonies, tulips, rhododendron, azalea, bee balm, black-eyed Susan, crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, lilies, and gardenia.

Vegetables to plant in fall include garlic, lettuce, spinach, brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, kale, beets, parsnips, and radishes.

Fall is also an excellent time for shrub and tree planting. This allows ample time for the roots to take hold before the winter freeze and summer drought. When planting trees and shrubs in the fall, be sure they receive plenty of water.

Taking Care of Your Trees This Fall

Tree transplanting is best in the fall, when fair temperatures and frequent rainfall aid in the establishment of their root system. Caring for new trees in the fall includes fertilizing, if necessary, and spreading mulch to help hold in moisture and protect roots from frigid temperatures. 

Watering trees is also critical in the fall; both new trees and mature trees need large amounts of water all year long. For optimal health, mature trees should be watered every 7-14 days during a dry spell. Young trees, however, depend a lot more on frequent watering. Here’s how often to water new trees:

  • In the first two weeks, water daily.
  • Three to twelve weeks after planting, water every two or three days.
  • After twelve weeks, water weekly.

Another essential element of tree care is pruning. Pruning should be done in the fall, at the end of the growing season, and just before the tree goes dormant. Dead branches and limbs should be removed to prevent breakage and disease. Live branches can also be trimmed to improve shape and direction. It’s important to not remove more than 30% of a tree’s live tissue, however, as over-pruning can seriously weaken the tree.

For advice on taking care of your trees this fall, consult a professional arborist, who can provide pruning and removal services, and recommend fertilization or other needed treatments.

Ask The Arborists At Boutte Tree, Inc.

Boutte Tree, Inc. offers the very best tree care at the most reasonable rates in Atlanta, GA. Their services include tree planting, pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, and more. Locally-owned since 2003, the team of experts at Boutte Tree, Inc. is waiting to answer all your arboreal questions!