When to Plant Evergreens - Grow Guide for Evergreen Trees

Written by Ivy

Jan 29 2023

When to Plant Evergreens - Grow Guide for Evergreen Trees

We wish we could say that there is never a bad time to plant a tree! Don't we need more trees in the world, after all?

Trees are not only beautiful to look at, but they also have many positive qualities. In addition to reducing heating costs by 20 to 50% and stress levels, they also clean the air and reduce pollution.

Planting trees at the appropriate time of year will help them succeed and provide the greatest amount of benefits. The best seasons to plant evergreen trees are spring and fall. Find out below when it's best to plant every kind of tree!

Which Evergreen Tree Variety to Plant?

Do some research before choosing any new tree varieties for your landscape. Select only trees that are suitable for the USDA growing zone in question. Choose trees that will eventually have enough space to accommodate their mature size. Some fast-growing evergreen trees might mature earlier than you anticipate and have rapid growth rates. (When a tree gets too big, you don't want to have to move it or, worse, cut it down.) Choose only evergreen plants that can withstand your choices of sunlight: full sun, partial sun, or a more partial shade spot. Is your soil suitable for the evergreen you're thinking about, and if so, does it need acidic soil? Evergreens favor soil types with good drainage.

What Are the Best Evergreen Trees for Privacy?

Determine the function of trees for your landscape first, as per our recommendation. Will your evergreen trees be used as ornamental trees or as windbreaks, screening, and privacy? There are numerous variations in the sizes, colors, and leaf types of evergreens. You can choose the best evergreens for your yard by understanding the function of these trees.

It's crucial to comprehend the chances of evergreens surviving in your region before purchasing any. Your choice of evergreen may be influenced by your understanding of your growing zone. Checking the zone rating on trees you're interested in is important because some trees and shrubs are hardier than others. It's best to be aware of the soil type that the evergreen prefers.

Others require moist soil, while some plants can tolerate drier soil types. It can also be useful to know your soil's pH balance before buying a tree. While some trees require more alkaline soil, others prefer acidic soil.

  • Alkaline soils are drier soil types, so it's best to buy drought tolerant trees
  • The majority of evergreens prefer acidic soil because it retains moisture better.

When is the Best Time to Plant Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees can be planted in either the spring or the fall, depending on your region's climate. When evergreen trees are planted in the spring, their root systems have time to grow during the growing season. It might be best to postpone planting until the fall if you live in an area with extreme heat and dry weather. Evergreens that are still young are vulnerable to damage from heat and drought.

Evergreen tree roots grow more quickly when planted in the fall than they do when they are in the spring, which is a benefit. Because of how moist the air is, the soil conditions are better. The best time to plant in the fall, though, is before November. Your evergreen may sustain winter damage if it is planted too late.

As you can see, there is a huge selection of evergreens to select from, depending on your requirements and preferences. Your evergreen trees and shrubs can flourish for many years if you follow the right planting and care instructions. Evergreens are a dependable and rewarding landscaping choice because they are ideal for offering a variety of landscape solutions, adding texture, and year-round beauty, even in the winter when most other plants are dull and bare.

Where to Plant Evergreen Trees

Take into account the new tree's mature size. The ultimate maximum width and height of your new evergreen should be able to fit in the location you choose. It shouldn't be rubbing against a structure or wall. Make sure the soil pH is appropriate and that the tree will receive enough sunlight.

How to Plant Evergreen Trees

Before beginning, thoroughly water the soil in the nursery pot to completely saturate the tree's roots. Slide the root ball out of the pot by tipping it on its side. If the plant is stuck, you can loosen it by gliding a long-bladed knife around the inside edge. To prevent the roots from enclosing the root mass, gently loosen a few of the roots that are near the sides and bottom of the root mass and pull them outward. (Read More: How to Plant Evergreen Trees)

Unless the roots are wrapped around the pot's edge, none of the roots should need to be pruned. The offending roots in this situation should be cut shorter so that when they are buried, they will spread out quickly and not grow in a circle. It's important to take care to keep as much of the original soil around the roots. Dry root hairs will eventually die.

Dig a hole that is slightly deeper and two or three times as wide as the container your little tree was delivered in. Make no soil amendments or fertilizer additions. Spread the roots of the root mass out in all directions around the planting hole, then pile up some soil in the center of the hole to a height of 3 to 4 inches. As soon as possible, start filling the hole.

Never lower the root mass when backfilling; keep the top level at the same level as when it was in the nursery pot. The plant might need to be removed as you backfill. Give the hole a good soak in water once it is halfway filled. After the water has drained, finish filling the hole and, if necessary, adjust the stem's depth. Tamp the ground gently.


Around the perimeter of the root zone, create a 3-6 inch high soil dike. As the water penetrates the soil in this way, it will impound over the roots. Spread an organic mulch 3-6 inches thick over the root zone and beyond to help retain soil moisture and inhibit weed growth. After giving the plant plenty of water, make sure to thoroughly dry it out. Peat moss, hay, straw, leaves, pine needles, bark or wood chips, grass clippings, or compost are all acceptable materials. Maintain a minimum distance of 3–4 inches between the trunk and the layer of mulch or organic matter. At this time, don't fertilize.

For the first two to three months, until the plant is established, water every day or every other day. To encourage the tree's roots to take, give it plenty of water, especially during the dry season.

Lack of water is the most frequent cause of death for newly planted trees.

Unless the location is particularly windy, we do not advise staking a young evergreen. It only strengthens the trunk if it is slightly whipped around. Furthermore, trees staked with stakes occasionally break above the stake.

Stake the small tree with two stakes placed on either side of it, if necessary. Tie a rope to each stake from the middle of a piece of cloth that has been wrapped around the trunk. At the conclusion of the first winter, remove.

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How Fast Do Evergreen Trees Grow?

You should also think about the height of the trees you want in your yard. Don't forget to account for the trees' eventual size. Your decisions will also be influenced by a tree's rate of growth. Are you okay with a tree that grows slowly, or do you require something that will quickly reach height? Consider a fast-growing tree if privacy screening or shade are important. While some dwarf varieties of evergreens only grow to a height of 4 to 6 feet, many evergreen trees can mature to heights of 20 to 60 feet.

Keep in mind the size of your yard and the space allotted for these trees as you choose your evergreen trees to ensure a successful outcome. Fitting trees to their surroundings is crucial. If certain evergreens outgrow the location you've selected for them, they won't look as attractive. A tree may need regular pruning or removal if it becomes too big for its space.

For smaller yards and homes, we advise using small to medium-sized varieties. Place smaller trees close to your house and taller trees farther away in your landscape.

Evergreen Tree Care

The majority of evergreen trees and shrubs require one inch of water every seven to ten days. You should water more frequently if your soil is sandy or there has been a dry spell. It's likely that the roots aren't getting enough water if the leaves begin to wilt or turn yellow.

The mulch layer should be renewed as necessary to prevent the roots from drying out and to smother competing weeds. Maintain the mulch layer around the tree at a depth of 3 to 6 inches, but keep it a few inches away from the trunk. Use an organic mulch that will nutrient the soil as it breaks down.

Evergreen Tree Fertilizer

Every spring, fertilize evergreens with a complete fertilizer or one with a higher nitrogen content. The best fertilizers release slowly. Be sure not to overfertilize and follow the instructions on the label. For your new trees, fertilizer dosage is crucial.

Perform a soil test at your neighborhood extension office if you suspect that your soil may be lacking in something.

How to Trim Evergreen Trees

Your new evergreen will naturally take on the shape it is intended to have without any pruning. You can prune evergreen trees as you see fit after the first year of growth. Several times throughout the growing season will be required for shearing to maintain a hedge's shape. Reduce new growth by about a third each winter to make it bushier. Keep your desired tree's size and shape by pruning it.

You can always cut down or remove any branches that are sick or dead. Evergreen trees can withstand heavy pruning and quickly recover. To lower the risk of disease when pruning back large branches, always cut at the branch collar.


Lower temperatures in the spring and fall result in less water evaporation from the foliage, which reduces the need for water from the roots of evergreen trees. Falling temperatures cause the enzymes that power biochemical processes like photosynthesis to rapidly slow down. As a result of this and shorter days, trees begin to put more of their energy into their roots as opposed to their leaves. All of this works in your favor, making spring and fall excellent times to move or transplant trees because you want them to establish from the ground up.