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Why You Should Plant Trees in the Fall: A Complete Guide

Spring is known as the best time for planting trees. But you may not know that fall is also a great time for tree planting in Toronto. In this season, you can take advantage of the favourable soil temperatures and moisture conditions for healthy root growth. It also helps trees and plants strengthen their root system before they can start collecting water and nutrients for leaf production.

Here is a guide to help you understand why fall is the ideal time for tree planting and how it gives you a chance to maintain your newly planted vegetation in the best possible way.

The Best Time for Tree Planting in Toronto

The best time for tree planting is different for different regions. There may be no specific time to plant in the temperate zone where the weather is nearly consistent around the year, so you can plant at any preferred time.

For a place like Toronto, which has four distinct seasons, fall is the best time to plant your trees and shrubs. The optimal time for planting is from the end of August to mid-October or a bit later. You should plant trees before the ground freezes. If it is covered with snow and if you can put a spade into the soil, you can still plant a tree.

Benefits of Tree Planting in the Fall

Tree Planting in the fall gives your tree a resting period before the summer stress. Towards the end of summer and the beginning of fall, the soil temperature is warm, and the air gets cooler. This reduces water loss and helps with transplant shock. Trees get time to promote their root system without having to work to provide energy for the new growth as in the spring. Towards the beginning of winter, when air further cools down, the trees move into their dormant phase, transfer their energy to the growing roots and prepare for the winter ahead.

Many people believe that young trees cannot withstand winters which is not true. The dormant phase is equal to going into hibernation when tree growth, energy consumption, and metabolism slow down. During this phase, they do not require much care or maintenance.

How to Prepare for Tree Planting in the Fall

Soil Test

To ensure successful tree planting in the fall, it is essential to test the soil. You can perform a drainage test if the temperature is at least 55 ℉, six inches beneath.

Drainage Test

Whether you plant your tree in spring or fall, many die in their first few months due to lack of water or overwatering. To prevent this:

  • Dig a small hole to check the soil drainage in your preferred location
  • Fill the hole with water and keep track of how long the water takes to drain

If the water disappears within an hour, the soil is too sandy and incapable of retaining moisture. And if it takes more than a day for the hole to drain, the soil will hold water more than needed.


The place where you plant your tree plays a vital role in determining the growth and overall health of the tree. Planting the right tree in the right place is crucial. So, you should choose a plant that can survive the amount of sunlight and wind received by that area. You also need to consider the space available for the tree to grow. Make sure you don’t plant your tree too close to a structure. It helps to consult a tree planting service in Toronto to ensure you plant the right tree at the right place.

Steps for Tree Planting in the Fall

  • Dig a hole just enough to accommodate the root ball. You can check the depth by measuring from the trunk flare of the tree to the bottom of the root ball. Ensure the hole is two to three times wider than the root ball.
  • Loosen the roots if they are clustered. This step is vital to let the roots spread out and establish themselves properly in the new space.
  • Remove burlap, string, or wire covering the top half of the root ball before tree planting.
  • Set up the plant and ensure the trunk flare is one to two inches above the soil level.
  • Use native soil or buy high-quality soil for backfilling. You can get the best quality soil that suits your plant from tree planting services in Toronto. Their certified arborists know about the ideal soil type that provides your plant with proper nourishment.
  • When you have completed approximately 50% of backfilling, water the soil and allow it to drain.
  • Once the backfilling is done, water the rootball and the planting area.
  • Ensure you supply about one inch of water every week, including any rainfall, until the ground freezes.
  • From late November to March, cover the trunks of the young trees to protect them from frost cracks, sunscald, and animal damage.
  • Once tree planting is complete, add a three to four-inch layer of mulch. You can mix materials such as shredded bark, straw, and compost in late November or early December when the trees move into their dormant phase and the soil is cold.

Fall Tree Planting Tips

Consider the following tips to choose suitable trees in the fall:

  • Select medium size deciduous trees and shrubs that can establish easily
  • Select healthy, burlapped, or container-grown plants
  • If you plan tree planting before the end of September, opt for conifers, as they do well when the soil is warm.
  • If you want to plant evergreens, wait for the spring to arrive.

Hire Expert Tree Planting Service in Toronto

Best Season for Tree Planting in TorontoEvery property is unique and has a different set of challenges. Choosing the perfect tree to plant in the perfect place can be overwhelming. This is when professional tree planting services prove to be a great help.

DreamWorks Trees is a reliable tree planting service in Toronto that offers comprehensive tree care solutions for all types of residential and commercial properties. Our certified arborists thoroughly evaluate your property’s essential characteristics, including local weather conditions, soil conditions, regional pests, diseases, and available space, to recommend the right tree at the right place. This ensures the healthy growth and longevity of your trees.

We follow local rules and regulations and take proper safety measures to achieve tree planting successfully.

For more details about our services, contact us at 647-924-2627 or fill out our contact form to speak to one of our expert arborists. We will be happy to assist you.

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