We generally think of spring – a time of new growth and life – as the time to plant everything including trees & shrubs. However, cooler temperatures make fall an excellent time to plant. The soil is warmer than in the spring, and many of us actually have more time to devote to planting trees and shrubs in the fall, when we aren’t so preoccupied with our annuals and vegetables. Fall is a great time to plant because it gives your new plants time to overcome transplant shock without the added demands of producing leaves and flowers, giving them a jump start over anything planted next spring. We have a great new selection of fresh trees and shrubs plus all your fall favorites like mums, asters, garlic and bulbs.
Trees & Shrubs
- Plant while the soil is still warm (Soil temp. 6″ deep should be above 55 degrees Farenheit) to encourage strong root growth and development. Typically, our soil maintains warm temperatures into mid-October, even after the air is much colder.
- Container-grown trees, (nearly all trees available at Fort Collins Nursery are container-grown), transplant much better than bare-root or recently dug balled-and-burlapped stock.
- Keep newly planted trees & shrubs well-watered (but not over watered) until they drop their leaves, and then water them deeply once a month throughout the winter.
- Young thin-barked trees should be wrapped in late October/early November with a breathable wrap to prevent frost cracks, animal damage, and sunscald. Wrap the trunks with either paper tree wrap or rigid plastic (both in stock now) that allows for air movement. Remove the wrap no later than early/mid March. Trees that have developed the coarse craggy bark typically associated with mature trees do not need to be wrapped in the winter.
- Mulch trees with 3-4” wood chips to prevent early soil freezing. Avoid piling mulch directly against the trunk.
Every Autumn, our garden shop is taken over with a diverse selection of bulbs for spring color! Tulips, daffodils, iris, narcissus, allium, crocus and more are available in a rainbow of colors. These bulbs can be planted up until the soil freezes, but shop early for the best selection! It is best to plant bulbs early in the fall so that the bulb root has time to get established, prior to the ground freezing, but not too early – wait until daytime temperatures are holding steadily at or below the mid-60s to prevent them from sprouting prematurely in the fall. Bulbs prefer sandy or clay loam soil. In general, bulbs should be planted at a depth of three to four times the diameter of the bulb. If planting in a sandy soil, plant two inches deeper. Small crocus bulbs should be planted at a more shallow depth; large allium or daffodil bulbs should be planted at a deeper depth. (Information courtesy of CSU). We also offer amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs that can be forced to bloom indoors in the winter months. Call or stop by for availability, or chat with one of our knowledgeable staff for how-to tips. We also have all great selection of bulb accessories: gravel, vases, bulb planter tools, books and bulb fertilizers.
Originally published on September 5th, 2018. Updated on May 14th, 2020.