Many people ask “how late in the year can we plant a tree?” Our answer: Ideally, before Thanksgiving, though you can still plant as long as you can dig – usually, this means before the first hard frost. There is no need to water the tree when it is planted in the fall due to its dormancy. Creating a circle of mulch around the tree when it is planted is also important to keep it safe from mower damage and keep the soil moist, though “volcano mulching” – mulching up the base of the tree trunk – is a big problem. Instead, create a “doughnut” of mulch around a tree to help it thrive.
Why plant trees? Trees provide enough shade to reduce cooling costs in your home, and deflect chilly winds in the winter. Trees absorb thousands of gallons of rainwater each year and can help to reduce the need for stormwater runoff systems that may be expensive to build, and require costly maintenance. Most notably, trees absorb vast amounts of toxins in the air, as well as carbon dioxide, cleaning and filtering our air, and releasing oxygen in the atmosphere. Not to mention they make our neighborhoods beautiful!
Questions about planting trees or about trees in general? Call Rieth Interpretive Center to reach the Environmental Resilience Department at 574-534-0076 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.