Fall planting, timing

Hi all. I want to put a few trees in the ground to grow for a few years. Specifically, 3 dawn redwoods, 4 Korean hornbeam and a Japanese maple. I am in Southwestern Pa. Do you have any advice on timing ? Any suggestions to set me up for success when I dig them up in the future? Thanks in advance.


Hi Adam, wait until spring for all of them. There’s no guarantee they will have settled in the event of an early winter (or a severe one). I don’t know what the winter weather is like in your area but if you get a lot of rain, it will tend to rid the ground of any residual heat.

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Hi Adam,

if you want to improve the root formation to get a good nebari i would recommend to wait untill spring. Reduce the roots and sort them as good as possible while put them in the ground.


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I agree, it’s safer to do any kind of root work in early spring.


To add onto this, there are various ways to encourage radial surface roots you can look into. Some people plant on tiles. I’ve started mine in root control bags and / or over a heavy piece of felt. Basically the same idea as the tile except it is water permeable. I haven’t had them in long enough to pull them up and see what the results of either are though.

You’ll also want to dig them up every few years to re-work the roots until they are ready to come out of the ground.

Listen to the telperion farms podcast for more information too.


Is root work necessary? In the landscaping/gardening world, fall is an ideal time to plant trees. If you are simply looking to thicken trunks, I’d say pop em in the ground. I am located in Nashville and still have a few trees I will be doing the same thing with this weekend. If you need to do significant root work, then I’d wait until spring.

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Thanks for all your advice. I ended up deciding to do a little of both. I am waiting until spring so I can do a little root work before I put most of them in the ground. The ones that were blown off their stands and broke their pots wound up in the ground this fall. :man_shrugging: No major losses.