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Most people think that spring is the best time for planting or installing trees in their backyards. While that may indeed be the case—given that plants have plenty more time to establish their roots during the earlier part of the year—many experts agree that autumn also provides favorable tree-growing conditions. Indeed, The Press Democrat’s Garden Doctors cite the following reasons why property owners would do well to choose the latter part of the year to embark on a landscaping project of this sort.

“Fall is actually the best time for planting. Get your plants in the ground, watch it rain, watch your plants grow, and then watch them start to bloom. Compare that to planting in spring or summer when you plant and then have to water, water, water, and worry if your plants will survive the long, hot days and drying sun.

If you do need to water, you don’t have to worry that it will evaporate before reaching your plants, because the water will soak into the ground beautifully, lasting a long time because the lower sun won’t dry out the soil (or your plants) so much. Here in Northern California, it’s safe to start your fall planting in mid-October, and you’ll probably need to stop by early December if there’s continuous rain.”

Trees need to be properly planted and maintained, however, to ensure their chances of survival, especially during the first year. Fortunately, you can count on an arborist in Palo Alto to take into account essential factors like tree placement, specie, size, and life expectancy, as well as local ordinances and soil quality, to ensure that nothing goes to waste. Likewise, you can expect a qualified arborist to follow the appropriate measures in relation to irrigation, fertilization, and pruning frequency so that your trees remain healthy for many years to come.


The choice of tree species is particularly crucial. Indeed, most experts advise property owners to choose native plants as opposed to exotic species that could prove invasive and ill-suited to the mini-climate of a particular area. As is typical of Northern California, Palo Alto has a Mediterranean climate characterized by warm, dry summers and moderately cool and wet winters. In addition, Palo Alto falls within Zone 9b (25F to 30F) of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Given these environmental conditions, trees like Coast Live Oak, Valley Oak, and Coast Redwood, which are incidentally protected species, would make suitable choices.

No matter what time of year you need to have trees installed, it pays to have experienced arborists on board. For quality tree installation and maintenance services, trust an experienced Palo Alto tree service provider such as Bay Area Tree Specialists.

(Source: Garden Doctors: Less watering if you plant in fall, The Press Democrat, October 2, 2014)