Ontario Parks Association   
Protecting Tomorrow Today®




Community Parks Week

Celebrating Our Greenspaces
October 1 to 7
Planning and Information Guide



Planting a tree during Community Parks Week will make a contribution to the restoration and protection of your community's environment. Although the planting of one tree is very important, you may wish to develop a long range planting plan for your particular site or location so that additional tree plantings can be carried out in the years to come.

Why Plant A Tree in the Fall?

Traditionally the planting of trees has taken place primarily in the Spring. While the Spring is generally a good time of year for tree planting, the Fall is also a very good time for a number of reasons.

  1. Warmer Soil Temperatures in the Fall
    One of the keys to the continued health of a newly planted tree is the soil conditions and temperature of the soil at the time of planting. The average temperature of the soil, because the soil has had the opportunity to warm up over the summer months, is warmer in the Fall as compared to the Spring. In the Spring, depending on the harshness of the Winter, and the occurrence of repeated partial thawing and refreezing of ground, soil may remain frozen to a significant depth and will not be a good time for tree planting.

  2. Consistent Weather in the Fall
    The Spring can often be characterized by dramatic swings in air temperature as well as dramatic changes in the activity of wind and rain. These types of variables impact negatively on the survival of a tree which has just been planted. The more consistent, predictable weather patterns of the Fall can make planting trees at this time of year more beneficial.

  3. Site Conditions Favourable for Planting
    The Spring is often a very wet and rainy time of year which affects the firmness of the soil for traveling (if required) to your tree planting site. Generally, the potential for compaction of soil will be reduced with Fall planting due to the general consistency of moisture in the soil. The presence of humans on the site may also be less damaging in the Fall and thus we may be better stewards of the environment.

  4. Reduced External Threats
    The presence of various pests and diseases is also greater in the Spring than in the Fall. The reduction in these external threats provides the tree with less stresses to contend with and therefore a greater survival planting rate.

  5. Tree types most suitable for Fall Plantings
    Ash, Elm, Gingko, Linden, Maple (but not red or sugar), Pin Oak, Poplar and Willow.


General Things to Consider in your Fall Tree Planting

Tree Size Tree Species Tree Health Weather Conditions Site Conditions Soil Conditions Site placement of the tree Distance tree will travel before being planted.

You are encouraged to plant only native trees or those that are indigenous to your geographic location.

Planning Your Fall Tree Planting - Some general preliminary questions to ask yourself?

  1. What kind of "treescape" do you want to have when your plantings are completed?

  2. What are the unique and specific geographic features of your selected planting site?

  3. Want kind of native trees would you want in your planting?

  4. Do you want trees that attract and provide homes for specific animals and wildlife?

  5. Do you want your tree planting to be diverse or all the same?

  6. How far apart should your selected trees be planted?


Important Things to Keep in Mind

Not every species of tree is appropriate for Fall plantings and it is important that you do not attempt to plant certain species. Please consult with your local nursery, parks department, arborist, forester or landscape architect prior to choosing the species of tree for your Fall planting.

Using a larger sized caliper tree generally promotes improved survival rates during the winter months. It is also important the trees planted in the Fall be treated with an antidessicant. An antidessicant, which is a spray that is not harmful to the environment (and can be obtained at your local nursery), should be sprayed on the leaves and will prevent water loss by the tree during the winter months.

Ontario Parks Association

7856 5th Line South · RR4 · Milton · Ontario · L9T 2X8 *

Phone: 905-864-6182 · Toll Free: 1-866-560-7783 · Fax: 905-864-6184

Email: shelley@ontarioparksassociation.ca or training@ontarioparksassociation.ca

(*Note: If you are mapping our location, enter Halton Hills, not Milton, as the city)


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