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When to plant Deciduous Trees (and why some shouldn't be in the Fall)

The consensus among arborists is that deciduous trees (trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn) should be moved in the early spring, in the winter before the soil freezes, or in the Fall. If possible, trees should be moved in autumn because the cells of the plan are already primed to receive less moisture, and will be less stressed by transplant shock. The growth of shoots during the Spring may tax the water reserves of the tree during transplantation.

All transplantation can backfire, however, if the autumn is especially dry and the winter is very cold. Moreover, trees with particularly fleshy root systems (like magnolias, dogwood, and willow oaks) should be moved during the Spring. If a tree with thin bark, such as a birch, is to be moved during the Fall, it should be wrapped in a protective covering.

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