When is the best time to plant a tree? I’ve always loved the classic response of “20 years ago”. But I like to add that the second-best time is now! Here in North Texas, trees actually can be planted any time of year other than summer. While we do see folks trying to establish trees in June, July and August, it’s not really practical with our extreme heat and frequent drought. Water loss through the leaves (transpiration) during hotter periods exceeds the moisture that can be taken up by a young root system, which causes undue stress.
The absolute best time to plant trees in Texas is in the fall, which is why our state goes against the grain of most of the country, celebrating Texas Arbor Day the first Friday of November. However, if you missed planting, it’s not too late to get trees that are native or adapted to the region in the ground. With cooler temperatures and plenty of soil moisture (due to record fall precipitation), planting your favorite ornamental tree now will give you a head start in establishing spring colors. Here are a few of my favorite showy tree specimens that you just might dig as well.