Fall Planting

Why Fall is the Ideal Time for Planting

When it comes to landscaping, many people automatically think of spring as the prime planting season. After all, it follows a long, cold winter, and we’re all eager to get back outside and see some greenery. However, fall is another excellent time to revamp your landscape, and some experts argue that it might even be the best time, especially for adding new trees, shrubs, and perennials.

In this article, we’ll explore why fall is the ideal season for planting and how it can benefit your landscape in numerous ways.

The Perfect Planting Conditions

In the fall, a unique combination of warm soil and milder weather creates the perfect conditions for newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials. Warm soil temperatures in the fall encourage robust root growth, surpassing the growth rates seen in the spring when the soil is still warming up.

Additionally, the shorter days and cooler air temperatures of fall allow plants to allocate more energy towards developing a robust root system, preparing them for the upcoming winter. This extra focus on root growth in the fall pays off when spring arrives, as these well-established plants can quickly channel their energy into producing new growth.

Strategic Planning

Fall is also an ideal time for planning your landscape. By planting in the fall, your landscape will be ready to shine come early spring. With all your established trees, shrubs, and perennials in place and leafed out, it becomes much easier to identify any gaps in your design or areas where you’d like to introduce a different texture or a pop of color.

This means you can add annuals and extra plants in the spring, with your base of larger trees, shrubs, and plants already firmly established. Consequently, you’ll have more time to tackle other projects in the spring while enjoying a well-prepared and aesthetically pleasing landscape.

Evergreen Excellence

Fall is particularly suitable for planting evergreen trees and shrubs. Planting them during the hot summer months can lead to stress due to inadequate watering. Since evergreens retain their foliage year-round, they are vulnerable to increased moisture loss during occasional winter warm spells. However, with a robust, well-established root system, they can better withstand these challenges.

After planting evergreens in the fall, it’s essential to water them thoroughly and continue regular watering until the ground freezes. Once the ground is frozen, adding a two- to three-inch layer of fresh mulch can help insulate the soil and protect the plants. If you’re interested in mulch, we have a wide selection available.

Don’t Wait for Spring

While spring will always be a great time for planting, there’s a strong case to be made for fall being even better. So, if you have plans to enhance your landscape, don’t feel compelled to wait. Give us a call at 586-265-2490, and we’ll be happy to set up a time for a free estimate. This way, you can get a head start on next year’s growing season. At Preston’s Tree & Landscape Service, we also offer financing options for all tree removal and landscaping projects, including a 0% interest option for 12 months.


In conclusion, fall offers unique advantages for landscaping projects. The optimal planting conditions, strategic planning opportunities, and suitability for evergreen planting make it a season worth considering for your next landscaping endeavor. Don’t delay; take advantage of the benefits of fall planting and enjoy a beautifully transformed landscape next spring.


Is fall the only suitable time for planting? 
While fall has its advantages, you can plant throughout the year. Each season has its benefits and drawbacks, so it depends on your specific needs.

Should I water my newly planted trees and shrubs during the winter? 
Yes, it’s essential to continue watering until the ground freezes, especially for evergreen plants, to ensure they survive the winter successfully.

Can I add new plants to my landscape in the spring after fall planting? 
Absolutely! Spring is an excellent time to complement your existing landscape with annuals and other plants to enhance its beauty.

How do I identify gaps or areas that need improvement in my landscape? 
Wait until spring when your existing plants are in full foliage to get a clear picture of your landscape’s layout and identify any design enhancements needed.

What financing options does Preston’s Tree & Landscape Service offer? 
We offer various financing options, including a 0% interest option for 12 months, to make your tree removal and landscaping projects more manageable.

Fall Planting for Spring Bulbs

As all of us in upstate NY are getting ready to brace for Winter’s impact, let’s turn our focus to the coming Spring and its colorful potential! Bright yellow Daffodils, fiery red Tulips, and bubblegum pink Hyacinths are going to be your new way to snap out of those wintery blues. Let’s get planting!

Spring-blooming bulbs are the first pops of color we see every year after the Winter finally starts to ease up. Ranging from yellow to blue to pink, you have a large selection of colors and shapes to pick from. At Preston’s, we can’t help but favor the Giant Allium with its funky blooms and the Tulip with its range in colors. If you’re looking for shorter with more blossoms though, look no further than the Hyacinth or Grape Hyacinth. With such a huge variety, Spring-blooming bulbs are a great way to scatter life throughout your landscape after a cruddy Rochester Winter.

Once you’ve picked which Spring blooms you’d like, it’s time to pick out your bulbs. When you’re picking a bulb make sure it’s not withered, squishy, or moldy. Now when it comes to the size of the bulb, generally the bigger the bulb the more blooms it will have. If you get a smaller bulb, don’t be sad! It will grow and be just as bountiful as a larger one in a couple of years.

Now that you’ve obtained your Spring-blooming bulbs, it’s time to think about planting them. Getting your bulbs into the ground is of the utmost importance because bulbs only have energy for 1 dormant season! They also don’t particularly care for being stored outside of soil either, it causes them to wither and die. While it is very important to get your bulbs into the ground, it’s even more crucial to do it at the right time of year.

For those of us in upstate NY, we cannot trust the weather but what else is new? The typical time for us to plant our Spring bulbs is between October and November. You must give the soil a chance to cool down or it will cause the bulb to break dormancy early. Once the temperature is consistently about 50 degrees or cooler for 2 or more weeks, it’s time to plant. It’s important to plant at least 6 weeks before a ground-hardening frost hits. Getting your bulbs in the cooler ground before the serious frost hits gives the roots time to develop and encourage the bulbs to turn on a flowering formation. It is safer to err on the side of caution and plant your bulbs later rather than too soon.

Planting bulbs is an easy task if you know the few important steps. One of the first steps to bulb planting is identifying which end is the top and which is the bottom of the bulb. When you plant a bulb, you’re going to want to plant it heads up. The top is usually a bit pointy and the bottom has roots. If you are unsure of which end is which, you can just plant the bulb on its side.

Where do you want to see your landscape come to life? Plant some bulbs there! We wish it were that easy, but there are some requirements for bulb locations. Most bulbs prefer full sun to keep their soil dryer and warmer. There are some exceptions like Violets who tend to favor shadier areas. The general rule is to not plant things under trees BUT with spring blooms you don’t have to worry about the tree foliage blocking out the sun. Just don’t plant your bulbs in a permanently shady area though! Spring bulbs look the best when they’re planted in groups or drifting along the landscape. By not planting them in rows, it encourages a more natural look. Even doing different size groups is a fun way to display bulbs.

Bulbs need to be planted in a hole 3x as deep as their diameter. Even if you don’t plant them deep enough or at the right angle, bulbs can wiggle their way to the depth and position they want! You can also encourage growth by sprinkling some bulb fertilizer in the hole while you’re planting them.

Watering your bulbs is important too. Once you plant them, you’ll want to water them a bit to get the root growing. If we have a drier Spring, it will become your job to make sure your bulbs are getting enough H2O. When you water your bulbs, make sure the water is soaking down to the level where your bulbs are buried. Bulbs need to have some water, but not too much because that can cause them to rot, this makes well-draining soil their best friend!

Once your bulbs are in the ground, mulch over them. When you mulch over the bulbs, use things like pine boughs, leaves, and mulch to help build a barrier against the freeze and thaw pattern of early Spring. Mulching is important because it helps prevent premature dormancy breaks.

After all your blooms have passed, it’s time to deadhead the bulbs. ONLY cut off the passed blossoms, not the foliage, your bulbs are still getting nutrients and energy from the sun for the upcoming cold season. Sometimes the foliage on your Spring bulbs starts to look sad and wimpy, planting perennials around the area of your bulbs is a great way to help hide the foliage! After you cut back the foliage, be sure to fertilize with compost to help get the bulbs ready for Winter.

If the cold beats you to planting, don’t abandon hope! Yes, it is very important to get your bulbs into the ground, but here are at least 2 ways to still get your Spring blooms. You can always pot your bulbs. Be sure to use a large container with plenty of potting soil and plant the bulbs at a proper depth/angle. Be sure not to press the bulbs to the edge of the pot because they will freeze but you do want to leave room between the bulbs for soil. Store this pot in an unheated garage, porch, or even your basement windowsill. As long as the bulbs are in a chilled spot, they will be ok for spring.

Another way to conquer the frozen ground is by planting the bulbs right on top of it! Spread the bulbs out on the ground and then cover them with 6-8” of potting soil. Mulch over the mound once it freezes over with things like pine boughs, compost, and leaves. Protect the bulbs!! This method of planting may not yield the highest number of blooms the first year, but it should improve with each season.

Bulbs do have pesky predators that you can protect them against. Squirrels are your main culprits but there are ways to help deter them. Using red pepper flakes by sprinkling them into the hole after you’ve put the bulb in is one way to keep pests away. Another is covering the area or mound with hardware fabric or a chicken wire cage.

You’ve chosen, planted, and protected your bulbs. Now don’t forget where you planted them over the winter and enjoy your new colorful Spring display!