When is The Best Time To Plant Evergreen Seedlings?
Some think you need to wait until after the threat of Spring frost has passed before planting evergreens, but that idea is wrong. Apply that thinking only to your flowers 🙂
We would counter that the best time to plant any evergreen / conifer is just after the ground has thawed, but before daytime temperatures are consistently into the 70s.
If planted early, evergreen trees become acclimated to your local climate. They spend more time in the ground working on root growth as soil temperatures slowly warm up, and tend to wait until frost has passed before breaking bud and starting new top growth.
Some people think you have to wait until after the threat of frost has passed, but that is incorrect. Evergreens are not damaged by frost UNLESS it occurs late in the season after the trees have broken bud and new growth has begun. New growth is vulnerable to frost damage, but last year’s growth and unbroken buds are immune to frost damage.
Evergreen plug seedlings and evergreen plug transplants have the advantage of arriving at your door “already planted” so to speak. So although daytime temperatures in the 70s is getting late for planting, plug seedlings and plug transplants should be fine. The key to late Spring planting is to plant plugs, and to provide supplemental water in the first year during heat waves or mild drought.
Planting in summer is a bad idea, because the best time for growth has already passed. Plug seedlings have root systems that are only about 5 inches deep. With such short root systems, they will therefore be vulnerable all summer long to dry spells and heat waves.