Many of us are under the misconception that tree planting is best achieved during the warmth of summer or spring. However, that is a fallacy. Even though plant availability may be low, arboriculturists believe that planting trees in autumn is actually the best way to go about it as it holds many benefits, not only to the plant, but also to the planters.
1. The ground is more nurtured
South African summers can be rainy and moist, making it hard for some of our plant life to survive. This is, however, wonderful for the autumn ground. During this time, our grounds have time to dry just enough to provide the needed moisture that trees require before a cool winter season in order to establish its growth in the spring.
2. Root induction potential is high
Autumn soil is not only nurtured with summer’s rains, but warmed by its sun. These potent mixtures stimulate root growth and prompt perennials, trees and shrubs to grow faster in the spring after the ground freezes in the winter. Moreover, in this period of preserved warmth and rain, trees and plants bring out healthy new roots, furthering and promoting extensive growth. Once the days warm in the succeeding spring, the actual eye-level growth begins: new leaves manifest themselves and tree roots advance rapidly. Subsequently, the summer enables the larger root system to nourish and water the plant to a larger extent. The cycle finally finishes by the following autumn when the tree will be of a remarkable size, especially compared to one planted in the spring.
3. Autumn trees are less susceptible to certain root rots.
The excessive summer heat, combined with all our recurrent watering attempts to keep our trees alive during the hot and dry seasons, can encourage soil-borne fungus diseases. Trees planted in the superior autumn season have more ample and spacious root systems – therefore requiring less irrigation. It is for this reason that trees planted in autumn are not as vulnerable to root rots as those planted in other season of the months.
4. Autumn is kind to our planters
We all love those grey-skies, stay-in, cuddle- under-a-blanket-in-front-of-the-TV weather. However, I think it is safe to say that given a choice, we would also rather work outside in that exact same weather than in the piercing 40-degrees sun. That is exactly what autumn weather offers its people. In the kind season of autumn, planters are safely protected from the extreme summer sun; they can wear a warm sweater and work up a good sweat while planting some oxygen into the environment.
It is clear tree planters, that autumn is the new summer. Planting in autumn holds numerous benefits for you and you trees as you get the best of both worlds, enjoying nourished soil which enhances root growth, avoiding fungi, root rots and sun stroke, rather enjoying grey skies, a melancholy mood and fully grown trees.