Adding a tree (or several) to your property has many benefits. A fully-grown tree can provide shade to your yard, oxygen to the atmosphere, and can even reduce the air temperature around it.
We’ve already covered topics concerning planting trees including:
- how deep you should plant,
- how wide the planting hole should be,
- whether or not to stake a tree,
- how to ensure you plant the right tree in the right place,
- and more.
When you’re thinking of adding a new tree to your property, however, one of the first questions you may ask is “when is the best time to plant a tree?”
The Phoenix and Anthem areas enjoy year-round sunshine, but several distinct seasons and varying weather conditions.
In this article, we will cover the best time to plant a tree in the Phoenix and Anthem areas. We’ll also briefly discuss the best time to plant fruit trees, palms, and cacti.
Why Does the Timing for Planting a Tree Matter?
When planting a tree, you want to choose a time that will give the tree the best chance of survival. Transferring a tree from a container into the ground can be a difficult transition for a new tree, so choosing the best time, along with keeping the tree well-cared for and correctly watered, can mean the difference between a healthy tree or one that is struggling.
Native trees are best suited for our hot, dry conditions, but even desert trees that are well adapted to our area need time and some help to begin to grow.
Newly planted trees do not have the wide-spreading roots of established trees, so they will need some supplemental watering. The time of year in which you plant can impact how much supplemental watering they will require.
Thanks to the extreme temperatures that occur in our region, a tree that is already stressed from being transplanted can suffer even more under the hot and unrelenting sun.
For all of these reasons and more, choosing when to plant is an important decision.
Why Do Many Tree Professionals Across the Country Recommend Planting Trees in the Fall?
While this advice doesn’t perfectly translate to the Phoenix and Anthem areas, the reasons behind planting in the fall are still helpful to know. Many tree professionals recommend planting trees in the fall to give the tree roots time to establish over the winter months. The tree can spend energy on expanding the roots to stabilize the tree and gather needed water, oxygen, and nutrients.
When a tree must spend energy on producing leaves, the roots don’t grow as quickly. Therefore, planting trees when they are dormant (not producing leaves) is preferred.
For our area, planting in the fall allows trees to acclimate before exposing them to the hot temperatures in the summer. Planting in the fall gives the tree three seasons (fall, winter, and spring) to grow roots and get used to its new environment before the added stress of summertime in Phoenix.
Overall, when is the best time to plant trees in Phoenix?
With the right care and attention, you could technically plant a tree any time of year in the Phoenix area.
However, the best times to plant trees in the Phoenix area are in the spring and fall. “Spring” can be as early as February, depending on the weather that particular year as well as the last frost date.
From June through September, temperatures are high, monsoons are likely, and new, young trees will have a hard time producing leaves as well as growing roots while dealing with the extreme weather that monsoons can bring.
You can resume planting trees from October through December.
What if a Tree was Purchased During the Summer?
If, for some reason, you do buy your tree during the summer months, it may be better to plant it rather than to keep it in a temporary container. Neither situation is ideal, but a tree might be more likely to survive in the ground.
Consult a professional or research your specific tree type to determine the best option.
As with any other tree you plant, make sure that any tree planted during the summer months is planted properly, is watered frequently, and has mulch to protect it from some of the extreme temperatures. Some trees may need to be protected from heat stress.
When is the best time to plant fruit trees in Phoenix?
Most fruit trees follow the same schedule as other trees. We don’t recommend planting fruit trees from June through September. We recommend planting most fruit trees from mid-February through the end of May or in October, November, or December.
Bare root fruit trees such as plums, peaches, apricots, or apples should be planted in January or early February. Bare root trees are often shipped in late winter so should be planted as soon as possible.
We recommend planting citrus trees from September through March.
When is the best time to plant palms in Phoenix?
Palms, which are not technically trees, have different planting needs than trees.
Palms are considered a tropical plant, so the most dangerous time for them is not during the heat of summer, but rather during the winter months. In fact, many tropical palms will not grow roots below soil temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, the best time to plant a palm is in the early spring or late summer.
Planting in the spring gives palms spring, summer, and fall before the cooler winter temperatures arrive. The monsoon moisture also benefits tropical plants such as palms.
When is the best time to plant cacti in Phoenix?
Although cacti thrive in hot locations, that’s not how they prefer to be planted. Instead, plant a cactus in late winter to early spring. Try to choose a cloudy day or wait until evening when the sun is less intense.
Remember that many types of cacti need to face the same direction as before they were planted, as the hide can be 15% thicker on the south-facing side to protect it from the sun. Learn more about how to care for saguaros in this article.
While the Phoenix and Anthem areas enjoy bright, sunny days and warm temperatures year-round, there are still optimal times to plant a tree on your property. June, for instance, is generally both hot and dry, and can be a difficult time for a tree to thrive in a new location. Spring and fall are both ideal times to add new trees to your property.
The benefits of planting a new tree are many, and we hope that this advice has helped you in choosing when to plant a new tree (or several).
For more resources on choosing a tree and tree planting, check out:
- Choose and Plant the Right Tree for Your Phoenix Area Home
- Most New Trees Don’t Need Support: What’s at Stake
- Best Shade Trees for your Anthem or Greater Phoenix Yard
- Why Planting a Tree in the Phoenix Are is Worth the Water
- Caliche FAQs: Growing Trees and Plants in the Phoenix and Anthem Areas
If you have any questions about tree planting or tree care in general, contact Titan Tree Care to schedule a tree consultation.
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Titan Tree Care is a full-service tree care company located in Anthem, AZ and serving all of North Phoenix. We offer a wide range of services to meet your tree care needs, including tree and palm trimming, tree pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, and more. We also offer insect or disease treatments and fertilization services. We are dedicated to providing high-quality, safe, and effective tree care services to our customers and work hard to ensure that your trees are healthy and look their best.