Shrubs – Planting In Winter

Q: I do landscape work and I understand that planting perennials in the fall is best due to soil temperatures and water requirements. What are your thoughts about planting shrubs in winter? It seems to me that as long as the ground is not frozen, planting can be done.

A: You are correct that it’s fine to plant shrubs and trees now. The drawback to planting in cold soil is that not as much root growth will occur as compared to fall planting. Thoroughly loosen the soil in a five-foot wide, saucer-shaped area around each planting spot and untangle plant roots as much as you can. Water thoroughly and add mulch. Be sure to check soil moisture in January: a windy day can dry out evergreen leaves and lead to death by spring.

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