Best time of year for planting trees


How late in fall can one plant a tree (and not a young, skinny one)? When in spring should one plant? Does it depend on the species?
What is the best time of year for planting the following trees in Toronto:
Sugar Maple
Red Maple
Black Maple
Freeman Maple
American Beech
Copper Beech
American Basswood
Red Oak
White Oak
Bur Oak
Birch trees of any variety
Tulip Tree



That’s quite a list.  Generally deciduous trees should be planted either early in the spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, or in the autumn, between leaf-fall to the ground is frozen.  Whether you should plant in the spring or fall will depend on more on whether you are planting a container grown tree or one which will be bare-root than the particular species.  The latter is planted in the spring, as they are not available in the fall.

In a year with a long wet fall, unfortunately unpredictable, in Toronto, a tree planted early in the fall would have a few months to established some roots before freeze up, and more time to continue growth in the early spring and therefore may be less susceptible to the stresses of Toronto’s hot summers.   There is information on planting trees, including timing, in the Toronto Master Gardener Gardening Guide:Planting a Tree: A Toronto Master Gardener Guide at: