Is it better to plant Pyramidal Green Beech in late May / early June or early September? Also would the quality of tree purchased at a tree farm / nursery be different if purchased in Spring vs. Fall? Background: I live in midtown Toronto. Sun conditions. Dry. Not sure of the soil.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
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 up till the ground freezes. Whether you should plant in the spring or fall will depend on whether you are planting a container grown tree or one which will be bare-root.
Container- grown trees can be planted at any time since the root system is not disturbed during the transplanting process. However, it should be noted that trees which are planted during hot, dry, windy weather of summer can suffer severe transplant shock. As a result, even though container grown trees can be planted at this time, it is strongly discouraged.
Deciduous trees can be planted in the fall from August – October. However, it is best to plant as early as possible to allow roots time to establish before the soil freezes. 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 additional information on planting trees, including timing, in the Toronto Master Gardeners Gardening Guide:Planting a Tree
Pyramidal Green Beech Fagus sylvactica ‘ Fastigiata’ thrives in rich, moist well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. It is difficult to say whether the quality of a tree purchased from a nursery would be better in the spring or fall. It all depends how well the trees are cared for at the nursery. Whether they were consistently watered during the heat of the summer and stored in a proper location.