Warm mugs of apple cider. Oversized plaid scarves. Leaf peeping. All of these are signs of fall but they’re also signs of peak tree-planting season. Trees provide a ton of benefits – for both humans and habitats. And planting trees in the fall is ideal because it gives them an extra growing season before the onset of summer temperatures. If you’ve been thinking about putting down roots, read on.
Why plant trees?
In urban areas, planting even just a few trees can make a big difference. In addition to providing shade and reducing noise, mature trees absorb CO2 and play an important role in slowing climate change. Trees improve air quality, which makes communities healthier, more desirable places to live.
Trees also screen out harsh scenery, add softness to the sometimes hard feel of urban areas and provide texture, color and shape to community spaces. Not to mention the psychological benefits – like feelings of relaxation and well-being – that are hard to measure but easy to notice.
How to plant trees
Planting trees isn’t quite as simple as grabbing a seedling and the nearest shovel. There are important things to consider before planting, such as proper plant and site selection, transplanting processes and schedules, drainage management, and soil preparation.
You’ll also want to consider maintenance of newly planted trees – everything from watering, staking, mulching and wrapping, to pruning and fertilizing to ensure that trees stay healthy and thrive.
Where to start
Thankfully we live in a time when you can find answers and how-tos for anything and everything.
In the Tucson & East Mesa area:
Start with the Arizona Native Plant Society. They’ve created a booklet to encourage the planting of native trees in low-maintenance desert landscapes. It outlines the growth rate, water usage and life of seventeen Sonoran desert trees. Click here to instantly download this helpful booklet.
In the Syracuse area:
Download the Cornell Guide for Planting and Maintaining Trees and Shrubs. You’ll find expert tips on every aspect of selecting, planting, maintaining and protecting trees. Also check out this useful guide to native flowers, shrubs and trees from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
We’re proud of our community partners and the work they do to promote and maintain healthy local environments. Partners like Trees for Tucson, offering low-cost trees for purchase as well as volunteer tree-planting opportunities. And Onondaga Earth Corps, which empowers youth to be active participants in creating positive change.
Next time you fill up with Conserve, pat yourself on the back. You’re supporting stronger communities and a healthier planet – and our thanks is evergreen.