Prime planting time

Cooler temperatures signal that fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials


As summer wanes and foliage turns from green to gold, many people don't know that it's actually an ideal time to get out your shovel and start digging.

The hard work will pay off next spring.

“Now is the time to plant,” said Jarrod McKee, owner of Aspen Nursery in Post Falls. “Trees, shrubs and perennials will grow roots until the temperature gets too cold.  The best part is that next spring your plant material will be poised for rapid growth expansion.”

The roots of your new plant or tree will be growing once winter ends and before you ever see the effects of the plant coming alive above ground.  

“Well, there's a big difference between a newly planted plant and one that is established,” said McKee.

McKee offers five terrific tips for fall planting.

  1. When choosing the plant for the fall, make sure that the zone is hardy for our winters. The USDA zone for this area is actually a 5 (cold hardy to -20) and some outlying areas are a zone 4 (hardy to -30).  Something that most of you might have noticed is that sometimes we only reach -3 degrees F and the plants still don't make it.

  1. Just because it's cooler, don't forget to water your newly planted tree or shrub. Any stress to the plant or tree going into winter will make a big difference as well.  

  1. Don't be too frustrated if your plant dies; it happens.  Even an early hard frost can take the life of a hardier zone 4 plant, especially if it doesn't have time to go into dormancy.  And sometimes, a perfectly healthy plant that is doing great perishes through the winter and no one has a reason for it. Living things can be complicated at times. Hang in there and choose hardy material for fall planting.

  1. Listen to your local nurseries and take their advice.

  1. Get the warranty and plant with compost and starter fertilizers to boost the health of your plant - and for your peace of mind.

For more information, call (208) 667-7511 or visit

--Written by Marc Stewart, Director of Sponsored Content

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