That is the question? The Putnam SCD has conducted a Spring tree sale for several years. Usually in March of each year. However, the research has shown that is not the opportune time to plant trees. According to the leading research the best time to plant trees is in the fall. In part, this time is best because of soil temperature. Research has shown that until soil temperatures drop below 50 degrees roots continue to grow. This shows that planting trees in late fall or early winter promotes root growth. The warming temperatures in spring typically allows the foliage to outgrow the root system and deplete the tree of needed nutrients. This process will usually cause a much higher mortality rate in spring planted trees.

Spring time is when most plants come to life and we want to get outside and get our hands dirty. Planting trees, working gardens and flowerbeds are all on the top of our list of things to do in springtime. However, trees survive the cold winter months based on the nutrient they have stored in preparation for the winter. In the fall trees need less carbohydrates because the tree is going into a winter dormant state. The tree allows the root system to absorb nutrients and prevents the shoots of the tree itself from getting all the carbohydrates.

So, planting trees in the spring would reverse this process and allow the needed nutrients or food to go into new plant and shoot growth. In reality it starves the root system of those nutrients. This process actually stresses the tree and could cause it to die. Therefore, Spring planting of trees have much higher mortality rates. This process takes place the same way for shrubs and ornamentals.

This is not to say you cannot spring plant trees and shrubs, it just is not recommended by professionals in that field of study.

This brings us back around to the Putnam County Soil Conservation District tree sale. The SCD board made a decision to go to the late fall and early winter with this year’s tree sale. The date for the 2018 tree sale will be determined later but it will be late November or early December. The SCD certainly appreciates the public support of our tree sale and would like to thank TTU Soil staff and Dr. Janice Branson for the dedication and continued support for our annual tree sale.

Watch the Putnam County SCD face book page for the date of our sale. It will also be ran in the Herald Citizen a couple of weeks before as well.

*By: Darrell Beason, District Conservationist

**All programs and services of the Putnam County Soil Conservation District (SCD) are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activities.