Fall Trees: Why Autumn is an Ideal Time for Planting

We love trees all year long, but something magical about fall trees.

Leaves that had been green since spring transition to fiery reds, warm oranges and bright yellows. They flutter to the ground, crunch under our shoes and perfume the air (seriously – they’ve inspired multiple scented candles).

If you have trees on your property, you already know what we’re talking about. If you don’t, our landscape design professionals and arborists can help you fix that.

It just so happens that fall is an ideal time to plant most trees, and CVTS-L will be planting late into the fall (but our schedule is filling up fast).

Admittedly, your sapling won’t put on the best show in terms of colors or drop enough leaves to rake into piles and dive into this year, but as the saying goes:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

From natural beauty to remembering a loved one, there are as many reasons to plant a tree (or trees) on your property this fall as there are varieties of trees. Here are a few of them:

1. Fall trees are beautiful.

A short walk through town or a drive through the mountains will confirm that – especially during fall – trees are capable of adding breathtaking beauty to pretty much any property. Trees make excellent focal points for landscaping projects, but they can also stand alone. Trees are similar enough to each other to be predictable, yet no two are identical. They only get better with age over the years, decades and – sometimes – even centuries.

2. Trees have purpose.

If your house gets direct sunlight for extended periods throughout the day, it can actually make the space unbearable. It’s too bright, it’s too hot, and closing the blinds or curtains defeats the purpose of having the view in the first place. Trees offer a middle path by blocking the sun without blocking the view. In fact, the right tree in the right spot can enhance both the view from inside the house as well as its curb appeal.

3. Trees can be walls.

As we’ve discussed before in this blog, “green walls” make excellent privacy screens and provide a natural alternative to fences. Combining form and function, trees can establish property lines and keep out prying eyes. They are pleasant to look at, but they also enhance the overall view by concealing less desirable elements (utility boxes, dumpsters, neighbors’ houses, etc.) and creating visual lines that draw the eye towards desired focal points.

4. Trees have value.

The beauty and shade that trees provide have real value, and they can, in turn, contribute to your overall property value. CVTS-L’s ISA-Certified Arborists are frequently called upon to provide professional appraisals when trees are damaged in accidents or by storms. Insurance companies may try to calculate the damage based on the tree’s log resale value (which is quite different than the tree’s value in a residential setting), but a tree’s value is determined by considering a wide variety of factors including species, location and condition.

5. Trees provide a sense of peaceful relaxation.

In addition to being pleasing to the senses – trees look great, sound great (crunching leaves) and even smell great (they’ve inspired many scented candles) – they also add an experiential element to your property. In other words, whether kids are climbing in them or you’re reading underneath them, they make your yard a place where you actually want to be and spend some time.

6. Trees help us put things into perspective.

Trees naturally create a sense of quiet contemplation, which has made them ideal for remembering loved ones who have passed. Whether it’s planting a new tree in someone’s honor or commemorating an existing tree with a plaque or bench, trees remind us that things continue even after we are gone. Accordingly, trees allow us to comprehend the “long view,” and and many traditions encourage people to plant trees under whose shade they do not expect to sit and without regard as to who will benefit from their fruit or shade.

7. Fall trees will be better prepared for summer.

Fall is an excellent time to plant trees because it gives them a cool, wet fall AND spring before they have to withstand the heat of next summer. The cooler temperatures mean that they will likely need less maintenance (although they will still need some depending on the tree and the property). This will help the trees to be established by the time summer rolls around.


Trees are slow-moving organisms. If you wait until you need it to plant it, you’ll always be way too late.

Whether you are planting for form or function, fall is a great time to get started, but our schedule is filling up.

For inspiration about how to incorporate trees, shrubs and grasses into your project, check out our “Landscaping Plant Guide” series and our online gallery.

Or – better yet – contact us today to get started.