Trees change and evolve with the seasons. Trees bud leaves in the spring, thrive during summer, shed (some of) their leaves again come fall, and lay bare in winter. In the greater Gainesville area, such changes are subtler than in northern parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean changes aren’t occurring — just look at the leaf-blanketed sidewalks and driveways around the city during half of the year. But seasons also determine when it’s the best time to plant new trees, as outdoor conditions affect their health as well as potential lifespans. So if your goal is to give the latest arboreal additions to your yard every chance to flourish, plant trees between the spring and fall months.
It’s somewhat of a misnomer to categorize certain “seasons” as preferable to others for planting trees. In reality, it's climatic conditions during the seasons that are important for a tree’s growth and development. In North Central Florida, the ideal blend of temperature and precipitation to promote foliage growth happens from May to October, the rainy season, when the mix of moisture and sunshine creates high humidity levels in which native trees, shrubs, and flowers thrive.
Within this time period, summer is the least desirable time to plant. The intense sunshine is capable of damaging saplings and fragile trees, while there’s also the risk of drought, which could deprive trees of water and adversely affect their growth. Still another concern for planting in summer has less to do with the tree than with your health; landscaping often requires physical exertion, which in hot conditions can lead to dehydration or even heat stroke.
Hiring arborists in Gainesville can make a difference in such cases. Professional tree care specialists know how to work efficiently and are experienced working in outdoor conditions.
Although winter isn’t the best time of the year to plant trees, this is still Florida, which means depending on the weather you may be able to get away with doing so, if need be. But before you actually put shovel to dirt and start planting, check the forecast for a warm spell. Remember, before they’re purchased for your yard, trees are kept in most favorable conditions at nurseries or tree farms. Thus they need time to adjust to life in the wild, so to speak. By choosing to plant during a warm week (or two), you allow the tree a window of time to adjust to the soil conditions, amounts of sunlight and water, and other unique details of your yard, which dramatically improves its chances for growth.