Yellow, orange, red and brown: Plant when the leaves change to grow trees year-round

single-meta-cal November 3, 2022

When the summer heat and humidity finally give way to cooler temperatures, it typically heralds a few dependable fall traditions in North Alabama: the revival of football rivalries, countdown to hunting season and return of pumpkin spice everything. But it might come as a surprise to many that the onset of fall also signals the best time to plant trees in our region.

A woman and her son plant a tree in John Hunt Park.

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are invited to help at the Mayor’s Tree Planting Day.

City Arborist Marc Byers recently gave three great reasons for why it’s best to plant trees in our area when temps start to drop and leaves on established trees begin to change color.

  1. It’s a better time for the trees.

Successful tree planting revolves around re-establishing the root system. When planted in the fall, trees grow roots almost all winter in our milder southern climate. That extra root system gives trees a huge advantage over a spring-planted tree, especially in preparation for increased water needs when summer rolls around.

  1. A better selection of trees is available from growers in the fall.

The nurseries that grow trees have spent all summer planting, pruning and caring for them. Once the growing season winds down, inventories are at their peak, ensuring we have a better selection and greater diversity of trees.

  1. It’s a beautiful time to get out and enjoy the cooler weather and fall colors!

Almost nothing compares to the natural beauty of the Tennessee Valley when the autumn colors are in peak display. Lower humidity and cooler temperatures are perfect for being outside and getting active. Tree planting while enjoying the view is also good exercise that pays off year-round with less soil erosion, more biodiversity and increased shade.

Plant a tree, get a tree

The City of Huntsville’s Green Team will continue the City’s fall tradition on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the ninth-annual Mayor’s Tree Planting Day. Mayor Tommy Battle will join Green Team and community volunteers from 9 a.m. to noon at John Hunt Park to plant 350 trees to expand Huntsville’s tree canopy. All ages and abilities are invited to help. Complimentary coffee, popcorn, donuts and litter cleanup supplies will also be available during the drop-in event.

Volunteers pick up tree seedlings to take home and plant.

Green Team will give away tree seedlings for volunteers to plant at home.

As a thank you, Green Team will give away seedling trees, while supplies last, for volunteers to take home and plant. Take advantage of this amazing time of year and get your trees off to a promising start by planting in the fall. Visit this International Society of Arboriculture site for tips on how to plant your tree when you get it home.

For more information about volunteering, call Green Team at 256-532-5326.


How to properly dispose of leaves and yard waste

Going green with fall leaves