Late fall planting in VT?

jwutzke(9)October 19, 2008

Going to spend the 2nd week of November in VT on a couple job interviews (wish me luck!) -- will also be visiting some property we own there. My quesion is whether there's anything in the way of trees and shrubs that can be planted in the late fall. Especially of interest would be whether it's feasible to plant pines and maples.

I'd love to spend a day augmenting an area we want to fill in, but if it's pointless then obviously I don't want to waste my time and money.

Thanks!

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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Seems late for trees to me, but I notice that the newsletter for the local yard and tree care company has a fall/winter checklist that says plant and/or transplant trees & shrubs. If you go to a local nursery, they can advise you.
Maybe you could plant some bulbs! I've planted as late as mid november.
good luck with your job interview.
kathy

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 12:20PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

As Kathy says, speak to a local nursery (but remember that they want to sell their leftover stock).

Speaking from a much warmer zone than yours, and with little practical experience - my understanding is that you can probably plant deciduous trees like maples now, but you should avoid planting evergreens like pines.

The concept is that deciduous trees are going dormant and won't suffer much transplant shock, but evergreens still maintain some metabolic activity in winter and disrupting their root systems can be damaging.

Claire

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 12:44PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Oh, and I hope your interviews bring you a job you love!

Claire

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 12:47PM
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jwutzke(9)

Thanks to you both. I also heard from friend that pines are a no-go (which is too bad, as I'd love to augment a screen we're developing along the road). There's a good local nursery (E.C. Brown's in Thetford) so I'll see what they say, and see if there are any good deals.

I would love to plant bulbs and peonies - but unfortunately no house there yet, so no idea where the beds will ultimately be! This past spring some daffodils (and some rhubarb) came up near an old house site, house was torn down 10+ years ago, long before we bought the land, but the old farmer's plants still coming up -- very neat!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 9:39AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

There is one possibility, if you can get a really good deal on pines.

Late last fall I bought a Pinus strobus Louie which gets yellow needles in the winter. I couldn't plant it because the new bed wouldn't be ready until the spring.

So I dug a hole in a sheltered spot and sunk the whole pot in the ground, and then mulched the pot well. That way the roots weren't disturbed but were underground so they weren't subject to freeze-thaw. In the spring I planted the pine in a new area and it survived fine. Granted I'm in a lot warmer zone, but we get little snow cover and nasty NW winter winds. Because of the shelter I didn't bother to install a windbreak, but you probably should in your zone.

You might try something like this if your local nursery has really cheap pines in good condition, and think it would work.

Claire

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 12:02PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

The problem with planting pines in the fall is that they need moisture over the winter, and can't get it from frozen ground. It's the same thing that can decimate rhododendrons in this climate.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 12:12PM
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frank_10b(10B subtropical)

Interesting, so I just bought rhododendrons large and small flowering, so u are saying that they will not survive the winter/spring?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 11:54PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

If you've already planted them, then try to make sure they're well watered up until the ground freezes, and use a product like Wilt-pruf to keep the leaves from losing too much water when the roots are frozen.

Burlap windbreaks and mulch will also help. The first winter after planting is the hardest for them.

Claire

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 11:56AM
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franeli(z4 NH)

Two thoughts:
The ground might not be workable that late in November and I'm not sure if any nurserys are still open.
It has been 18degrees in the morning a few times in the past few weeks and it is supposed to get cold again this week.

(Good luck on the job interview and welcome to the chilly northeast!)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 9:22AM
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