Tree Planting

Ontario Tree Planting Tips: Why You Should Plant Trees in the Fall

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Everyone knows it is a great time to plant in the spring, but did you know that fall is a great time to plant in Ontario, as well? 

In fact, for trees and shrubs, fall is a more ideal time to plant. 

Read on to find out why you want to plant trees in the fall and the best way to maintain your newly planted trees and shrubs.

When is the best time to plant trees in Ontario?

The best time to plant varies from region to region. 

In temperate or moderate locations where the weather is consistent year-round, there may not be a preferred time to plant, and you can at any time. 

For many areas, like Ontario, that experience four distinct seasons, fall is a better time to plant your trees and shrubs. 

Plant your trees any time from the end of August to mid-October – sometimes even later is okay. 

It’s safe to plant trees until the ground is frozen solid, generally after the first hard frost. 

Even if there is snow on the ground, if you’re able to stick a spade into the soil, it’s still okay to plant.

Benefits of fall planting

Planting them in the fall gives your tree an extra growing season before the stress of summer. 

It gives your tree time to establish its root system in the still-warm soil while not having to focus on providing energy to the new growth that comes in the spring.

As summer ends and fall begins, the soil temperature remains warm longer than you think. Trees love the warm soil as the air gets cooler. It reduces water loss and helps with transplant shock. 

As the weather cools further, trees move into their dormant phase. They can focus all of their energy on growing roots and preparing for the winter ahead. 

Many people fear that young trees can’t withstand the winter. Fortunately, that is not true.

Trees go dormant in the winter, which is the equivalent of going into hibernation. 

It slows down the tree’s growth, energy consumption, and metabolism. 

When trees are dormant, they shouldn’t require any extra care.

person canoeing on a water course on a fall setting with red and yellowing trees

Planting trees in the spring

Spring planting is not as great a time to plant new trees because the wet soil makes it harder for the tree to root and take hold. Trees and shrubs prefer dryer ground to properly roots.

Note: There are some exceptions to this rule. Contact a professional arborist or properly research your tree before planting. 

You can still plant trees in the spring. Just know that they will take a little extra care, like extra watering, to get established.

When planting trees in the spring, trees split their energy between growing roots and putting out new buds and leaves. 

Spring also brings rapidly rising temperatures, increasing water loss from evaporation, and the threat of a drought in the summer.

Steps to plant trees in the fall

Minimize stress to your trees

When transporting your new tree from the nursery, make sure to protect it by padding the trunk and branches with burlap and tie the loose ends with rope. 

Plant as soon as possible, but if planting right away is not possible, store the tree in a cool, shaded area. Water the tree as needed to keep the roots and soil moist. 

Carefully plant your tree

As mentioned above, plant the tree or shrub vertically with the root collar slightly exposed. 

Fill the hole in around the root ball. You can either use the native soil that you dug up or buy good quality soil to supplement the nutrients in your soil. Make sure not to include any grass or sod in the soil. 

Gently pack the dirt around the root ball until it is two-thirds full to ensure no air pockets. 

Fill the remaining space with water to further pack the soil and allow the hole to drain properly. Finish filling the hole and make a barrier of soil around the root ball to direct water towards the roots. 

Water your newly planted tree immediately after planting.

Maintaining your trees

Your tree requires the same care no matter the time of year that you plant. 

  • Always ring your tree with about 5 cm of mulch around the base of your tree. Give your tree some room and leave a couple of centimeters in between the mulch and the trunk. 
  • Water your tree when the soil and mulch are dry. Dig a three cm hole in the ground- if moist to the touch, do not water. If it is dry, give it a drink. 
  • Watering and care schedules vary by the tree. Get help by contacting an arborist to learn how to best maintain your tree.

How to prepare your trees for winter

  • Wrap your trunk. Some trees are susceptible to frost cracks because of dramatic temperature changes. To prevent damage, wrap the trunks of younger trees up to the first branches and leave the wrap on until April. Use commercial tree wrap for best results. 
  • Mulch the base of your tree with wood chips, bark, or other organic matter to reduce soil evaporation and insulate against extreme temperatures. 
  • Recycle your leaves. Use as mulch at the base of your trees or blend them into the yard with a mulching mower so the soil can absorb the nutrients. 
  • Give your tree a soak. Before quitting watering for the winter, water the soil around your trees. Start at the base of the trunk and water to the diameter of the longest branches. Water slowly and thoroughly. 
  • A young tree requires the most attention. 
  • Wait to prune until the winter. Dormancy, especially in late winter, is a great time to prune your trees.

Tree Specialists

At Nature’s Shade, we know what’s best for trees, including how to best plant trees in the fall. 

We will work with you to develop the best care plans for your newly planted trees and shrubs, ensuring the health, safety, and appearance of your landscape for years to come.

Visit our website or give us a call and request a FREE quote today!

Tree Planting

The Best Trees for Your Yard: Five Fast Growing Trees in Ontario, Canada

Today, some of the most popular trees planted are fast-growing, and for many great reasons! 

Some trees can take decades to mature or show substantial growth, while fast-growing trees can grow a considerable amount in a short time. They allow homeowners to appreciate the benefits of a mature tree sooner. 

If you want shade, privacy, or added beauty for your landscape quickly, a fast growing tree is perfect for your property. 

In Ontario, Canada, fast-growing native trees are ideal and recommended. They are perfectly adapted to the local environmental conditions, wildlife, and geography, which means they do not need much care to survive and thrive.  

Listed below are five fast growing trees in Ontario.

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Eastern White Pine (Native)

No tree represents Ontario more than the eastern white pine. It’s the provincial tree of Ontario! 

It grows in southeastern Canada and the eastern U.S and is commonly found as far north as Newfoundland and as far south as northern Georgia. 

These tall trees were highly valued and used to make masts for the British Royal Navy ships in colonial times.

If you plant it in direct sun, it grows quickly and is ideal for blocking any views or creating shade for your house.

If it’s exposed to a lot of wind, the eastern white pine grows crooked, with short, small branches on the side that faces the wind.

This fast growing evergreen tree has skinny needles that are 6cm to 12cm long and grow in bunches of five. The pine cones are 8cm to 20cm long and hang down from the branches. 

Its bark is dark greyish brown with broad, thick ridges.

Medium sized bright yellow pinecones and green pine needles growing on a pine tree

Growing Conditions:

Height: Up to 35m tall

Diameter: Up to 140cm wide

Growth: Up to 90cm a year

Life Span: 

Shade: Partial shade when young but prefers direct sunlight

Moisture: Tolerates a variety of moisture levels

Soil: Grows in any soil but prefers sand or sandy loam

Sycamore Tree (Native)

The sycamore tree is found naturally across southwestern Ontario and the Toronto area. It extends as far north as parts of Prince Edward Island. 

Sycamore trees grow to be one of the largest (height and width) broadleaf trees in eastern North America and thrive on rich floodplains. It is an excellent fast growing shade tree.

Like many willow species, this native tree has a shallow, fibrous root system that can hit septic beds and sewage pipes if it is searching for water. It is important to give them plenty of space to grow to prevent property damage.

The signature patchwork bark of the beautiful sycamore tree flakes off to reveal its white, green, and cream-coloured inner bark. It has large leaves similar to the maple leaf, and its fruits are firm ball-like groups of hairy seeds.

Big mature tree with brown branches and green leaves

Growing Conditions:

Height: Up to 35m tall

Diameter: Up to 200cm wide

Growth: Up to 60cm a year

Life span: Long living- more than 250 years

Shade: part shade or full sun

Moisture: Prefers moist soil

Soil: Rich soil

Tulip Tree (Native)

The tulip tree is Canada’s tallest deciduous tree. It grows in eastern North America, extending into Canada in southwestern Ontario and south into central Florida and Louisiana.

The ornamental tree is highly adaptable and can withstand Canada’s cold winters and Florida’s subtropical summers. 

The tulip tree is a large, fast-growing tree in both height and width with wide-spread roots.

The bark is brownish-green and smooth when young and turns brown and becomes grooved as it matures. The foliage is dark green with a whitish blue underside and grows up to six inches long.

As the name implies, once this native tree is mature (12 -15 years), the tulip tree produces gorgeous yellow-green tulip-shaped flowers which bloom during late spring or summer. The flowers have six petals and are 7-12 cm long. 

The seeds of the tulip tree grow every year and are a source of food for birds and small mammals.

Yellow tulip flowers with a tint of orange growing on a tall tree with green leaves

Growing Conditions:

Height: Up to 30m tall

Diameter: up to 100 cm wide

Growth: Up to 60cm a year

Life Span: Around 250 years

Shade: Full sun

Moisture: Lot of moisture during summer

Soil: Sandy or sandy loam

Silver Maple (Native)

The silver maple is a native species that grows in Eastern North America as far north as central Ontario and south into Florida.

It grows quickly and is often planted as a shade tree or for privacy. 

The silver maple is a large tree that needs plenty of room to grow.

It isn’t an ideal tree to plant next to city streets or houses due to the number of leaves that fall off in the autumn and wide growing roots that can clog sewer pipes.

Its light green leaves are 15cm to 20cm long, with 5 to 7 lobes. The silver maple is very similar to the red maple tree, except its leaves turn pale yellow or brown in the fall. 

The bark on the silver maple’s trunk is smooth and gray when the tree is young. The bark becomes dark reddish-brown as it matures and breaks into strips that peel off at either end. 

The trunks of silver maples can naturally become hollow, creating space for animals and birds to live in.

Brown and red maple leafs growing on a big tree

Causes & Symptoms:

Height: Up to 35m tall

Diameter: Over 100 cm wide

Growth: Around 60cm a year

Life Span: Up to 125 years in a non-urban setting

Shade: Full sun but tolerant to some shade

Moisture: Moist soil

Soil: Rich soil

Red Oak (Native)

Red oak, also known as the eastern red oak, grows well in Eastern North America. It grows in Nova Scotia down through Ontario and into the United States, spanning from Minnesota to Oklahoma and east to Arkansas.

The red oak is a native tree that is highly valued for its timber in Ontario. Its wood is very durable and is optimal for furniture, flooring, and millwork. 

It is a good street tree that tolerates pollution and compacted soil. It needs room to grow and doesn’t grow very well if it’s close to other trees.

The foliage of the red oak are dark green and have seven to eleven lobes and sharp, bristly tips. They turn a gorgeous red in the fall. 

The bark is grey and smooth when young and becomes fissured as the tree matures. 

The acorns can stay on the tree all year and are used as food by local wildlife in the winter. Sometimes dead leaves stay on the red oak, even in the winter.

Big thirty foot tall tree with bright orange and dark red coloured leaves

Growing Conditions:

Height: Up to 30m tall

Diameter: Up to 90cm wide

Growth: 60cm or more a year

Life Span: Longer than 200 years

Shade: Full sun but tolerant to some shade

Moisture: Tolerates a variety of moisture levels

Soil: Grows in a variety of soils

Tree Specialists

Now that you know five fast growing trees in Ontario, you can narrow down your favourites. 


Our team of tree professionals can carefully analyze all of your specific needs and recommend the best trees for your property. 

Call Nature’s Shade for professional help choosing and planting your next tree today!

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