Best Time to Plant Trees in New York

Amidst the urban sprawl of New York City and The Bronx, every patch of green is highly coveted. Whether you’re a homeowner with a backyard or a business owner aiming to create a serene outdoor environment, trees can transform your property into a peaceful retreat. Here’s everything you need to know about planting trees in the city.

Why NYC and The Bronx Residents Need the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Chart

The USDA chart (shown above) is essential for anyone looking to make a lasting green impact on their property. NYC primarily falls within zones 6a to 7b. This means there’s a specific set of trees (more on this below) that will grow and thrive here, adding value and beauty to your property for years to come.

Arbor Foundation’s Tree Wizard: Your Personal Arborist Online

Before splurging on a tree, take a moment with theĀ Arbor Foundation’s Tree Wizard. Input your specific location, and it will generate a list of trees best suited for your area. It’s like having a personalized recommendation from a tree expert, ensuring you get the right tree for your space.

Deciduous Trees: A Detailed Look for the Discerning NYC Property Owner

For those who appreciate the changing seasons, deciduous trees are excellent choice for New York. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  • Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
    • Planting Time: Early spring or early fall.
    • Attributes: Standing 40-60 feet tall, Red Maples cast ample shade, perfect for spacious backyards or patios. Their brilliant fall colors make them a seasonal highlight.
    • Benefits: Their shade can cut down summer cooling costs. Plus, their moderate growth rate ensures substantial coverage relatively quickly.
    • Care: These trees prefer slightly acidic, well-drained soil and full sun exposure for optimal color.
  • White Oak (Quercus alba)
    • Planting Time: Early spring or early fall.
    • Attributes: Symbolic of strength and endurance, they can soar up to 100 feet. Their robust branches are ideal for natural shade or even a hammock.
    • Benefits: Their extensive root system is excellent for preventing soil erosion. They also attract wildlife, adding a touch of nature to city settings.
    • Care: Favoring deep, rich soil, they thrive in full sun. Once established, they’re relatively drought-resistant.
  • Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)
    • Planting Time: Spring or fall.
    • Attributes: Recognized for their unique tulip-shaped flowers, they can reach heights up to 90 feet, making a dramatic statement in larger spaces.
    • Benefits: Their rapid growth ensures quick shade. The flowers attract pollinators, enhancing local biodiversity.
    • Care: Best in moist, well-drained soils, they flourish in full sun to partial shade.
  • Eastern Dogwood (Cornus florida)
    • Planting Time: Early spring or early fall.
    • Attributes: A modest height of 20-25 feet, their spring blooms (white or pink) and red fall foliage make them year-round attractions.
    • Benefits: Being small, they’re perfect for tighter urban spaces. They also offer habitat and food for local birds.
    • Care: Preferring well-drained soil, they thrive in partial shade but can tolerate full sun with adequate moisture.
  • American Elm (Ulmus americana)
    • Planting Time: Early spring.
    • Attributes: Once a dominant urban tree, it can grow up to 80 feet and have a distinctive vase shape.
    • Benefits: Their broad canopy offers extensive shade, ideal for streets or larger gardens.
    • Care: While they’re adaptable to various soil types, they prefer well-drained soil and full sun. Opt for disease-resistant varieties due to historical susceptibility to Dutch elm disease.

Planting 101: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide for the City Dweller

Planting a tree in the city requires precision:

  1. Location Selection: Use a tape measure. Ensure you provide enough space for the tree’s mature size. Keep it at least 15 feet from buildings and 25 feet from power lines.
  2. Digging: Use a round-point shovel. The hole should be twice as wide as the root ball but no deeper. Measure with a ruler to be sure.
  3. Tree Preparation: Wear gloves. Gently remove the tree from its container. If the roots are compacted, use your fingers or a hand rake to tease them apart gently.
  4. Planting: Place the tree in the center of the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the ground surface. Fill the hole with the excavated soil.
  5. Watering and Mulching: Use a watering can or hose to water the base thoroughly. Then, spread a 2-3 inch mulch around the tree, ensuring it doesn’t touch the trunk.

Maintenance Tips Tailored for the Busy NYC Lifestyle

City life is hectic. Here are streamlined care tips:

  • Pruning: Invest in quality pruning shears. In the first year, only remove branches that are damaged or diseased.
  • Watering: Early mornings or late evenings are best. Use a soaker hose for deep watering.
  • Cleaning: City trees can accumulate grime. Every month, give your tree a gentle shower using a hose with a shower nozzle.

Owens Brothers Tree Service: Your Urban Arbor Solution

For over 60 years, Owens Brothers Tree Service has been the trusted name for homeowners and businesses in The Bronx and Manhattan. From stubborn stumps to towering trees, our expert team offers efficient stump removal, tree removal, and precision tree trimming and pruning tailored to the unique challenges of urban spaces. Whether enhancing a personal oasis or creating a serene business environment, trust in our legacy of reliability and expertise to transform and maintain your green spaces.

(718) 885-0914