Why it makes sense to plant evergreens this fall plus quick care tips

Evergreens hold a special place in our hearts. Maybe it has something to do with Charlie Brown rescuing the tiny Christmas pine or the spike in our spirits that comes from a shot of green during the bleakest, most colorless days of winter. We love them in the spring and summer when they’re fresh with sparkling morning dew, when they cradle tiny bird’s nests deep in their branches and reveal tender candles of fresh green growth.

They are full and fragrant. They fill a space with purpose. And they are some of the world’s oldest trees. Which lends them even more mystery in our book. They turn us into tree huggers, even though that can get a little tricky.

So we want you to know that it’s not too late to gourgify (yes, made up word) your yard with one, even in fall. Especially in fall. You may also want to check out The 7 Simple Things You Should Do Before Planting a Tree for some pointers on where to plant, what to consider—like mature size and how close to plant to your neighbor’s driveway or house—and how to love your evergreen even more once it’s planted. If that’s possible.

And here’s why to plant this fall, why you won’t regret it and what you can do to support your evergreen:

1) Fall is cooler.

Which means it’s more comfortable to be outside, for you and your evergreen. Planting isn’t such a workout, moisture doesn’t evaporate as quickly, freshly planted trees lay down their roots in a much more hospitable setting and your evergreen doesn’t have such a shock when it goes in the ground.

2) Fall is generally wetter.

Whenever you plant a tree, it’s always important to give it sufficient water, especially in the week to two weeks following planting. But in fall, there’s generally more rain, the temps are cooler so existing moisture is slower to evaporate and you won’t have to haul out the hose quite as often. You’ll want to shoot for about 1 inch of water per week, with good deep drenches approximately 3 times a week for the first couple weeks.

3) You can use an anti-desiccant spray to minimize evaporation in winter.

The downside to evergreens standing strong and green through winter is that their leaves have more surface from which to lose water, so they are more susceptible to winter desiccation (drying). This can be prevented with an anti-desiccant spray that helps to seal in moisture and protect your broad- and narrow-leafed evergreens.

4) Evergreens, um, stay green.

This goes without saying, but we just said it anyway. Your landscape can get mighty bare without some wintergreen and evergreens make a great shelter for overwintering birds and wildlife.

5) Which means you have year-round privacy.

By holding their leaves year-round, evergreens give you uninterrupted privacy and can hide undesirable views in your yard or your neighbors’.

6) And a year-round hero.

Because of their dense, full-bodied habit, evergreens are especially effective sound, air pollution and wind barriers. And because of their ability to block harsh winter winds and the most relentless summer sun, they can keep a home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, to the tune of 20-50% lower energy bills according to the USDA Forest Service.

7) You also have pinecones with coniferous evergreens.

We find them charming, kids love to collect them, they look great in indoor and outdoor winter arrangements and when dried out, they make great fire starters for wood-burning fireplaces and stoves. We love collecting larger varieties or a wildlife friendly craft. Start by attaching an ornament hook or pipe cleaner to the top of your pinecone. Then cover the cone in peanut butter with a spatula or spreading knife, then roll the cone in birdseed. Hang the cones around your yard this winter when food is scarcest for birds, squirrels and other wildlife.

8) You can decorate for Christmas and the holidays.

Back to Charlie Brown. But is there anything prettier than twinkling lights on a snow-covered evergreen? We even love white twinkly lights strung from tree to tree for spring, summer and fall parties, barbecues and celebrations.