The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. It's an old saying, but these days you really do need to plan ahead. It is no secret that there is a major labor shortage right now. All businesses seem to be struggling to find enough people to meet demand. Landscaping contractors are no different. There are also supply issues for garden centers depending on what you are trying to find. For those reasons Tom Estabrook of Estabrook's in Yarmouth suggests starting early if you are planning to plant a tree this fall.
If you are putting in a large tree you will likely need some help. Estabrook suggests finding a contractor now and lining them up for the fall. If you are going to plant the tree yourself great! We are actually in really good shape for that right now. July was a rainy month so the ground is well watered. Typically if you plant a tree in the summer you are worried about keeping it wet enough. That shouldn't be a major issue right now.
Trees are not going to grow a lot if you plant them now they will be focused instead on rooting. For that reason Estabrook suggests you add a root stimulant to tree you are planning to put in the ground. One of his favorites, Biotone, attaches to the roots and causes them to branch. That will establish a solid root system.
As with most plants you also need to add good compost to the soil. That way the tree will get the nutrients it needs. Mulching is key as it protects the top of the root ball and keeps it moist. If you're planting a large tree do consider staking it. They sell kits of various sizes. And if we hit another dry spell, water bags are easy to use both for new trees and existing ones. They will hold 20 gallons of water and allow it to slowly drip into the soil. Happy planting.