The winter wet season in the Pacific Northwest is an ideal time to plant young trees and native shrubs! Planting native trees and shrubs enhances forest biodiversity by providing habitat for wildlife and forage for pollinators. It’s also a great way connect to the land and increase your aesthetic and recreational appreciation for the forest.
Also, as you select plants for your forest – keep these guiding thoughts in mind:
- Right tree, right site. Make sure the tree and plant species are well-matched to the soil type and environmental conditions. Vegetation that may have held its own on a marginal site during normal climatic conditions is less likely to survive in hotter and drier conditions. For instance, on dry, gravelly soils – drought-tolerant species are needed.
- When it comes to planting, timing is important. Planting before the start of the spring growing season helps ensure survival. It give small plants time to recover from the shock of transplanting. During the winter months when there is less daylight, plants direct their energy into growing their roots so they can connect to nutrients and water in the soil. They’ll tap into these resources during the growing season as well as to survive the hot and dry times of late spring through early autumn.
- At lower elevations, planting in late fall or early winter gives plants a head start.
- In mid-elevation areas, late winter and early spring is the time to put new trees and shrubs in the ground.