June 5, 2015 /
Jason Galliger

Why We Don’t Plant Trees in the Summer

Many people ask us: “Why don’t you plant trees in the summer?”

Our answer is always: “Because it’s too hot out.”

Trust us, we would love to plant trees in the summer. Doing so would get us one step closer to our 40 percent tree canopy goal.

However, the fact is that the general heat the D.C. region gets over the summer months pretty much assures that any tree planted will not survive.

A newly-planted tree needs 25 gallons of water per week to survive. During late summer we often have weeks without rain, which would deprive the tree of the water it needs to secure its root structure. A tree with a weakened root system is at higher risk of fatality during periods of severe weather. A hurricane, tropical storm or another derecho could literally blow the tree away!

If by some miracle these trees did survive they may not ever recover from the trauma suffered in their youth, leading to stunted growth and a less robust canopy.

Trees are also highly active in the summer and aren’t receptive to being transplanted.

Instead of planting trees in the summer, we instead shift towards general tree care, through efforts like our 25 to Stay Alive Pledge and Summer Crew.