Autumn is the best time for planting your trees, shrubs and spring blooming bulbs. With an abundance of plants and bulbs to choose from, your head could really spin. But let's take some of the mystery out of it.
First look around - You should look around throughout the year and see what moves you. What do you like? Are you thinking of planting a tree that will be brilliant red or yellow for fall color? Do you want a tree that will bloom throughout the spring? How big would you like it to be?
Next choose a location - More important than what you are going to plant is where you are going to plant. How much room do you have? How much sun? If there is a drought, is there water available? How much maintenance do you wish to have? All of these questions need to be answered so when you go to the nursery, you can answer these same questions.
Budget - I know, money is a hard thing to think about but if you know what you are willing or able to spend, it will make your shopping much easier.
Choose the right plant - Now you have everything you need to make a good decision about what you would like to plant. If you had seen a bright red fall colored maple tree that you really like and you have an area about 40-50 feet (mature tree size) round that you can plant it in the middle of and you have $35-$250 to pay, you will be able to have that tree. The lower the price, the smaller the tree but that is not always a bad thing. The transplanting of a tree is a shock to the plant as a small tree will recover much faster than a large one that has had a lot of roots cut.
Next - Dig a whole about 2X larger than the pot but the same depth. Remove the tree from the pot and tease the roots gently apart. Place the tree in the hole cover it half way, water it in, finish filling the hole and water it is again. That's it. That is all you have to do. It helps if you put some root stimulator (fertilizer) in the water every four weeks to get it off and growing rapidly.
Remember that the roots grow throughout the winter months until the ground freezes. Give them a good home and they will give you years of enjoyment.