Leaflet: Summer Glory

Shop now, plant later

Now is when trees are in their full glory. You can see it, smell it, and feel it whenever you walk around the neighborhood. It’s not a good time to plant trees—we’ll wait until our planting season, October-April—but now is the time to be thinking about what tree you might want to plant. Look for the species on a Friends of Trees tag. Consider how big a tree gets when it’s mature.

“When we call you later this year to see what tree you want, you won’t be able to look around and see what a tree looks like in the middle of summer,” says Neighborhood Trees Senior Specialist Andrew Land. “Summer is an outstanding time to look around.”

Beyond finding a tree whose glory really speaks to you, now is also a great time to think critically about the conditions where a particular tree can succeed. A core aspect of the Friends of Trees ethos is right tree, right place. We want every tree to survive and thrive.

If you see a tree you really like and think, maybe I want one of those, observe the place that it’s in. Consider the conditions: sunlight, moisture, competition, space. Compare those to the conditions in your own yard where you might want a tree.

When we talk about a tree getting full sun, we’re really only talking about the growing season from mid-April through September. The sun exposure in your yard changes considerably from season to season. Now is the time to study how much sun your new tree would get next summer.

“Thinking ahead is how we set up a tree and its steward—you—for success,” Andrew says.

We always invite you to connect with staff about tree selection. And we encourage you to keep an open mind to something new and different. Don’t be afraid of big trees. Consider trees that will be more resilient to climate change. Glory is subjective, and there are so many factors beyond appearance.

“Take the Hardy Rubber Tree, for example,” Andrew says. “It’s nondescript. You wouldn’t necessarily call it pretty. But it’s the best air filter of all the trees.”

Or take the Amur Maackia. It’s not known for its spring flower or its fall color, but it casts a beautiful dappled shade and does really well in the urban environment. When it comes down to it, survivability is the biggest priority.

“Think of all the benefits that a tree provides to people and community,” Andrew says. “Those benefits expand exponentially every year that a tree survives, which is why we want every tree to last as long as possible.”