Planting evergreens in the fall

Q.  I recently noticed many discounted evergreens at local garden centers. Is this a good time of the year to plant them?

A.  While it is acceptable to plant many deciduous trees and shrubs at this time of the year, it’s not a good idea to plant evergreens this late in the season. Evergreens planted in late fall don’t have time to become established before the onset of cold winter temperatures that will stop vital root development. Evergreens lose moisture through their needles and leaves during the winter months.  Evergreens that are not well established may lose more water and suffer from winter burn or even death because they are unable to take up enough water due to their reduced root mass. It is best to plant evergreens in the spring when they have an entire growing season to become established.