In the past two editions of the Tree Link, we polled readers to get their opinions on the optimal timing for tree planting, offering separate polls for eastern and western Washington just in case opinions differed due to differences in climate and other planting conditions.

The good news is that in both polls, no one voted for June, July and August as an appropriate time for tree planting, so at least we’re all on the same page there. Whew!

In eastern Washington, 46% of respondents feel that September, October, and November are optimal planting months, but much to my surprise, 31% say that December, January, and February was the optimal time. Really? Maybe I need to spend more winter days in eastern Washington because this one is a bit of a head-scratcher. To round out the results, 23% of eastsiders will tell you that Spring is the optimal planting season.

Results were similar west of the Cascades, where Springtime was voted the least desirable planting season next to summer. Only 17% think that March, April, and May is the best time to plant trees in western Washington. Forty-three percent of respondents voted for autumn as the best planting season, and closely behind, an additional 40% believe that December, January, and February are optimal tree planting months. Now in this case, I can see planting (and I have planted) trees in western Washington during the winter because the ground rarely freezes and it rains all the time.

Isn’t it wonderful that here in Washington we have the luxury of being able to plant trees for nine months out of the year? Except of course for those cold and dry winter months in eastern Washington… I still think those results are awfully suspicious.

So, maybe the Washington State Arbor Day actually should take place in the fall, but that will take an act of the Washington State Legislature to make that change official. In the meantime, we’ll be saying Happy Arbor Day Washington once again come April.

Enjoy the summer and by all means, please don’t plant any trees until September.