Yes, you can plant in fall for spring growth. Many areas of the country, such as zones 6, 7, and 8 generally continue to experience mild weather until early to mid December. Bare root trees and shrubs can be planted when they are available the latter part of October to late November, as well as planting container grown plants.
The ground temperature often continues to remain warm allowing the newly planted plants to put on newer root growth that will secure them through the colder months of January and February.
Planting faster growing trees or flowering trees and shrubs will kick off with early spring growth putting them far ahead compared to those planted in mid to late spring. The fall planted trees and shrubs will have already begun leafing out by spring planting time.
Fall and winter months usually bring more rain and moisture so less hand watering is needed. Hand water your new plants every 3 to 5 days for the first 4 weeks after planting - not as much as you would during spring or summer, but give the soil enough water to show you care. Then, if your area doesn't receive any rainfall over a 2 week period during late fall and winter, some supplemental watering will be required. Do not water plants that are in frozen ground.
Small fruiting plants, such as blackberry,raspberry, blueberry and strawberry plants, generally begin shipping mid November to early December for fall planting.
With proper protection of mulching heavily (in the above zones) with shredded bark mulch, leaves, straw or newspaper, the plants should remain safe and continue to put on limited new root growth that will secure them through the colder winter months.
The limited new root growth that these fall planted plants put on slows or stops as the ground becomes cold or freezes. As quickly as spring arrives warming the ground, these new roots come alive once again. With their new expansion, they begin forcing life and new growth into the top parts of the plants with new branches.
Plant some of our fast growing trees this fall to kick off with lots of new spring growth.
Spring flowering trees, like the yoshino, okame, and kwanzan, may not flower until they are in the ground for approximately 3 years. This is normal for ornamental flowering fruit trees.
Most flowering shrubs like forsythia, fragrant honeysuckle, weigela, and hardy hibiscus generally flower the first spring or summer after they are planted.