Because magnolia trees are suited and typically grow in milder climates, knowing when to plant a magnolia tree is not as important as where it is planted. However, some seasons and climates will be better for planting than others, so timing should of course be taken into consideration.
When to Plant
If the magnolia tree is being planted in a location that has milder winters, it can be planted any time of year. However, young tree saplings require ample water and not many fluctuations in temperature. During its early months, the tree needs a safe environment during which it is establishing its root system more than it is growing above ground. Thus, planting magnolia trees during the autumn months will help the trees to solidify their position. During this season, there will be plenty of precipitation with not many extreme temperature fluctuations. Young magnolia trees prefer moist, acidic soil, which makes planting in the summer months more difficult, as the gardener will have to ensure that the tree is getting ample water supply.
Magnolia Tree Life Cycle
Knowing the life cycle of the magnolia tree will help in deciding what time of year is best for planting. Magnolia trees typically flower in the early spring to early summer months, will continue to grow throughout the summer, and then will remain dormant for fall and winter. In this cycle, it is best for trees to gain a hold in new soil in the fall when they have the entirety of winter to settle before producing flowers in the spring. This timing will prove least stressful to the new tree and most beneficial for its first spring flowering season.