This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
"Do you approve of fall planting?" is a question asked us every day. Our answer is, yes, under these circumstances:
1st. When the ground is of such nature and in such condition that water will not lodge around the roots of trees during winter. To plant trees in holes sunk in stiff, tenacious soils, is a certain method of killing them.
2d. The trees should be perfectly hardy; All delicate or half-hardy trees should invariably be planted in the spring. If it be necessary to take them up in the fall, they had better be laid in by the roots in a dry toil, sheltered from the cold, cutting winds, and, if necessary, protected with boughs of evergreens or something of that nature.
3d. We do not approve of planting evergreen trees in the fall, unless the very hardiest sorts, and that quite early, say in September or first of October, in time for the trees to re-root, partially, before hard frosts; and they should be sheltered from the sun and wind by a thick screen of evergreen boughs well secured around them.
4th. Plant all trees early - as soon as circumstances will permit after the wood is ripe. Don't wait till the leaves fall, but cut them off, being careful not to injure the buds. Late planting, however, if well done, may be equally successful. We transplant any time most convenient, between the first of October and first of May. Last winter, in December, we planted several hundred of specimen trees, from one to six years old, and lost not over two or three in the whole. Many of the bearing trees, notwithstanding the drouth, have borne and ripened fine specimens of fruit.
Asparagus, Rhubarb, Gooseberries, and Currants, should all be planted in the fall, and as early as possible. Also, hardy bulbs, such as Hyacinths, Tulips, Narcissus, Crocus, Crown Imperials, and Lilies. It is also the best season to top-dress and renovate neglected trees of all sorts, - to make new walks and repair old ones - to lay down turf, and perform such operations as grading, draining, trenching, etc., incident to the formation of new gardens, lawns, etc. Our springs are short, and hot summer weather very often comes too soon. It is therefore well to make a good use of every hour between this time and the freezing of the ground.