Spring digging season begins as soon as the frost leaves the ground. This usually occurs in mid to late February, however this date can vary year to year by up to two weeks (earlier or later). Spring digging ends as plants begin to break bud & put on new growth. Our digging schedule begins with trees that come out earliest: Crab, Pear & Cherry. Oak and Locust are among the last to be dug.
Summer digging of Taxus, Junipers, Arborvitae and Boxwood begins as soon as the soft new growth matures and becomes “hardened off”. These plants can safely be dug by mid June or early July depending on temperature and moisture conditions.
Conifers (Pine, Spruce, Fir & Hemlock) follow a similar pattern. They can be harvested beginning in late July or mid August. Conifers are especially sensitive to damage or loss if they are dug during hot dry weather patterns so in some years digging is delayed until better conditions arrive.
Fall digging of deciduous trees begins as signs of dormancy appear. This is indicated by the leaves showing their fall color. Unlike spring, when most species can be dug anytime in the digging season, fall digging follows a sequence that parallels the time that each species begins its journey towards dormancy. The earliest trees include Crab and Locust, which are generally safe to harvest in mid September. Most other species require some hard frosts to show color. From year to year, this timing can vary considerably in central Indiana from early to late October. Pears are the last species on the fall list. Considerable amounts of frost is needed to begin digging pear.