John Rockelman, of Rockelman’s Nursery, prepares a red oak to be transplanted Tuesday. Now is a good time for planting, he said. This tree will be
John Rockelman, of Rockelman's Nursery, prepares a red oak to be transplanted Tuesday. Now is a good time for planting, he said. This tree will be balled and watered since it has just started to enter dormancy. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS -- PAUL KUEHNEL)
Mother Nature might be fickle, especially lately.

But don't mess with her.

Although frost blanketed the area recently, outdoor trees, shrubs and flowers will likely keep their cool this week while high pressure moves into the county and creates warmer temperatures, local experts say.

Wednesday and Thursday are expected to bring mild, sunny weather -- a good time to get out and work on the yard, said John Rockelman, owner of Rockelman's Nursery, now celebrating its 45th anniversary, on South Queen Street in York Township.

"Now is the right time to plant trees," he said.

And he should know.

Rockelman raises about 6,000 trees -- varieties include October Glory Maple, Red Sunset Maple and Pin Oak -- at Heritage Tree Farm, a division of Rockelman's Nursery, in North Codorus Township.

The 45-acre farm produces trees that are sold to landscape companies, nurseries and individuals, he said.

"I was always interested in trees ... since I was a kid," he said.

So, what's the secret to growing a happy, healthy tree?

"You just have to plant them properly and care for them," Rockelman said.

Others agreed and gave their advice in light of the recent weather:

--- "There isn't much that has to be done in relation to the weather changes." - Jeff Bollinger, senior designer, Hively Landscapes, Inc., in Dover Township.

--- "You shouldn't be pruning anymore, it encourages growth." - Ben Petry, owner of Petry Landscaping and Design Services in Manchester Township.

--- "Fall is an excellent time for planting." - Mike Trump of Trump Lawn & Land Company in York Township.

---  Now is a good time to cover the garden pond with a net to keep leaves out, said Troy Shenberger, owner of Dover Township-based Troy Shenberger's Landscaping and Pond Designs, Inc. "Your fish will slow down, quit eating ... They'll go into a dormant stage for winter."


HOT AND COLD

What a difference a week makes, said Andy Mussoline, meteorologist at AccuWeather.

A red oak is transported past maple trees at Rockelman’s Nursery tree farm in North Codorus Township Tuesday.
A red oak is transported past maple trees at Rockelman's Nursery tree farm in North Codorus Township Tuesday. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS -- PAUL KUEHNEL)
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Last Wednesday's low was 32 degrees. That's comparable to an average early December day, he said.

But this Wednesday and Thursday are expected to reach a high of about 70 degrees, he said.

"It's going to feel very nice compared to how cold we've been ... But ... it'll be short lived," Mussoline said and added that cooler, rainy weather is expected Friday evening into Saturday.

A record high of 86 degrees was set on Oct. 22, 1979, he said.