Cold climates have their charm, but gardeners moving to a zone 4 location may fear that their fruit-growing days are over. Not so. If you choose carefully, you’ll find lots of fruit trees for zone 4. For more information about what fruit trees grow in zone 4, keep on reading.
About Cold Hardy Fruit Trees
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a system dividing the country into plant hardiness zones based on coldest annual temperatures. Zone 1 is the coldest, but regions labeled zone 4 are also chilly, getting down to negative 30 degree Fahrenheit (-34 C.). That’s pretty cold weather for a fruit tree, you may think. And you would be right. Lots of fruit trees are not happy and productive in zone 4. But surprise: lots of fruit trees are!
The trick to fruit tree growing in cold climates is to buy and plant only cold hardy fruit trees. Look for zone information on the label or ask at the garden store. If the label says “fruit trees for zone 4,” you are good to go.
What Fruit Trees Grow in Zone 4?
Commercial fruit growers generally only set up their orchards in zone 5 and above. However, fruit tree growing in cold climates is far from impossible. You’ll find dozens of zone 4 fruit trees of many different kinds available.
Apple trees are among the hardiest of cold hardy fruit trees. Look for the hardy cultivars, all of which make perfect zone 4 fruit trees. The hardiest of these, even thriving in zone 3, include:
- Northern Spy
You can also plant:
- Gold and Red Delicious
- Red Rome
If you want an heirloom cultivar, go for Gravenstein or Yellow Transparent.
If you are looking for a fruit tree growing in cold climates that isn’t an apple tree, try an American plum tree cultivar. European plum cultivars only survive to zone 5, but some of the American varieties thrive in zone 4. These include the cultivars:
It’s hard to find sweet cherry cultivars that like the chill of being zone 4 fruit trees, although Rainier does well in this zone. But sour cherries, delightful in pies and jams, do best as fruit trees for zone 4. Look for:
- North Star
- Sweet Cherry Pie
Pears are iffier when it comes to being zone 4 fruit trees. If you want to plant a pear tree, try one of the hardiest European pears like:
- Flemish Beauty