You’ll find deciduous trees that grow happily in almost every climate and region in the world. This includes USDA zone 4, an area near the northern border of the country. This means that zone 4 deciduous trees have to be quite cold hardy. If you are interested in growing deciduous trees in zone 4, you’ll want to know as much as possible about cold hardy deciduous trees. Read on for some tips about deciduous trees for zone 4.
About Cold Hardy Deciduous Trees
If you live in the north-central section of the country or in the northern tip of New England, you might be a zone 4 gardener. You already know that you can’t plant just any tree and expect it to thrive. Temperatures in zone 4 can drop to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 C.) in the winter. But many deciduous trees thrive in cooler climates. If you are growing deciduous trees in zone 4, you’ll have quite a large selection to choose from. That being said, a few of the more commonly planted types are below.
Deciduous Trees for Zone 4
Box elder trees (Acer negundo) grow fast, up to 50 feet (15 m.) tall with a similar spread. They thrive almost everywhere, and are hardy in US Department of Agriculture zones 2 to 10. These cold hardy deciduous trees offer yellow blossoms in spring to complement the fresh, green leaves. Why not plant include star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) on the list of zone 4 deciduous trees? These magnolias thrive in zones 4 through 8 in wind-protected areas, but only grow to 20 feet (6 m.) tall with a 15-foot (4.5 m.) spread. The classic, star-shaped blossoms smell wonderful and appear on the tree in late winter. Some trees are too tall for most backyards, yet they thrive in zone 4 and would work well in parks. Or if you have a very large property, you could consider one of the following cold hardy deciduous trees. One of the most popular deciduous trees for large landscapes are pin oaks (Quercus palustris). They are tall trees, rising to 70 feet (21.5 m.) tall and hardy to zone 4. Plant these trees in full sun in a site with loamy soil, and watch for the leaves to blush a deep crimson in fall. Tolerant of urban pollution, white poplars (Populus alba) thrive in zones 3 through 8. Like pin oaks, white poplars are tall trees for larger areas only, growing to 75 feet (23 m.) high and wide. This tree is a valued ornamental, with silver-green foliage, bark, twigs, and buds.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.