Something about ripe fruit makes you think of sunshine and warm weather. However, many fruit trees thrive in chillier climes, including USDA hardiness zone 5, where winter temperatures dip as low as -20 or -30 degrees F. (-29 to -34 C.). If you are thinking of growing fruit trees in zone 5, you’ll have a number of options. Read on for a discussion of fruit trees that grow in zone 5 and tips for choosing fruit trees for zone 5.
Zone 5 Fruit Trees
Zone 5 gets pretty cold in the winter, but some fruit trees grow happily in even colder zones like this. The key to growing fruit trees in zone 5 is to pick the right fruit and the right cultivars. Some fruit trees survive zone 3 winters, where temperatures dip down to -40 degrees F. (-40 C.). These include favorites like apples, pears, and plums. Those same fruit trees grow in zone 4, as well as persimmons, cherries, and apricots. In terms of fruit trees for zone 5, your choices also include peaches and paw paws.
Common Fruit Trees for Zone 5
Anyone who lives in a chilly climate should plant apples in their orchard. Yummy cultivars like Honeycrisp and Pink Lady thrive in this zone. You can also plant delightful Akane or versatile (though ugly) Ashmead's Kernel. When your ideal zone 5 fruit trees include pears, look for cultivars that are cold hardy, delicious, and disease resistant. Two to try include Harrow Delight and Warren, a juicy pear with a buttery flavor. Plums are also fruit trees that grow in zone 5, and you’ll have quite a few to choose between. Emerald Beauty, a yellowish green plum, may be the plum king with top taste scores, great sweetness, and long harvest periods. Or plant cold hardy Superior, a hybrid of Japanese and American plums. Peaches as fruit trees for zone 5? Yes. Choose big, beautiful Snow Beauty, with its red skin, white flesh, and sweetness. Or go for White Lady, an excellent white peach with high sugar content.
Uncommon Fruit Trees That Grow in Zone 5
When you are growing fruit trees in zone 5, you may as well live dangerously. In addition to the usual zone 5 fruit trees, why not try something daring and different. Pawpaw trees look like they belong in the jungle but are cold hardy down to zone 5. This understory tree is happy in shade but makes do with sun as well. It grows to 30 feet tall (9 m.) and offers hefty fruit with rich, sweet, custardy flesh. Cold hardy kiwi will survive winter temperatures down to -25 degrees F. (-31 C.). Don’t expect the fuzzy skin you see in commercial kiwis though. This zone 5 fruit is small and smooth skinned. You’ll need both sexes for pollination as well as a vine support.
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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.