Expect an embarrassment of riches when it comes to picking trees for zone 6. Hundreds of trees thrive happily in your region, so you won’t have any problem finding zone 6 hardy trees. If you want to put trees in zone 6 landscapes, you’ll have your choice of evergreen or deciduous varieties. Here are a few tips for growing trees in zone 6.
Trees for Zone 6
If you live in plant hardiness zone 6, the coldest winter temperatures dip to between 0 degrees and -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 to -23 C.). This is chilly for some people, but a lot of trees love it. You’ll find plenty of options for growing trees in zone 6.
Take a look at your garden and figure out what type of trees would work best. Think height, light and soil requirements, and whether you prefer evergreen trees or deciduous trees. Evergreens offer year-round texture and screening. Deciduous trees provide autumn color. You may find room for both types of trees in zone 6 landscapes.
Evergreen Trees for Zone 6
Evergreen trees can create privacy screens or serve as stand-alone specimens. Zone 6 hardy trees that happen to be evergreen include the American arborvitae, a very popular choice for hedges. Arborvitaes are sought after for hedges because they grow fast and accept pruning.
For specimen trees, pick an Austrian pine (Pinus nigra). These trees grow to 60 feet (18 m.) tall and are drought resistant.
Another popular choice for trees for zone 6 is Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) with its magnificent silvery needles. It grows to 70 feet (21 m.) high with a 20 foot (6 m.) spread.
Deciduous Trees in Zone 6 Landscapes
Dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) are one of the few deciduous conifers, and they are zone 6 hardy trees. However, consider your site before you plant. Dawn redwoods can shoot up to 100 feet (30 m.) tall.
A more traditional choice for deciduous trees in this zone is the lovely little Japanese maple (Acer palmatum). It grows in full sun or partial shade and most varieties mature to under 25 feet (7.5 m.) tall. Their fiery fall color can be spectacular. Sugar maples and red maples are also great deciduous trees for zone 6.
Paper bark birch (Betula papyrifera) is a fast growing favorite in zone 6. It’s as lovely in autumn and winter as summer, with its golden autumn display and creamy peeling bark. The attractive catkins can hang onto the bare tree branches until spring.
Do you want flowering trees? Flowering zone 6 hardy trees include saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana). These lovely trees grow to 30 feet (9 m.) tall and 25 feet (7.5 m) wide, offering glorious blossoms.
Or go for red dogwood (Cornus florida var. rubra). Red dogwood earns its name with red shoots in spring, red flowers and red fall berries, beloved by wild birds.
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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.