The Best Trees for Zone 4


The Arbor Day Foundation maintains a map of hardiness zones for North America. Zone 4 stretches across the very top of the United States, covering most of Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan and Maine, and parts of Colorado, Iowa, New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Zone 4’s average annual minimum temperature ranges from –20 to –30 degrees Fahrenheit. The Arbor Day Foundation maintains a searchable database that identifies the best trees for various hardiness zones.


  • According to the Arbor Day Foundation, three types of apple trees are suitable for Zone 4, including Early Harvest, Lodi and Red Jonathan. These are all cooking and eating apples, which are perfect for use in an orchard.


  • Another fruit tree that does well in Zone 4 is the pear, and the best variety is the Kieffer pear. The trees are heat-tolerant and the fruit is used in many recipes for cooking and canning.


  • Six varieties of spruce will tolerate the climate of Zone 4. These range from the Oriental Spruce, which is perfect for smaller areas, to the fast-growing Norway Spruce. Other varieties include White, Serbian, Black Hills and Colorado Blue.

Washington Hawthorne

  • The Washington Hawthorne is a Zone 4 tree that provides beautiful displays of spring flowers and is covered in red berries in the summer.


  • Three varieties of birch are suitable Zone 4 trees, including the Yellow, Paper and River Birch. All three provide beautiful fall foliage and interesting displays with their bark, which varies from white to orange to cinnamon in color.


  • According to About Arborvitae, these are evergreen trees from the cypress family that play an important role in the wild. Their leaves provide food for deer and other wildlife during the cold winter months. Five varieties of arborvitae are best for Zone 4, including American, Nigra American, Emerald, Woodward Globe and Golden Globe.


  • The resilient White Fir is suitable for Zone 4, and it will thrive where other trees may struggle. The Balsam Fir is a slow-growing species, but it develops a lovely pyramidal shape that can reach up to 75 feet in height, making it a perfect tree for large spaces.


  • If you love magnolia trees, Zone 4 is a good place to enjoy them. Six varieties of magnolia will thrive in Zone 4, including Saucer, Cucumber tree, Jane, Star, Ann and the beautiful Centennial Star. Flower colors range from creamy white to darker pink and purple, with lovely scents.


  • Seven varieties of oak are the best for Zone 4. These include White, Chestnut, Northern Red, Pin, Scarlett, Chinkapin and Bur.

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