Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Select Fruit Trees for the Climate

By Lorraine O'Neil ; Updated September 21, 2017

Just because you live in a cool climate doesn’t mean you can’t grow fruit trees. Many fruit trees will tolerate cool weather, while others are meant for warmer regions. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a detailed map of plant hardiness zones so you can know exactly which plants will ow in your area. To find the right fruit trees for your climate, you simply need to find your zone on the map and look for trees intended for that zone.

Determine what zone you live in. If you don’t already know, use the map in the Resource section.

Think about what kind of tree you would like to grow. Many fruit trees, like apple trees, have a wide variety of options. Some apple trees grow better in cool climates, while some grow well in warmer climates. Other fruit trees have more specific needs: Cherry trees need at least a small amount of cold weather to produce fruit, and citrus trees need warm temperatures year round. Once you have an idea of your ideal fruit tree, you can find out whether it will grow in your zone.

Look over the Tree Link list in the Resources section to see which trees commonly grow in your zone. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, check with a local tree nursery about which fruit trees will grow in your climate. If there is a university with an agricultural department near your home, try calling or visiting their website. Many universities develop hybrids of fruit trees that grow in the university’s climate, and they may even sell young trees in the spring.

Make a list of the varieties that emerge as options, and research each type to find the best fit. Tree nurseries or websites will tell you what zone each tree prefers, along with the soil type and sun requirements. Find the tree that fits best in your climate as well as the location where you plan to plant.


Things You Will Need

  • Plant hardiness zone map

About the Author


After graduating college in December, 2008, Lorraine O'Neil began working full-time as a freelance writer. Since she has been working professionally, O'Neil's articles have been published on websites such as DIY Chatroom. O'Neil holds a Bachelor of Arts in legal studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.