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What is a Growing Zone?

A growing zone helps determine what tree grows best in your area.

What tree grows best in my area? This seems to be the million-dollar question. A lot of thought is put into this special gift, and you want this tree or plant to provide lasting years of memory, joy, hope and peace. You of course want to make sure you are getting a tree that has the best chance to survive in the climate of its new home.

To assist us and all the gardeners or landscapers in the country, the original and most widely used system is the USDA hardiness zone. A hardiness zone is an area where some plants can grow, and each zone area is based on the average coldest temperatures. Plants in that zone or one with a lower number can grow best in that area. The zones are not important for annuals since these are plants you would only expect to survive the summer months, or one season. For perennials, trees, and shrubs though, be sure to check the USDA zones before you put them in your garden. Each zone represents ten degrees of temperature difference. For example, zone 4 represents minimum temperatures between -30 to -20 degrees F. (-34 to -29 C.).

Find your recipient's location on the map or use our convenient growing zone finder above. This will tell you what growing zone your gift recipient is in.

Hardiness Zones

Color Map of the Upper 48 States showing Hardiness Zones