Hardiness Zones

Jaag

Seedling
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Utah
USDA Zone
6a
Super newb here. Can I get some help understanding hardiness zones and does that have much to do with indoor trees? I live in a 6a zone. Thank you.
 

PA_Penjing

Chumono
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Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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indoor trees won't be effected much, except that they may have a shorter season outdoors. All the hardiness zone tells us is the average coldest temperature each winter. Or to put it in other words, how far North a plant can be grown, or how much protection it might need during winter dormancy. Trying to use hardiness zones for anything else is sort of useless. There are also maps that show heat zones. This is the average number of days over 86 degrees each year. But good luck finding an accurate map. I have seen my city listed as zone 2 through 5, and I'm pretty sure we've been a 6 the last few years. I'm finally recording the numbers myself this summer. This is important for know how far south a plant can be grown, or how much protection it may need during the height of summer. When you put these two maps together you can start to see a clear picture of an areas climate. For example the Pacific northwest might be hardiness zone 8 (so not all that cold) and heat zone 3 (so really not tons of summer heat. So you could grown some more sensitive japanese trees like acer palmatum. Where as continental PA is hardiness zone 6 (so farily cold) and heat zone 5/6 (so fairly hot for much of the summer). Here a Japanese maple needs some protection in winter and (for me) lots of protection from intense summer sun in my yard. I'm better suited to growing trees that thrive in similar climates like bejing china. Of course immediate natives are always a great choice. The trees that grow in your town naturally are perfectly suited to your climate.

Any specific questions?
 

Jaag

Seedling
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I appreciate the reply. That was helpful. If I have other questions, I will make sure to post here.
 

Cadillactaste

Neagari Gal
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NE Ohio: zone 4 (USA) lake microclimate
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I live in a microclimate...the zone map has me in zone 6. Now...I live lake front and colder. So always went with zone 5. As of winter 2013-14...we slipped into a zone 4. So I would never plant anything in the landscape less cold hardy than that.

Plants in pots...lose hardiness protection without the ground as an insulator. It may say zone 5 for cold hardiness. This is in ground...not a pot.

It pays to know your area...the map isn't quite always on the mark.
 

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