10 Best Fruit Trees for Zone 4

Red Honeycrisp apple hanging from tree.

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Cold temperatures can be a limiting factor for fruit trees. Many zone 4 gardeners think apple and pear trees are their only choices because they are generally the hardiest fruit trees. Apples and pears need a certain amount of cold or "chill hours," which refers to a minimum number of consecutive hours in winter when the temperature ranges from 32°F to 45°F.

Luckily, zone 4 gardeners do have delicious options in apple and pear varieties and other fruit tree choices to plant and enjoy.

  • 01 of 10

    Lodi Apple (Malus lodi)

    Lodi apple closeup.

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    Give Lodi apple trees full sun and loamy soil for optimum fruit production. In Washington State, Lodi apples are harvested in July, but, in other regions, the harvest may have to wait until late summer. These apples have a tart-sweet flavor.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Mature Size: 20 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
  • 02 of 10

    Gravenstein Apple (Malus gravenstein)

    Tree full of Gravenstein apples.

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    Gravenstein is one of the hardiest apple trees. It is susceptible to a few more apple tree diseases than the Lodi including blight, scab, and powdery mildew. It has a tart-sweet flavor. The fruits are picked in July and August in Washington State and a bit later in some other regions.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 9
    • Mature Size: 12 to 15 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
  • 03 of 10

    Early Harvest Apple (Malus domestica)

    Early Harvest apples on a branch.

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    Early Harvest's fruit is often harvested earlier than other varieties, as early as June in some regions. It's also a fast-growing tree with a tart but juicy apple.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Mature Size: 25 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
  • 04 of 10

    Kieffer Pear (Pyrus communis 'Kieffer')

    Yellowish pears hanging from tree.


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    Kieffer pear is self-fertile, but you'll get a bigger crop if you grow multiple trees to increase pollination. The fruit is crisp, juicy, and has a coarse texture. Harvest time is September and October.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Mature Size: 25 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Bosc Pear (Pyrus communis 'Bosc')

    Bosc pears on tree.

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    Bosc is fast-growing and bears fruit that, while not the juiciest, is sweet. Greenish-brown during most of the summer, the fruit turns brown by the time it's harvested late in the season. Bosc trees to dry out. Till the soil deeply before planting, because it likes to strike roots deep into the ground.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Mature Size: 20 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, evenly moist
  • 06 of 10

    Moonglow Pear (Pyrus communis 'Moonglow')

    Yellowish pears with red blush hanging on a branch.

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    Moonglow pear soil requirements mimic those of Bosc. A dwarf pear variety, the juicy fruit ripens in late August in zone 4.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Mature Size: 10 to 15 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, evenly moist
  • 07 of 10

    Beach Plum (Prunus maritima)

    Beach plum growing in sand dunes.

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    The cold-hardiest plum is the beach plum. At only six feet tall, it won't take up much space and is not fussy about soil (in fact, it's salt-tolerant). This tree does require excellent drainage since its native habitat is sand dunes. The small fruits, which are harvested in August, are one inch and dull purple when ripe.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Mature Size: 6 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
  • 08 of 10

    Early Richmond Cherry (Prunus cerasus 'Early Richmond')

    Early Richmond cherries on branch.

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    While you can grow cherries in zone 4, don't expect to grow the sweet Bing cherries (Prunus avium 'Bing') you find at the supermarket (zones 5 to 8). The cherries found in zone 4 are tart cherries suitable for pies and preserves. Early Richmond is self-fertile, but planting multiple trees promotes better pollination. It has some drought tolerance but is intolerant of boggy soils, so it is best grown in well-draining, sandy soil. The fruit usually ripens by mid-summer about a week before other varieties.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Mature Size: 18 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Montmorency Cherry (Prunus cerasus 'Montmorency')

    Montgomery cherries on tree branch.

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    Montmorency is another tart cherry excellent for pies with the same growing conditions as Early Richmond. Montmorency produces relatively small fruits that ripen in mid-summer.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 7
    • Mature Size: 18 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
  • 10 of 10

    Mulberry (Morus)

    Mulberry tree closeup with fruit.

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    Mulberries are harvested between June and August, but be aware that the unripe berries are mildly toxic. The fruit is sweet enough to eat fresh and can also be used for jams. Mulberry is easy to grow if it gets full sun.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Mature Size: 50 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
Article Sources
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  1. Cold climate fruit trees. University of Vermont Extension