Trees for Zone 3

These survive in a colder climate

One of the colder zones in the United States is Zone 3. Plants in this area have to contend with harsh winters. They have adapted to withstand the freezing temperatures. If you live in this zone, be sure to consider one of these trees.

  • 01 of 10

    Amur Maple

    Amur Maple leaves (Acer ginnala), Aceraceae-Sapindaceae
    DEA S. MONTANARI/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Acer ginnala
    • Family: Sapindaceae
    • Other Common Names: Siberian maple
    • Native to: Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and Siberia
    • USDA Zones: 3-8
    • Height: 15-20' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    • Growing profile for the Amur maple
    • Other species of maple trees

    Maple trees are renowned for their fall colors and the Amur maple is no exception. This is a good choice for those who need a smaller species. It is also drought tolerant.

  • 02 of 10

    Basswood

    Linden twig and flower
    Linden twig and flower. Avalon_Studio/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Tilia americana
    • Family: Malvaceae
    • Other Common Names: Beetree linden, whitewood, American linden, white basswood
    • Native to: Eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 2-8
    • Height: 40-100' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    • Other species of linden trees

    The basswood is an excellent street tree. It can also be used to bring bees to your garden to encourage pollination. The flowers that come each spring are delightfully fragrant.

  • 03 of 10

    Cherry Birch

    Sweet Birch (Betula lenta sups. lenta), October
    Cora Niele/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Betula lenta
    • Family: Betulaceae
    • Other Common Names: Virginia roundleaf birch, sweet birch, black birch, spice birch, mahogany birch
    • Native to: Eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 3-8
    • Height: 40-70' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Growing profile for the cherry birch
    • Other species of birch trees

    If you like the flavor of wintergreen, the oil can be collected from this tree. This is a good species if you want to potentially avoid problems with the bronze birch borer (Agrilus...MORE anxius) since it is resistant to this pest.

  • 04 of 10

    European Mountain Ash

    Bare Rowan tree (sorbus) overgrown by lichen and moss
    Rowan tree (sorbus) overgrown by lichen and moss. Rudolf Vlcek/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Sorbus aucuparia
    • Family: Rosaceae
    • Other Common Names: Rowan, European rowan, European mountainash, mountainash
    • Native to: Asia and Europe
    • USDA Zones: 3-7
    • Height: 20-40' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Growing profile for the European mountain ash

    Scarlet fruit adorn the European mountain ash. Though the name would make you think so, this is not actually an ash tree.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Ginkgo Biloba

    A big ginkgo tree
    Bong Grit/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Ginkgo biloba
    • Family: Ginkgoaceae
    • Other Common Names: Japanese silver apricot, maidenhair tree
    • Native to: China
    • USDA Zones: 3-8
    • Height: 50-75'+ tall
    • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    • Growing profile for the ginkgo biloba

    If you want to have a piece of ancient history in your garden, plant the ginkgo biloba. This tree was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in China in the 20th century. Plant a male cultivar to avoid the unpleasant fruit formed on the females.

  • 06 of 10

    Japanese Banana

    Green fruits of Japanese banana plant (Musa basjoo), September
    Green fruits of Japanese banana plant (Musa basjoo). Cora Niele/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Musa basjoo
    • Family: Musaceae
    • Other Common Names: Hardy banana, Japanese fiber banana, hardy fiber banana
    • Native to: Ryukyu Archipelago near Japan
    • USDA Zones: Zones 3 and above
    • Height: Up to 18' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun

    Are you surprised to see a banana tree included on this list? There are some species of hardy banana trees that allow you to invite a tropical splash into your landscape. You will need to mulch them each winter to help them survive the harsh weather.

  • 07 of 10

    Norway Spruce

    Picea abies (Norway Spruce), large evergreen tree
    Joseph Strauch/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Picea abies
    • Family: Pinaceae
    • Other Common Names: European spruce
    • Native to: Europe
    • USDA Zones: 2-7
    • Height: 40-80' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Other species of spruce trees and shrubs

    You can use this species as a Christmas tree. It has the beneficial characteristic of not being attacked by pests or diseases usually.

  • 08 of 10

    Green Ash

    Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green ash or Red ash), tree in park
    James Young/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Fraxinus pennsylvanica
    • Family: Oleaceae
    • Other Common Names: Red ash
    • Native to: Eastern and northern North America
    • USDA Zones: 3-9
    • Height: 50-60' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Other species of ash trees

    One important characteristic of the green ash as far as identification goes is that it features opposite branching.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Paper Bark Birch

    Paper Birch Tree surrounded by fall colors. Smugglers Notch, Stowe, Vermont.
    Foreground: Paper bark birch. Diane Shapiro/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Betula papyrifera
    • Family: Betulaceae
    • Other Common Names: Canoe birch, paperbark birch, white birch, American white birch
    • Native to:
    • USDA Zones: 2-7
    • Height: 45-70' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Growing profile for the paper bark birch

    If you want a tree with white bark, choose the paper bark birch. It is especially interesting because it peels away from the tree. It is called canoe birch because in bygone years the trunk was hollowed out to form a canoe.

  • 10 of 10

    Sugar Maple

    Sugar Maple Trees in Fall, Bas-Saint-Laurent Region, Saint-Simon, Quebec
    Yves Marcoux/Getty Images
    • Latin Name: Acer saccharum
    • Family: Sapindaceae
    • Other Common Names: Rock maple, hard maple
    • Native to: Eastern North America
    • USDA Zones: 3-8
    • Height: 50-80' tall
    • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Growing profile for the sugar maple

    Would you like to try your hand at making your own maple syrup? It can be made from the sap of many different maple tree species, but sugar maple is regarded as one of the best because of the sugar concentration. It will also provide colorful foliage in the fall.