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If you are planning to establish a wildlife orchard, you need to make sure the trees and bushes you plant fit the climate conditions of your area. Of particular interest to this is the hardiness of trees. Hardiness refers to the lowest temperatures that trees and bushes can withstand without suffering.

The hardiness zones in the United States are divided into 13 zones, with hardiness zone 1 being the coldest and 13 the warmest. The coldest zone 1 is found in Alaska while the warmest in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Most of the lower states are between hardiness zones 5 and 10.

The difference between zones is 10 degrees Fahrenheit. For instance, zone 2 is 10 degrees warmer than zone 1, zone 3 is 10 degrees warmer than zone 2, and so on. Zone 1 temperatures reach -60 degrees Fahrenheit at their coldest, while the lowest temperatures in zone 13 reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Where Are Hardiness Zones 7 To 10 Found in The United States?

Hardiness zone 7 is found in New Mexico, Arizona, parts of Texas, as well as parts of Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Illinois, Utah, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Hardiness zone 8 is mainly found in the southern American states, namely South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah, Nevada, California, Florida, Georgia, and parts of Texas.

As for hardiness zones 9 and 10, these are found in Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Mississippi, and Alabama. Hawaii is hardiness zone 10, as is southern Florida, central Arizona, and parts of California.

There are differences within states as well, which is why most states actually belong to many hardiness zones. Factors like altitude and mountains or the presence of rivers, lakes, and seashores can profoundly affect the climate and the weather conditions in the surrounding land. Also, the bottom of valleys tend to be more humid than the top; this can alter temperatures in winter and affect how low the minimum temperature falls on average.

Landowners should also keep in mind that, as with everything that has to do with nature, extremes can occur. Unusually hot summers or unseasonably cold winters are not unheard of. When choosing your trees and shrubs, make sure you are choosing specimens that are not on the margins of your area’s hardiness but lie comfortably within your zone.

When Are the First And Last Frosts in Hardiness Zones 7 to 10?

Before picking your trees and shrubs, remember to check when the last frosts usually occur in your hardiness zone:

  • In zone 7, the last frost tends to be in late March or early April and the first one in early to mid-November.
  • In zone 8, the last frost is in the middle of March, while the first frost is in mid to late November.
  • In zone 9, the last frost is even earlier than zone 8, usually in late February, while the first frost will occur in late November or early December.
  • Zones 10 and 11 do not experience frosts.

What Can I Plant in Hardiness Zones 7 to 10?

Here at Wildtree, we are determined to help landowners make the most of their wildlife orchard. Our eshop is equipped with a search feature that lets you choose the right plants for your hardiness zones. This way, you will be planting trees that will thrive in your area. Your plants will provide food and shelter for white-tailed deer as well as other animals such as turkeys, squirrels, and rabbits.

In the oak family, you will find plenty of choices for hardiness zones 7 to 10. You only need to evaluate how much space you have and what type of oak foliage you want to enjoy. Examples of trees you can plant include:

  • The Northern Red Oak, a large, fast-growing tree whose nuts are favorites of white-tailed deer.
  • The White Oak is found in abundance in the southern states and grows best in full sunshine.
  • The Nuttall Oak tolerates wetter conditions but can also thrive in drier soils, once established. This oak is very valuable because it drops its acorns later than the rest, giving white-tailed deer food sources well into fall and early winter.
  • The Shumard Oak belongs to the red oak family and is beloved by deer and turkeys. Full sunshine will give the best acorn crops.

Apart from oaks, landowners seeking to establish a wildlife orchard can choose between a wide selection of other trees:

  • The Kieffer Pear is great for warm and wet conditions like those on the gulf coast.
  • You can also plant American Persimmon, which grows in many weather conditions, from very dry to relatively cold. The fruit can stay on the tree well into December, providing an excellent source of food for deer when other trees have none.
  • Chickasaw Plums provide a great thicket for deer to hide and observe their surrounding area. Deer appreciate both the foliage and the plums that grow in early summer.
  • If you want to create a natural protective edge around your land, you should plant Honey Locusts. They grow from hardiness zone 3 all the way to Texas and Florida, which makes them highly adaptable and versatile. They provide excellent cover for deer thanks to their sharp thorns. The sweet pulp in their pods is akin to honey and greatly appreciated by white-tailed deer, rabbits, and squirrels.

Wildtree’s Vast Selection of Wildlife-Preferred Trees

With the help and advice of Dr. Kroll—or Dr. Deer, as he likes to be called—we are particularly interested in helping landowners enjoy their land. We want to help you attract and retain wildlife to your land. We have researched the trees and bushes that white-tailed deer prefer and have created a wide selection of trees that will attract deer to your plot.

Planting the right trees for the climate conditions of your area saves you time and money and ensures the success of your wildlife endeavor.

Visit our website and choose the trees that best match your climate conditions. You can also read Dr. Deer’s tips and watch our series of videos to help landowners understand what white-tailed deer really want.

Once you have established the general climate around your land, contact Wildtree online, call 346-707-6023, or email us at [email protected] and we will help you choose the best trees for your land. It will be our pleasure to help you understand the particularities of your land and find the best plants for your garden or landscaping project. We offer free shipping on all our orders and a 10% discount on orders over $1000!