Tree Hardiness

When planning one’s landscape, many tend to first consider the various tree species from which to select. For most, personal preferences for aesthetic landscaping tree additions is at the forefront of their minds. A savvy researcher may also take other factors into consideration, including the size of the tree at maturity, the area required for unhindered growth of the root system, and how other objects near or within the landscape might affect safety. Another factor to consider before becoming absolutely set on a specific tree is whether or not that species can grow in a specific region. This is the premise behind a tree’s hardiness.

To understand whether or not a tree (or plant) will grow in a specific region, one must first understand how hardiness is determined. The United States and Canada are categorized into 11 areas whose average annual minimum temperatures are divided into 10 degree Fahrenheit increments. Consequently, the areas spanning two through 10 cover the United States and work their way in numeric order from north to south.

In order to select landscaping trees that will flourish, it is important to understand a tree’s hardiness and the zone in which one resides. For example, it is highly unlikely that a citrus tree would be able to flourish in hardiness zone four, where the average minimum temperature can drop as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. However, any number of variables can also affect a tree’s chances of survival. These variables include land formations capable of changing air flow patterns, protective barriers from harsh winter winds and temperatures, and mulching. Consult an Austin tree trimming specialist for pertinent information related to the hardiness zone specific to your area, as well as the species that will likely survive the elements there.

It’s also important to recognize that hardiness is innate to each tree, although levels of hardiness may vary greatly among the different species. This is particularly evident during trees’dormant period. Dormancy allows the tree a period of rest while still ensuring its viability during the often concurrent cold, winter months. Dormancy is especially important for the hardiness of flowering trees. Assuming that a flowering tree is planted in a hardiness zone capable of optimally supporting its growth, the dormant period generally allows for beautiful springtime blooms. If a flowering tree is planted in a hardiness zone incapable of optimally supporting its growth, then the period of dormancy (or rest) may not be fully apportioned and may result in the tree’s inability to bloom during spring.

To determine the most viable species of trees for your region, as well as to determine which hardiness zone is applicable to your region, consult an Austin tree care professional. He or she can be a most valuable resource as you plan your perfect landscape.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit

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