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12 Trees for Zone 6

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The designation of an area as Zone 6 by the USDA signifies that its average annual extreme minimum temperature falls between -10 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

These 12 trees should all be able to grow successfully in Zone 6 locations, so feel free to plant one today!

1. Amur Maple

  • Latin Name: Acer ginnala
  • Other Common Names: Siberian maple
  • Native to: Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and Siberia
  • USDA Zones: 3-8
  • Height: 15-20' tall
  • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Growing profile for Amur maple

If you want the fall colors of a maple tree but don't have much space, an Amur maple can fit the bill since it is one of the smaller species. It is also drought tolerant.

2. Austrian Pine

  • Latin Name: Pinus nigra
  • Other Common Names: European black pine
  • Native to: Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor
  • USDA Zones: 4-7
  • Height: 40-60' tall
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Growing profile for Austrian pine

This is a good performer in urban conditions. I first saw it at the water conservation demonstration garden I worked at, so you can use this even if your area is prone to drought.

3. Dawn Redwood

  • Latin Name: Metasequoia glyptostroboides
  • Native to: China
  • USDA Zones: 4-8
  • Height: 75-100'+ tall
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Growing profile for dawn redwood

This is one of my favorite trees simply because of the Latin name. I think Metasequoia glyptostroboides is fun to say. While this has needles and cones like many evergreens, this is actually one of about 20 deciduous conifers.

4. European Mountain Ash

  • Latin Name: Sorbus aucuparia
  • Other Common Names: Rowan, European rowan, European mountainash, mountain ash
  • Native to: Asia and Europe
  • USDA Zones: 3-7
  • Height: 20-40' tall
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Growing profile for European mountain ash

You may want to be careful in choosing to plant this if you have apple, loquat or pear trees, quinces or raspberries. All of these can be affected by fire blight (Erwinia amylovora.)

5. Ginkgo Biloba

  • Latin Name: Ginkgo biloba
  • Other Common Names: Japanese silver apricot, maidenhair tree
  • Native to: China
  • USDA Zones: 3-8
  • Height: 50-75'+ tall
  • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Growing profile for ginkgo biloba

You would be wise to choose a male cultivar unless you are trying to propagate this tree, since the females produce messy fruits with a foul smell. This is an excellent choice for a shade tree.

6. Japanese Maple

  • Latin Name: Acer palmatum
  • Native to: China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Russia
  • USDA Zones: 5-9
  • Height: It depends on the variety, but the usual size is 15-25' tall
  • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Growing profile for Japanese maple

The Japanese maple is high on my list of favorite trees. There are so many different varieties that there is almost certainly some variety for every yard in the appropriate zones.

7. Paper Bark Birch

  • Latin Name: Betula papyrifera
  • Other Common Names: American white birch, canoe birch, paperbark birch, white birch
  • Native to: Northern North America
  • USDA Zones: 2-7
  • Height: 45-70' tall
  • Exposure: Grows best in full sun
  • Growing profile for paper bark birch

When I was little, I would peel the white bark from the birch tree in my grandparents' home. I now believe it was a paper bark birch that was somehow sheltered enough in their Southern California backyard.

8. Paperbark Cherry

  • Latin Name: Prunus serrula
  • Other Common Names: Birch bark cherry, Tibetan cherry
  • Native to: Western China and Tibet
  • USDA Zones: 5-8
  • Height: 20-30' tall
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Growing profile for paperbark cherry

I was perplexed when I first met this tree as it appeared like it had been wrapped in coppery plastic. Imagine my surprise when I learned that this tree makes its own plastic bark! Pests like borers and diseases may plague this tree, so it will have a somewhat short lifetime.

9. Purple Leaf Plum

  • Latin Name: Prunus cerasifera
  • Other Common Names: Myrobalan plum, cherry plum, purpleleaf plum
  • Native to: Asia
  • USDA Zones: 4-9
  • Height: 15-25' tall
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Growing profile for purple leaf plum

I would often eat some of these little treats from the trees that lined the walk home from college. I also made a plum syrup including them once. It was tangy and delicious.

10. Tri Color Beech

  • Latin Name: Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata'
  • Other Common Names: Roseomarginata European beech, tri-colored European beech
  • Native to: Europe and Asia
  • USDA Zones: 4-7
  • Height: 24-40' tall
  • Exposure: Needs at least some shade to prevent burnt foliage
  • Growing profile for tri color beech

Another college memory was meeting this tree in one of the commons. I love the combination of white, pink and green on the leaves. A reader once sent me some of the red seed pods that this tree produces.

11. Tulip Tree

  • Latin Name: Liriodendron tulipifera
  • Other Common Names: White poplar, yellow poplar, tulip poplar, saddle leaf tree, canoewood and white wood
  • Native to: Eastern North America
  • USDA Zones: 4-9
  • Height: 80-100' tall
  • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Growing profile for tulip tree
I would see these around my college town and loved the unique shape of the leaves and flowers, which are both somewhat like tulip flowers. The blooms are a cheery mix of orange and greenish-yellow.

12. Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

  • Latin Name: Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'
  • Native to: Atlas mountains in Africa
  • USDA Zones: 6-9
  • Height: 10' tall
  • Exposure: Full sun is best
  • Growing profile for weeping blue Atlas cedar

We had this at the water conservation demonstration garden that I worked at, though ours was just a small serpentine one in a pot. It will spread out wider than it is tall.

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