Cold Hardy Fruit Trees (16 Varieties That Tolerate Cold)


If you live in a cold climate, you know that not every fruit tree is going to make it through the winter.  However, if you choose carefully, you just might be able to find some fruit trees that will survive the harsh cold.

So, which fruit trees are cold hardy?  Cold hardy fruit trees include apple (Gala, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, & Sweet Sixteen), cherry (English Morello, Meteor, Montmorency, & North Star), pear (Flemish Beauty, Luscious, Max Red Bartlett, & Seckel), and plum (Alderman, Blue Damson, Stanley, & Superior).

Of course, some of these trees are not self-pollinating, so you may need another tree nearby to ensure fruit production.

In this article, we’ll talk about some especially cold tolerant varieties of four types of fruit trees: apple, cherry, pear, and plum.

Let’s begin.

16 Cold Hardy Fruit Tree Varieties

There are lots of fruit trees you can grow, but apples, cherries, pears, and plums are some of the most cold tolerant ones.  However, there are certain varieties of each type of fruit tree that will stand up to more severe cold.

Let’s take a closer look at them now, starting with apple trees.

Cold Hardy Apple Trees

Apple trees are one of the most cold hardy fruit trees around.  If you choose the right varieties, they can withstand cold down to -30 or even -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 to -40 degrees Celsius!)

Here are some cold tolerant apple tree varieties:

  • Gala – this self-pollinating apple variety was developed in New Zealand and is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is deep red and ripens in mid-September.  You can find Gala Apple Trees from Gurney’s.
  • Honeycrisp – this apple variety was developed at the University of Minnesota and is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 3 (as cold as -40 degrees Fahrenheit or -40 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is deep red and ripens in early September.  You can find Honeycrisp Apple Trees from Gurney’s.
  • McIntosh – this apple variety is a native of Canada and is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is deep red and ripens in mid-September.  You can find McIntosh Apple Trees from Gurney’s.
  • Sweet Sixteen – this crunchy apple variety is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 3 (as cold as -40 degrees Fahrenheit or -40 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is deep red and yellow, and it ripens in mid-September.  You can find Sweet Sixteen Apple Trees from Gurney’s.
gala apples
Gala apple trees are cold hardy, able to withstand temperatures as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although some of the apple trees listed above are self-pollinating (or self-fertile), you will probably get more fruit from each tree if there is another apple tree of a different variety nearby.

Cold Hardy Cherry Trees

Cherry trees are not as cold hardy as apples, but they can still hold their own in the winter.  Sour cherry trees tend to be a bit more cold tolerant than sweet cherry trees.

If you pick the right varieties, cherry trees can survive cold down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius).

Here are some cold tolerant cherry tree varieties:

  • English Morello – this self-pollinating sour cherry variety is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is dark red with ripens mid-summer.  You can find English Morello Cherry Trees from Nature Hills.
  • Meteor – this self-pollinating sour cherry variety was developed in Minnesota and is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is deep red with yellow flesh and ripens mid-season.  You can find Meteor Cherry Trees from Nature Hills.
  • Montmorency – this self-pollinating sour cherry variety comes from France and is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is bright red with amber flesh and ripens late in the season.  You can find Montmorency Cherry Trees from Nature Hills.
  • North Star – this self-pollinating sour cherry variety comes from the University of Minnesota and is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is bright red with amber flesh and ripens late in the season.  You can find North Star Cherry Trees from Fast Growing Trees.
Montmorency cherries
Montomorency cherry trees are hardy to Zone 4, tolerating temperatures down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Image courtesy of user:
Martha Dol. via:
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Montmorency_cherries_
(3648681426).jpg

Although the sour cherry trees listed above are self-pollinating (or self-fertile), you will probably get more fruit from each tree if there is another sour cherry tree of a different variety nearby.

Cold Hardy Pear Trees

Pear trees are fairly cold hardy, and they tolerate some winter cold.  With the right varieties, pear trees can survive cold down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius).

Here are some cold tolerant pear tree varieties:

  • Flemish Beauty – this pear variety is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is greenish yellow with some red, and it ripens in early September.  You can find Flemish Beauty Pear Trees from One Green World.
  • Luscious – this pear variety is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is yellow with some red, and it ripens late in the season.  You can find Luscious Pear Trees from Nature Hills.
  • Max Red Bartlett – this self-pollinating pear variety is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is reddish and yellow, and it ripens in August.  It also resists fire blight.  You can find Max Red Bartlett Pear Trees from Gurney’s.
  • Seckel – this self-pollinating pear variety is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is reddish and green, and it ripens in September.  It also resists fire blight.  You can find Seckel Pear Trees from Gurney’s.
Seckel Pear
Seckel pear trees are hardy to Zone 4, tolerating temperatures down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Image courtesy of user:
Vegan Feast Catering via:
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seckel_Pear_
(4466279290).jpg

Although some of the pear trees listed above are self-pollinating (or self-fertile), you will probably get more fruit from each tree if there is another pear tree of a different variety nearby.

Cold Hardy Plum Trees

Pear trees are fairly cold hardy, and they tolerate some winter cold.  With the right varieties, pear trees can survive cold down to -20 or -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 to -34 degrees Celsius).

Here are some cold tolerant pear tree varieties:

  • Alderman – this plum variety is fairly cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 3 (as cold as -40 degrees Fahrenheit or -40 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is dark red and ripens in mid-July.  It can bear one year after planting.  You can find Alderman Plum Trees from Gurney’s.
  • Blue Damson – this self-pollinating plum variety is fairly cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 5 (as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit or -29 degrees Celsius).  The fruit is dark purple and ripens in late August.  You can find Blue Damson Plum Trees from Gurney’s.
  • Stanley – this self-pollinating plum variety is fairly cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 5 (as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit or -29 degrees Celsius).  The freestone fruit is dark blue and oval-shaped, and it ripens in September.  You can find Stanley Plum Trees from Gurney’s.
  • Superior – this plum variety is very cold tolerant.  It is hardy to Zone 4 (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).  The clingstone fruit is crimson red and ripens in mid to late August.  You can find Superior Plum Trees from Gurney’s.
Stanley plums
Stanley plum trees can tolerate cold down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although some of the plum trees listed above are self-pollinating (or self-fertile), you will probably get more fruit from each tree if there is another plum tree of a different variety nearby.

Conclusion

Now you know about some cold hardy fruit trees that will survive the winter.  Hopefully this list gives you enough varieties to choose from.

I hope you found this article helpful.  If so, please share it with someone who can use the information.

If you want to read some of my most popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here.  Enjoy!

~Jonathon

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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