Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones in Alberta

Before you plant trees, shrubs and other vegetation in your yard, it’s important to be aware that the right species for your property depend on which plant hardiness zone you live in.

For example, Edmonton is located in zone 4a. Here’s what you should know about plant hardiness zones in Canada and how to select trees that will thrive in Edmonton’s climate.

What are plant hardiness zones?

Plant hardiness zones are used to determine which plant species will grow best in the climate of a particular region. First developed by Agriculture Canada in the 1960s, the country’s plant hardiness zones take into account various factors that affect vegetation growth and survival. This includes the region’s minimum and maximum temperatures, the number of frost-free days during the year, the maximum wind speeds and the annual amount of snow cover and rainfall.

There are 10 hardiness zones in Canada, ranging from 0 to 9. Much of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut are located in zone 0, whereas much of the northern coastline of the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia is considered zone 9. These zones are further divided with a designation of “a” (slightly cooler) or “b” (slightly warmer).


Which trees grow best in Edmonton (zone 4a)?

If you know which plant hardiness zone you live in, you can make informed decisions about which trees to plant on your property based on the species that thrive in your region. Before you purchase a sapling or perennial, check to see if there’s a recommended zone number on the tag. This will help you determine whether the plant is hardy enough for your yard.

Hardiness zones in Alberta range from 0 in the far north to 4b along the southern border. Since Edmonton is in zone 4a, trees with this hardiness rating are reliable choices and can survive the area’s cold winters. Species assigned to zone 2 or 3 will also do well given their ability to survive in -40 Celsius weather. While trees with a rating of 4b may be able to thrive in the Edmonton climate, they’ll require extra care, especially in the fall when the temperature starts to drop.

For a few suggestions of species that do well in our zone 4a climate, consult our list of the best trees to grow in Edmonton.


Local Tree Care for Edmonton & Surrounding Communities

From emergency tree services to seasonal pruning, the professional arborists at All Season Tree Service can help. We’re proud to serve the tree care needs of clients throughout the Edmonton area. To request a free estimate, contact us today!

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