Tips Tree Planting: Your Guide to Planting Trees in Zone 6

If you’re ready to plant some trees in Zone 6, you’ve come to the right place! At Tips Tree Planting, we have all the expert advice and insider tips you need to plant and care for your trees with confidence. Let’s dive into the basics of tree planting in Zone 6 and discover the best plant options for your area.

Where is Zone 6?

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Zone 6 is a USDA Hardiness Zone that spans 38 states in the U.S. It starts in southern New England, stretches south through Ohio, and extends into the northern Texas panhandle. From there, it curves northwest through New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and reaches eastern Oregon and Washington.

With distinct winters and summers, Zone 6 offers a wide range of possibilities for flowers, shrubs, and trees. It consists of two subzones, 6a and 6b, characterized by a five-degree minimum average temperature difference.

What to Consider When Planting in Zone 6

Each USDA hardiness zone has its specific temperature range, and Zone 6 is no exception. With low temperatures ranging from -10°F to 0°F, it’s crucial to choose plants that are hardy enough to withstand these conditions. While annual plants and flowers like Zinnias and Coleus thrive in the summer, perennials, shrubs, and trees must be able to endure the minimum temperature of your planting zone.

Before planting, it’s essential to understand your soil conditions. Varying greatly from area to area, soil health directly affects the well-being of your plants. Consider composting, soil additives, and conditioners to give your new additions a head start in acclimating to your landscape. Also, take note of shade patches, bodies of water, and other factors that may influence your soil and plantings.

Choosing Plants for Zone 6

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with your climate and landscape, it’s time to select the perfect plants for Zone 6. Let’s explore some options based on different categories:

Shade Trees

Shade trees provide beauty and relief from the sun. In Zone 6, consider the following trees:

  • Heritage® River Birch: This elegant tree boasts unique peeling bark, color-changing foliage, and resistance to deer and diseases. With adaptability to Zones 4-9, it reaches a height of 40-50 feet, creating excellent shade cover.

Tips Tree Planting: Your Guide to Planting Trees in Zone 6

  • Emperor Japanese Maple: This refined and graceful maple delights with its stunning fall colors and delicate foliage. With a mature height and width of 12-15 feet, it’s an excellent choice for focal points or smaller garden spaces.

  • White Oak Tree: Durable, timeless, and beautiful, the White Oak Tree grows 40-100 feet tall and boasts stunning foliage that changes with the seasons. Thriving in all kinds of climates, it’s a reliable choice for any landscape.


If you’re looking for fragrant and green year-round, consider these evergreens:

  • Eastern White Pine: This long-living tree adapts to any environment and grows 50-80 feet tall. With attractive year-round foliage, it attracts birds and wildlife, making it a great addition to any landscape.

  • Wissel’s Saguaro Cypress: Resembling Arizona’s iconic cactus, this unique cypress tree adds an unusual and artistic silhouette to your landscape. Growing only 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide, it’s ideal as a border accent or natural garden sculpture.

Tips Tree Planting: Your Guide to Planting Trees in Zone 6

  • Feelin’ Blue® Deodar Cedar: With graceful, draping branches and beautiful blue-green needles, this low-growing cedar is a showstopper. It reaches around 5 feet tall and 5-10 feet wide and is hardy from Zones 6-9.

Fruit Trees

Zone 6’s weather supports various fruit trees, allowing you to create your own backyard orchard. Here are some excellent choices:

  • Apple Trees: Zone 6 is home to numerous apple varieties, including Fuji, Honeycrisp™, Pink Lady®, and Granny Smith. From eating fresh to baking, there’s a perfect apple tree for everyone.

  • Lapins Cherry Tree: This self-pollinating cherry tree produces abundant fruit and grows to a height of 15-20 feet. It’s an excellent choice for a flowering beauty and bountiful fruit producer.

  • Santa Rosa Plum Tree: These deep-purple plums are the most popular sweet plums in the U.S. They’re self-fertile, fast-growing, and reach a medium size, making them versatile for any yard.

Tips Tree Planting: Your Guide to Planting Trees in Zone 6

Flowering Trees and Shrubs

Elevate your landscape with these beautiful flowering trees and shrubs:

  • Eastern Redbud: This airy tree showcases deep fuchsia flowers and adapts well to various soil types. With bright fall foliage and the ability to bloom on old branches, it’s a winner year after year.

  • Royal Star Magnolia: With huge, fragrant blooms covering its branches, this dramatic magnolia is a showstopper. It grows up to 20 feet tall and adds exceptional beauty and fragrance to your garden.

Tips Tree Planting: Your Guide to Planting Trees in Zone 6

  • Royal Purple Smoke Tree: Known for its deep purple-red foliage and wispy, smoke-like purple blooms, this stunning and texture-filled tree adds contrast to any landscape.


Zone 6 offers a vast selection of perennials. Fill your garden with vibrant Bee Balm, Salvia, Hosta, Lavender, and Phlox, among others. If you have shady areas, consider Astilbe, Bleeding Heart, and shade-loving Hosta varieties. Here are some perennial inspirations:

  • May Night Salvia: With vibrant purple color and texture, this perennial is perfect for borders, mixed beds, and containers. It’s drought-tolerant, resistant to rabbits and deer, and attracts pollinators.

Tips Tree Planting: Your Guide to Planting Trees in Zone 6

  • SuperBlue Lavender: Bright, purple-blue blooms and enticing fragrance make this lavender variety a fantastic addition to any garden. It’s perfect for colorful hedges, accenting other plants, or growing in containers.

  • Blue Moon Phlox: With clusters of delicate, purple-blue blooms, Blue Moon Phlox is a captivating landscape addition. It’s ideal for walkways, mixed bed plantings, or containers.

Planting in Zone 6

When planting in Zone 6, be mindful of the first and last frost dates. Typically, the first frost occurs between September 30th and October 30th, while the last frost occurs between March 30th and April 30th. Always check your local weather forecasts for the most accurate planting times.

Final Considerations

As you plan your landscape and gardens, take into account your soil type, subzone, sunlight exposure, and overall landscape outlook. By understanding the needs of your plants and making informed decisions, you’ll create a thriving garden in Zone 6.

Congratulations! You’re now equipped with the knowledge and tips needed to plant trees successfully in Zone 6. For more information and helpful resources, visit Tips Tree Planting.

Other Helpful Resources:

  • Growing Zones Guide: Zone 4
  • Growing Zones Guide: Zone 5
  • Growing Zones: Limits and Information

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