Macroclimate is a characterization of average annual temperatures and rainfall. Certain species of trees and shrubs are adapted to living in certain climates, which is why species composition changes over broad geographic areas particularly on a north to south gradient. You don’t see the same plants in Texas as you do in Minnesota, or Florida to Maine.
Plant Hardiness Zones
The USDA has updated their Plant Hardiness Map that divides the nation into regions based on average minimum temperatures. These zones are used to describe the range in which plants are adapted to and can be grown. We list these zones for each of our products.
Please check the tree compatibility with your plant zone by plugging in your zip code in the USDA plant zone map link here.
Don’t forget to check the native range of your chosen trees. A plant’s native range is an area to which it is indigenous.
Inside the zones, variation in elevation, site location, directional orientation, and proximity to bodies of water such as lakes can create variation in temperature that can raise or lower the temperatures experienced at the site. These microclimates can allow or prohibit the planting of particular plants. Fruit trees that break dormancy early may be damaged by late-season frosts that settle in frost pockets at the bottom of valleys or even swales, whereas higher on hillsides the cold air drains off down to the bottom and does not damage the trees. The south side of a hill or mountain can be much warmer with winter sun and protection from cold north winter winds. Consideration of microclimate is very important in choosing where to plant.
Try to pick a location that avoids low-lying frost pockets or areas that stay wet in the spring for long periods during snowmelt. Test your planting site’s soil to determine your local nutrient levels.
A topographic map is a useful way to gauge your property’s elevation, proximity to water, and orientation. Click here to plug in your location.