As winter continues on, many of us across the state are bracing for more freezing weather and intense precipitation. While you are working hard to keep your family and your home warm, the trees around your property are working to stay safe and insulated in order to avoid any damages throughout the freezing season. It’s important to plan ahead and pay attention to the temperature range of the region where you live, which is why many people utilize the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) map of plant hardiness zones. This handy resource is perfect for homeowners who are looking to plant new trees but are not sure what species can thrive in their climate. As Montgomery County’s tree service experts, our team of certified arborists can help! Patrick Musser Tree Service was founded with the intent of providing Maryland customers with the most professional tree services in the state, delivering help with inspections, routine tree trimming, and stump removals.

We’re here to provide the best care to let your trees grow happy and healthy for years to come. While our experts are well-versed in tree terminology, many people we meet are confused about zone hardiness and what it means. Today, we’ll briefly highlight USDA Planting Zones and the impact they can have on your plantlife.

What are Planting Zones?

Our country contains a wide variety of climates, prompting the USDA to divide North America into 13 hardiness zones that all represent the conditions for each respective region. While zones that are ranked with a “1” are the coldest on the continent, areas with a “13” (such as Puerto Rico) are much warmer. Each number is ten degrees warmer than its predecessor when it comes to the region’s average minimum temperature. An additional character is added to the number (the letter a or b) to differentiate temperature differences in an increasingly fine-grained manner. 5a, for example, is on average five degrees cooler than 5b, and so on. Each hardiness zone is categorized with the intention of informing consumers about what plants are best suited to their region.

Why do Planting Zones Matter?

The hardiness zone of your location will provide a lot of insight into how your chosen tree will perform through the freeze and thaw cycles. Trees that are planted in regions that are not in line with their climate zone can face a wide range of problems, from structural concerns to a complete failure to thrive. When the zone is far too hot or cold, your tree can suffer!

This being said, though, trees can grow outside of their optimal hardiness zone. While likely not as vibrant or as strong as trees in their optimal regions, plants who grow outside their comfort zone can still flourish with a few side effects. The state of Maryland, for example, ranges from 5b (-15 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit) to 8a (10 to 15 degrees), making it a mixture based on which part of the state you live in. It’s important to find the right products for your location, which is where professional assistance can prove very helpful.

Patrick Musser Tree Service is proud to be your source for all-around tree care in Maryland. Our team provides Montgomery County with tree services that are sure to help your yard thrive. If you need help with your yard, or if you need assistance on figuring out the temperature zone you live in, be sure to reach out to our tree trimming experts for assistance!