It’s hard finding fruit trees hardy to the winters in zone 4 America. Below is my master list – which I will continue to revise and update over time! – of some of the most readily available fruit trees, shrubs, brambles and vines that can survive the temperatures and snow of a zone-4 winter.

      1. Blackberry: It’s more common to find blackberries that are rated for zone 5 than for zone 4, but I’ve been able to track down some cold-hardy varieties online. One of the biggest factors to consider is whether you should plant primocane- or floricane-fruiting berry varieties. Both have significant positives and negatives associated with growing in colder climates, so choose wisely!
      2. Dewberry: Fruit like a blackberry, but growth habit like a… I don’t even know what. My dewberry plants are thin, sprawly things that have thorns like a bramble, but that never stand erect off the ground, instead flopping around happily in the dirt. It’s an oddity and I’ll be honest, I’ve only had them a few years so I’m still learning what they do and don’t like.
      3. Thimbleberry: Similar to a red raspberry, but berry shape is a bit different and the plant isn’t so high. Thornless!
      4. Salmonberry: Looks approximately like a golden raspberry, but very distinctive and easy to identify.
      5. Tayberry: Blackberry/Red Raspberry hybrid. Looks like a raspberry.
      6. Loganberry: Blackberry/Red Raspberry hybrid. Looks like a blackberry, but red.
      7. Boysenberry: Brambleberry hybrid (a hybrid that includes other hybrids in its ancestry!). Looks basically like a blackberry.
      8. Cloudberry: Looks like a tiny raspberry, but golden and grown on a creeping rather than upright plant. Not common in the US (or at least in my region). 
      9. Raspberries (Red, Golden): It’s hard to beat a red raspberry (and I lump gold into the same category because they’re basically the same with slight variations in color and taste). As an easy-grow, super-hardy soft fruit, the red raspberry should be high on your list. Looking for a variety recommendation? I love the Caroline red raspberry, but there are some pros and cons to growing this type.
      10. Raspberries (Black): It can be a little more of a challenge to find a cold-hardy black raspberry, but zone-4 cultivars do exist in multiple varieties. They’re easy to propagate, I find them somewhat juglone-tolerant for growing near black walnuts, and the flavor is out of this world. 
      11. Raspberries (Purple/hybrid): I’m still new to the purple raspberry world! I added in some crowns a few years back, but so far I haven’t decided how their grown and production compares to my other bramble berries. For more about growing raspberries (all colors!) check out this article on growing red, gold, purple and black raspberries.
      12. Arctic Raspberry: Creeping raspberries!
      13. Elderberry: Easy-grow soft fruit that often needs a pollinator for full production (although you can find self-pollinating varieties, which is what I have. Make sure you can tell the difference between an elderberry and a pokeberry before you grow – the pokeberry is poisonous!
      14. Aronia: Bushy shrub that grows sour fruit. Don’t eat the pits! Previously called chokecherries, re-popularized as aronia because consumers weren’t buying chokecherries for some odd reason…
      15. Bush Cherry: Similar to cherries, but small and sour with more of a bushy shrub-like growth habit. The birds love them, which is why the bush berries I’ve had in the ground for years (like, a LOT of years) tend to feed the birds rather than me…
      16. Goumi: A cherry-like fruit on a bushy shrub. Full disclosure, I’ve never grown the goumi. Every year I think about it… and then when I look it up again, poor reviews of the flavor convince me to plunk down my plant-budget on something else from the wish list. One of these years I will spring for it.
      17. Sour Cherries / Pie Cherries: Somewhere along the way, some marketer decided that changing the “sour cherry” moniker to “pie cherry” made this tree more appealing to consumers. It’s still completely honest – the fruit of these trees makes great pies! – but just be aware they aren’t intended for fresh eating any more than rhubarb would be!
      18. Sweet Cherries: This one looks like it shouldn’t be on a zone-4 list… but new varieties are coming out all the time! Check out my posts on the Kristen Sweet Cherry and the Chelan Sweet Cherry, both rated as extremely cold-hardy sweet cherry trees that should survive zone four… and for the Chelan, possibly even zone 3.
      19. Cornelian Cherry: This is actually a fruiting dogwood. It’s worth a warning… never pick and eat random fruit off of random trees. Get your tree from a reputable nursery than confirms its edible, or get approval from an expert before you eat!
      20. Apple: One of the absolute best options for cold-zone fruit gardening, the apple has many varieties hardy to zone four and even colder. Check out this article on apple varieties hardy to zone 3.
      21. Pear: Comes in Asian and European varieties, and typically needs a pollinator. Theoretically easier to grow than an apple, but I don’t find much a difference, personally.
      22. Peach: I have really struggled to get peaches to survive in my zone 4 winters (partially because I believe my area’s high-hill, deep-valley topography puts me in a microclimate that just isn’t friendly to warm-climate trees). However, there are several peach tree varieties hardy to zone 4, so there’s hope out there!
      23. Apricot: More likely to be hardy to zone 5, but I’ve found varieties advertised as hardy to zone 4. I’ve struggled to get them to survive, so be prepared to put in some extra thought about recognizing microclimates and where to locate these trees in your yard for best survival chances.
      24. Nectacot: This nectarine cross may be hardy to zone four if crossed with the right apricot variety. I’ve never actually found a nectarine hardy to zone four, although I run across the nectacot hybrid now and again.
      25. PawPaw: A native fruit tree that produces a very unique fruit. Full disclosure, I’ve never grown this. The advertisements for “banana custard” flavor just doesn’t appeal to me. Although I enjoy growing windowsill bananas, it’s just about the lowest rank on my favorite fruit flavors list.
      26. Mountain Ash: Highly unusual as a cultivated fruit tree (at least in my area!). Sometimes hybridized to grow a more pear-like fruit.
      27. Strawberry: You really have no excuse not to grow the strawberry. It grows basically anywhere, produces fruit in a single season, and propagates itself through runners. Minimal effort will still get you a fantastic fruit crop.
      28. Blueberry: A classic cold-zone small fruit, the blueberry requires some specific soil acidity levels to thrive. You can find many blueberry varieties hardy to zone 4… even pink ones!
      29. Honeyberry: Fruit similar to the blueberry, but I find the Honeyberry a little easier to grow than the blueberry, because it doesn’t have the same soil pH requirements. Fruit ripens earlier and is a different shape.
      30. Huckleberry: Basically a small, wild blueberry… although botanists would probably disagree with that over-simplification.
      31. Gooseberry: Comes in multiple colors, and grows quickly. Very easy to propagate, too. A very popular backyard fruit in yesteryear, the gooseberry has come under fire as a potential disease host, although opinions are changing on the subject. More on this banned fruit in this article.
      32. Jostaberry: A gooseberry hybrid.
      33. Currants (Red): Very unique small fruit on long strings! Like the gooseberry, the currant is suspected to be a disease host. Make sure you check your local regulations before purchasing.
      34. Currants (Black): Similar to the red currant, but with very distinct flavor differences. See above re: local regulations.
      35. Currants (White and Pink): White and pink currants tend to be the best for fresh eating due to their sweeter flavor. See above re: local regulations.
      36. Cranberry (Highbush): I’ve found these a little persnickety about their soil, and I have yet to successfully grow them in a container. However, in-ground, they are tough shrubs and will tolerate a fair amount of neglect.
      37. Cranberry (Lowbush): This is the more bog-type swampy cranberry you hear about.  Be aware that they don’t necessarily want to be grown in a bog… typically, the growing beds are flooded to make harvesting easier.
      38. Lingonberry: Low-level creeping red rhizome berry. Sadly, the soil pH requirements are very finicky, and if you don’t get it right, the berry will just die (I’ve lost way more than I care to admit). 
      39. Juneberry: Also known as a serviceberry, saskatoon blueberry, and serviceberry, this is a small tree-grown berry that is extremely cold-hardy.
      40. Grapes: Available in a wide range of colors and flavors! Concord is a classic, and if you look hard enough, you can find multiple seedless varieties hardy to zone 4. Easy to propagate, too.
      41. Kiwi: No, not the Aussie kind. Cold-hardy kiwis are more like a grape. Be aware you need to purchase both male and female kiwi berry plants if you are adding this fruit to your garden. 
      42. Mulberry: Mulberries come in all shapes and sizes, and cold hardiness down to zone 4 is not uncommon! I’ve also found the tree to be fairly hardy. It’s not the perfect soft fruit, but it’s certainly one of the most useful of the “unusual” (read: less popular) varieties.
      43. Quince: Hard to find! The quince is less popular than many of the other tree fruits, but newer cultivars have improved flavor and quality of produce. I’m holding out for a specific variety to become available, but I’m hopefully awaiting next year’s seed catalogs.
      44. Seaberry: I’ve always wanted one of these… but the internet reviews on the fruit quality scared me off (plus, the correct name is sea buckthorn. I know buckthorns. Not cool.). If you are going to grow, be aware you need both male and female plants.
      45. Garden Huckleberry: I grew this annual garden berry once, and it freaked me out so much that I never did it again. Why? It looked just like the wild nightshade
      46. Ground Cherry: My favorite! This weird little tomatillo-type annual fruit tastes like a strawberry-pineapple blend when fully ripe. It’s sour when unripe, so don’t eat it too early. Out of the husk, it looks like a golden cherry tomato.
      47. Goji (Red and Black): I’m not a big fan of the flavor of goji berries, but with all the buzz about the newly popular fruit I wanted to try them out. One of the cool things about gojis is you can start them from seed if your local nursery doesn’t offer started plants. I’ve tried both options, and I can confirm you get fruit faster from a nursery-started plant, but starting from seeds is significantly cheaper.
      48. Persimmon: One of the less popular fruits. Tends to be pretty sour when unripe!
      49. Plum: There are many varieties – different colors, shapes and sizes – available of cold-zone plums. Make sure you stay on top of pruning to ensure you get good crops of fruit!

I’ll continue to add to this list over time, but for now — happy gardening!

Not sure how to determine whether a tree is cold-hardy for your area? Learn about how find cold-hardy fruit trees.

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