Tree & Plant Hardiness Zone Maps
Determine TREE or PLANT HARDINESS ZONE for your local area in the USA
Moisture, sunlight, wind, temperature, and soil can all be factors in determining whether or not a species of plant will thrive in a certain environment. Another resource is the USDA hardiness zone map, which is usually found on the back of a seed packet to help gardeners decide when to plant the seeds.
A hardiness zone map divides the United States into 11 regions, which illustrate the coldest range of temperatures during an average winter.
The United States varies in tree and plant hardiness depending on which zone you live in and the time of year. The map depicts 11 zones, ranging in temperature from -50 degrees Fahrenheit to 30 degree Fahrenheit. North America is organized into 11 hardiness zones, Canada is the first and 2-10 are depicted with a variety of color shades on the map of the United States.
Each zone is based on a difference of 10 degrees Fahrenheit for the average yearly lowest temperature. Some maps further divide the zones into an 'a' and 'b' for each hardiness zone number. Hardiness zones are recommended for trees and perennials to depict which plants should be able to survive in the zone's lowest typical temperature during the winter months.
The information gleaned from these maps is important to gardeners because they are able to plan what crops will be planted. It is especially helpful in determining the extreme range of cold temperatures in each region.
A few items that the map does not consider in its information are the total days of frost, snow cover, humidity or soil moisture. Elevation and rainfall are other factors that can determine climates in the Western part of the United States, which can vary greatly even within specific zones. Therefore, the USDA hardiness zones are best used in conjunction with additional informative maps.
The Eastern part of North America is mostly flat, so sketching parallel lines about every 120 miles as you move north to the Gulf Coast is a good depiction of the garden climates. The Great Lakes and Appalachian mountain ranges have some of their own special climates, which can be seen by the way the lines start to slant northeast.
The hardiness zone maps provide an estimated range for reach region and it should be realized that temperatures fluctuate from year to year. Experience and time are some of the most important factors for helping gardeners decide which plants will thrive, but the hardiness zone map is a great tool for getting started. If a plant is not thriving and suffers winter damage, most likely it was planted in an incorrect hardiness zone. In the United States we have a variety of environments, which is shown on these maps.
The USDA plant Hardiness Zone Map has been updated as of January of 2012, which was the first update since 22 years before in 1990. There is some speculation that the use of technology has provided a more accurate map, especially in areas where there might be micro-climates, such as mountain zones.
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