18 Recommended Zone 4 Fruit Trees and Bushes

USDA Hardiness Zone 4 has a cold climate, with average minimum winter temperatures ranging from -30°F to -20°F (-34.4°C to -28.9°C). It covers Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire, and Northern New York.

To successfully grow fruit trees and shrubs in Zone 4, choose those that are cold hardy to -30°F to -20°F, which include specific varieties of plums, cherries, apples, pears, blueberries, and more.

Here’s a list of the recommended fruit trees for USDA Zone 4:

1. Moongold Apricot (Prunus armeniaca ‘Moongold’)

Hardy to Zones 4 to 8, the Moongold apricot tree takes 2-5 years to bear when grown in full sun and loamy soil.

It bears yellow freestone fruit following pink-white blooms that set in the spring, provided a pollinator grows nearby.

The Moongold apricot ripe on the tree.
Credits: Getty

Another apricot tree, such as the Sungold variety, is recommended for cross-pollination and better yield.

  • USDA Zones: 4 – 8
  • Height: 15 – 30 feet
  • Spread: 10 – 20 feet
  • Chill hours: 600 – 900 below 45°F[1]
  • Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0 
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: Late July
  • Pollinator required: Yes
  • Taste profile: Sweet, subacid

We like the Moongold apricot for its disease resistance and medium-sized fruit that preserves well and can be eaten fresh.

2. Mount Royal Plum (Prunus domestica ‘Mount Royal’)

Plum trees are hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9, which is why they’re found growing almost everywhere in the United States and parts of Canada. However, the Mount Royal plum is a self-pollinating fruit tree well adapted to the frigid winters of zone 4.

It is predominantly grown in Minnesota for its cold hardiness.

Mount Royal Plum
Credits: Alex Worley

Here’s the profile of the Mount Royal plum tree:

  • USDA Zones: 4 – 8
  • Height: 12 feet
  • Spread: 8 – 10 feet
  • Soil pH: 7.0
  • Soil type: loam and sand 
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: August
  • Pollinator required: No
  • Taste profile: Sweet

The flowers of this European plum variety are white and fragrant, setting in the spring to later yield blue drupes ready for harvesting in August.

The flavor profile of this particular variety of plum fruit is profoundly sweet, so it can be used for baking or eaten fresh. Some people prefer it dried.

Some issues to look out for when growing the Mount Royal plum tree include caterpillars, red-spider mites, plum moths, silver leaf disease, and plum aphids.

3. Superior Plum Tree (Prunus domestica ‘Superior’)

The Superior Plum tree is one of the best cold-hardy fruit trees for zone 4 as it can tolerate winters as cold as -30°F.

A cross between the American and the Japanese plum, this tree carries the best traits of both parent varieties.

  • USDA Zones: 4 – 8
  • Height: 12 – 15 feet
  • Spread: 12 – 15 feet
  • Chill hours: 700 hours below 45°F
  • Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0
  • Soil type: Adaptable
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: August
  • Pollinator required: Yes
  • Taste profile: Sweet

Small white, fragrant flowers emerge in the spring following the fast-growth rate of the tree. The fruit is ready for harvest in August.

Gardener’s note: When provided with the right growing conditions, the superior plum can bear fruit in the first year of growth, which is why it is a popular plum tree in USDA hardiness zone 4 areas like Minnesota.

4. Bubblegum Plum Tree (Prunus salicina ‘Toka’)

The Bubble gum plum is also called the Toka plum. It is a self-pollinating plum tree hardy to USDA zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. If you have a small garden, Toka is one of the best self-fertile fruit trees you can grow and get a bountiful harvest.

Toka Bubblegum plum

I featured the toka palm as one of the recommended fruit trees for Zone 3 as it is hardy down to -30℉.

  • USDA zone: 3 to 8
  • Height: 15 – 20 feet
  • Spread: 15 – 20 feet
  • Light: Full sun
  • Taste profile: Sweet like candy
  • Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: July
  • Pollinator required: No

Toka plums are great at yielding plums provided the trees are planted in a spot with well-draining soil and partial to full sun.

As always, I recommend pruning your plum trees mid-summer to prevent fungal diseases like the dreaded silver leaf.

5. Montmorency Cherry Tree (Prunus cerasus ‘Montmorency’)

Most cherry trees, especially the sweet ones, are adapted to hardiness zones 5-7, but the Montmorency cherry is cold hardy down to -20℉, making it one of the best fruit trees you can grow in zones 4 to 8.

The Montmorency cherry tree is hardy to zone 4, drought resistant, disease resistant, and great for targeting early-season harvest.

  • USDA Zones: 4 – 9
  • Height: 12 – 18 feet
  • Spread: 12 feet
  • Chill hours: 700 hours
  • Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0
  • Soil type: adaptable; prefers well-drained sandy or loam
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: Late June – July
  • Pollination: Self-pollinating
  • Taste profile: Rich tart

The tree also has great ornamental quality due to its noteworthy white flowers that emerge in the spring on trees as young as one year old.

A mature Montmorency reaches about 15 feet high and 12 feet wide, with large, bright red fruit ready for harvest in July, provided its chill hours are met, and proper care is provided.

The cherry is adaptable to various soil types, which is why it is common all over the country and touted as America’s most popular cherry fruit.

If you’re growing the dwarf Montmorency cherry, stake it to help bear the weight of the fruit it bears. We also recommend growing 2 or more trees for the best harvest even though this cherry tree is self-fertile.

6. Nanking cherry tree (Prunus tomentosa)

Nanking Cherry
Credit: Alex Worley

The Nanking cherry is a cold-hardy sour cherry tree that blooms in the spring with fragrant white flowers. It produces bright red cherries that are tart and sweet.

The tree is not reliably self-fertile, so it is best to plant it near other cherry trees for cross-pollination and better production.

The Nanking cherry is a versatile plant that can be grown as a hedge, a privacy screen, or a bird attractant.

It is also tolerant of drought and most pests and diseases.

Here is a table summarizing the key information about the Nanking cherry:

Botanical namePrunus tomentosa
Common namesMountain cherry, downy cherry, Manchu cherry, Mongolian cherry, Chinese bush cherry
USDA zone2 to 6
Height6-10 feet
Spread15 feet
LightFull sun
TasteSharp, sweet-tart taste
Spacing6 – 8 feet apart

7. Flemish Beauty European Pear (Pyrus communis ‘Flemish Beauty’)

The Flemish beauty is a remarkably hardy pear tree of European origin. It is believed to have originated in Flanders in northern Belgium.

Flemish beauty pear

It yields medium-sized, round pears with a yellow and red combination.

  • Names: Fondante de Boise, Sweetmeat of the Woods, Barnard, Bosc Peêr, Pear of the Woods.
  • USDA Zones: 4 – 8
  • Height: 10 – 12 feet
  • Spread: 12 feet
  • Chill hours: 800 hours below 45°F
  • Soil pH: 5.9-6.5
  • Soil type: Adaptable
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: Early September
  • Pollinator required: Yes
  • Taste profile: Sweet

As with most European pears, the Flemish beauty requires at least half a day of full sun during the growing season to reach maturity and bear good fruit. The tree isn’t as tall as other zone 4 fruit trees we recommend, reaching a maximum height of only 12 feet at maturity.

The tree will start to bear fruit 2-3 years post-planting. We recommend planting Flemish Beauty pear trees with other pear varieties for cross-pollination and more yield.

8. Summercrisp Pear Tree (Pyrus communis ‘Summer Crisp’)

Another University of Minnesota hybrid, the Summercrisp is an exceptionally cold-hardy pear tree yielding plenty of fruit if well-cared for.

Summercrisp pear ripening on the tree.

The pears are about 3 inches in diameter and are best consumed green as the quality of the fruit diminishes when fully ripen.

  • USDA Zones: 4 – 8
  • Height: 15 feet
  • Spread: 12 feet
  • Soil pH: 5.9-6.5
  • Soil type: Adaptable
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Blooms: White
  • Harvest: Mid-August
  • Pollinator required: Yes
  • Taste profile: Mildly sweet flavor

Summercrisp pears are ready to harvest in mid-August, with the tree yielding an abundance o fruit if grown in the right conditions.

Talking of growing conditions, plant the Summarcrisp pear in a spot with full sun and well-drained soil.

Avoid areas with standing water and highly alkaline soils. In such conditions, the tree will turn out with yellow foliage (chlorosis).

9. Bluecrop Blueberry Bush (Vaccinium ‘Bluecrop’)

Known for its flavorful plump blueberries, the Bluecrop bush is one of the most cold-hardy berry varieties popular in North American orchards.

Bluecrop blueberry fruit on a hand

Its disease resistance and high yield qualities make it quite an easy-to-grow tree in a wide range of growing zones.

  • USDA Zones: 4 – 7
  • Height: 4 – 6 feet
  • Spread: 3-4 feet
  • Soil pH: 5.5
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: Mid-season
  • Taste profile: Sweet and aromatic

The bush grows to a height of about 6 feet and yields fruit as soon as one-year post-planting.

Plant the Bluecrop blueberry in slightly acidic soil, preferably 4.5 – 4.8 pH, in a sunny spot as it requires full sun. If the chill requirements are met (600 to 1000 hrs), the plant will yield 10–20 lbs. of fruit every harvest season.

Frequent watering and mulching are highly recommended, as this plant has shallow roots and can struggle in dry soils.

10. Northland Blueberry Bush (Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Northland’)

The Northland Blueberry was developed by Michigan State University to improve its winter hardiness.

Northland Blueberry
Credit: Alex Worley

The bush yields flavorful berries that ripen for harvest mid-season. This vigorous grower yields up to 12 lbs of fruit per plant each season.

  • USDA Zones: 4 – 8
  • Height: 4 feet
  • Spread: 4 feet
  • Chill hours: 800 -1000 hours below 45°F
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Soil pH: 4.5 – 5.5
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: Mid-season
  • Pollinator required: No (self-fertile)
  • Taste profile: Sweet

For the best growth, plant the Northland Blueberry in full sun and slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Mulch the plant and provide consistently moist conditions, and the bush will start to blossom with fragrant white flowers after about 3 years.

As a highbush and lowbush cross, the plant will grow to a height of 4 feet and have an equal spread.

Prune your Northland bush when it goes into dormancy to help it conserve energy for the next season.

11. North Star Cherry Tree (Prunus cerasus ‘North Star’)

The North Star cherry is a dwarf fruit tree hardy to USDA Zones 4 to 8. A self-pollinating plant, it is certainly suitable for small orchards and gardens, as you won’t need to plant it with another cherry tree for it to bear fruit.

North Star Cherries ripe on the vine.
  • Common names: North Star sour cherry, tart cherry, sour cherry
  • USDA Zones: 4 – 8
  • Height: 6-10 feet
  • Spread: 8-12 feet
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: June
  • Pollinator required: No (self-fertile)
  • Taste profile: Sour

The highly productive dwarf, the North Star cherry begins to set fruit as early as one year after planting while growing in a vase-like shape, making it great for landscapes as well.

The large, bright cherries have a sour taste suitable for baking and snaking.

12. Honeycrisp Apple Tree (Malus ‘Honeycrisp’)

The Honeycrisp apple is a delicious and versatile variety perfect for home gardens in USDA zones 3-8. These trees are known for their sweet-tart flavor, crisp texture, and long-lasting harvest.

Honeycrisp apple tree with fruit
Credits: Alex Worley

The Honeycrisp hybrid apple was developed by the University of Minnesota in the 1960s by crossing the Macoun and Honeygold.

The result is a tree that produces large, juicy apples with a unique honey-sweet and tart flavor.

The apples ripen in early September and can be eaten fresh, cooked, or used in pies, crisps, and other desserts.

Honeycrisp apple trees are relatively easy to grow. They need full sun and well-drained soil. The trees are also self-pollinating, so you only need one tree to produce fruit, making them suitable for small gardens and orchards.

13. Lodi Apple (Malus lodi)

Available as a dwarf fruit tree and also standard size, the Lodi apple tree is a Washington native but isn’t very common because it takes at least 6 years to bear fruit. Some trees can live for as long as 10 years before bearing fruit for the first time.

The variety is hardy to Zone 3 and will thrive even in USDA zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 because it is a hybrid of the Mongomery and the Yellow Transparent apple varieties.

Lodi apple on the tree.
Credits: Alex Worley.

Fruits are large with soft-textured, creamy flesh. They’re mostly used in pies and sauces.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 9
  • Height: 20 – 25 feet
  • Spread: 25 feet
  • Soil pH: 6 – 7
  • Chill requirements: 800 – 1000 hrs
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: June and early July
  • Pollinator required: Yes
  • Taste profile: Richly sweet
  • Years to bear: 6 – 10 years

Gardener’s note: The dwarf Lodi apple bears fruit much earlier than the standard tree, usually at around 4 years, so if you want to cut the time you’ll wait to get to the fruit, the dwarf variety might be the best option for you.

14. Kieffer Pear (Pyrus communis ‘Kieffer’)

Kieffer pears are native to North America and can be grown in USDA zones 4 to 9. They mature at about 25 feet tall and need full sun and well-drained soil.

The pears are a hardy and versatile fruit tree that is easy to grow. They are self-fertile, but you will get a larger crop if you plant multiple trees to increase pollination.

The fruit is crisp, juicy, and has a coarse texture. It is perfect for fresh eating, canning, baking, or making pear honey.

15. Italian Plum Tree (Prunus domestica ‘Italian’)

Italian plum trees are known for their larger-than-normal, heavy fruit sets compared to their American counterparts.


They are cold-hardy freestone varieties tasting a lot sweeter due to the higher sugar content.

  • USDA Zones: 4 – 9
  • Height: 10-15 feet
  • Spread: 8-12 feet
  • Soil pH: Acidic-neutral
  • Sun requirements: Full sun
  • Harvest: Late summer to early fall
  • Pollinator required: No (self-fertile)
  • Taste profile: Richly sweet

Being everbearing fruit trees, Italian plums will set fruit that’ll ripen all summer long. Well-cared-for trees will even set fruit that’ll continue ripening into early fall.

Overall, Italian plums are easy to grow, meaning even beginner orchardists can rely on them for their first fruit. If the tree fails to bloom early in the spring, do not worry, as it is known to bloom late to avoid frost damage.

16. Waneta Plums (Prunus Waneta)

The Waneta plum is a small fruit tree hardy to Zone 4 and grown for its edible qualities and winter hardiness. It grows to 15 feet tall with an equal width when planted in full sunlight (at least 6 hours daily), yielding large drupes appearing oval in shape.

Credit: Alex Worley

Waneta plums ripen in late summer, with the fruit turning red on the outside and yellow on the inside.

A bite into one of these fruits reveals a firm texture and a sweet taste. You can use these plums for eating fresh, baking, and cooking.

I recommend planting the Waneta plum in a spot with well-drained soil and full sun. A pollinator is also required for the tree to bear fruit.

17. American Sweet Crabapple (Malus coronaria)

Also known as the sweet crabapple or the wild crabapple, the American Sweet Crabapple is native to the Midwestern States. It is a highly recommended fruit tree for Zones 4a, 4b, all the way to Zone 8b for its winter hardiness.

American Sweet Crabapple

  • USDA Zones: 4 – 8
  • Height: 15 – 30 feet
  • Spread: 35 feet[5]
  • Sun requirements: Full sun; tolerates partial shade
  • Harvest: Fall
  • Taste profile: Very bitter

While it tolerates partial shade, it does very well in full sunlight, reaching 15 to 30 feet tall depending on its care.

Flowers have a sweet, fragrant smell, which is where the tree gets its name, but the greenish-yellow fruits are bitter, hence mainly useful in making jams and cider.

18. Intrepid Peaches (Prunus persica ‘Intrepid’)

Intrepid peach tree with ripe fruit.
  • USDA Zone: 4 – 8
  • Height: 12-15 ft
  • Spread: 12-15 ft
  • Sunlight: Full sun (6-8 hours)
  • Chill Hours: 1050
  • Harvest Time: July

The red-skinned fruit of the Intrepid peach has an improved taste from the Reliance peach variety, making it a popular choice for growers in the cold winters of USDA Zone 2.

While it tolerates the cold winters, it is worth noting that it takes 3-5 years for the tree to bear fruit. Also, the long chill hours required can discourage some orchardists, but if you’re growing some apples in your garden, then the Intrepid peach tree shouldn’t be a problem.

I recommend it for beginner growers for its easy care routine and self-fertile qualities, meaning you won’t need two trees for cross-pollination.


Zone 4 has cold winters, so it is best to choose cold hardy fruit trees that can tolerate winter temperatures as low as -30°F to -20°F (-34.4°C to -28.9°C). Some of the recommended fruit trees to grow here include the Moongold apricot, Honeycrisp apple, Italian plum, Bluecrop blueberry, and the Nanking cherry.

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