Trees for zone 6b are in abundance, providing shade and bursts of color for gardens and backyards alike. They come in different shapes and sizes, with vibrant colors or perfect greenery all year round.

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The temperatures in Zone 6b can go as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit during winter, and trees that thrive in this region are usually cold hardy. Check out some examples of trees that thrive in zone 6b below. 

List of Trees for Zone 6B Landscaping

1. Austrian Pine

Pinus nigra also known as Austrian Pine or black Pine, is an evergreen Conifer. These pine trees are loved for their dense, thick leaves that add their unique greenness to any landscape, whether it’s in your backyard or the front one.

Frost on Austrian Pines

The trees grow relatively fast and tall, as they are able to grow up to 60 feet in height, however, in some cases, they would even be able to grow over 120 feet tall. 

– Features

Austrian pines are typically planted as screens for privacy, but they can also be grown as standalone trees, as they feature vastness in their growth. Their thick branches spread wide, with the dense leaves acting as coverage, providing much-needed shade from the sun. 

The tree produces inconspicuous yellow-colored flowers as well as brown, cone-shaped fruits, as pollination takes place in the blooming season. Black pines can live to be very old, provided they’re properly cared for.

– Growth Requirements

The best location to plant black Pine is a place that is exposed to the sun. The plant requires full sunlight for at least four hours a day. It can tolerate some shade as long as it receives the necessary amount of sunlight. 

A variety of soil types are suitable for planting Austrian pines. However, it grows best in moist, well-drained soil. These trees require adequate watering in the first three years of planting, especially during extended dry periods. Once the tree is established, it doesn’t require daily watering, as it will become more tolerant to drought. 

– Best Planting Season

The best time to plant Austrian Pines is during late summer, around August, so that it would grow properly, and it would establish the roots and in spring when the blooming season comes, it would rise again. This growing season has the best conditions for planting Austrian pines. 

2. Flowering Dogwood Tree

Cornus florida, also known as white cornel, American Dogwood, or Florida Dogwood, can be found growing wildly in northern Mexico and the eastern parts of North America, which is the region of 6b, primarily.

Bright White Dogwood Blossoms

As the name implies, it is a flowering plant popular for its showy white and sometimes yellow blooms that blossom in the springtime. It does well in USDA hardiness zones 5 all the way through 9, and 6b is in this.

– Specifications

You must note that the American dogwood survives cold weather, as it would also lose its leaves during winter and produces red berries in the late spring . This tree’s bright-colored flowers and berries make it an excellent ornamental plant to have as part of your landscape. 

– Growth Requirements

When you have planted this tree, you must note that it needs plenty of water to survive, as this is a reason why they do not do well in areas prone to drought. It’s best to water the trees at least twice a week. 

On another note, the Dogwood trees do well in full sun and partial shade conditions. However, in regions that get a lot of sun and heat, they might require more shade from the afternoon sun, if, of course, the sun is heavy on them in the morning hours. 

Also, these trees have shallow roots that spread out just below the surface of the soil, as a result, the roots can quickly dry out if they’re not properly and frequently watered. One way to help the roots retain water and keep it cool is by mulching. The perfect soil condition for these trees is moist, well-draining soil with an acidic to neutral pH.

– Best Planting Season

These trees are best planted in the first few weeks of spring or late fall when there is no threat of frost. The key reason is that the roots will establish during these times, and it will hold itself strong.

3. Japanese Maple

Known for its spectacular range of colors, Acer palmatum, also known as Japanese maple or palmate maple, Is indigenous to Korea, China, Japan, and southeastern parts of Russia. The tree is deciduous and doesn’t grow very large, only about 30 feet tall, which makes it suitable for small garden spaces and pots. 

Red Leaves of Japanese Maple Tree

– Specifications

There are several Japanese maple varieties with different leaf types, colors, and sizes to choose from. However, one thing they all have in common is their stunning display of foliage and flowers throughout the growing season, with different shades of red, purple, yellow, orange, green, and gold.

The trees are even more stunning when a fall color change occurs. Japanese maple does well in usda zones 5 all through zone 8, and some varieties may even tolerate zone 4 if they’re properly protected, but the ideal zone is 6b.

– Growth Requirements

It’s best to grow Japanese Maples where they’ll receive just enough light to boost proper foliage coloration.

Also, these trees require regular watering, especially when they’re freshly planted. However, once they have developed up to a point, they can endure short periods without water. One way to improve your soil’s water retention is by mulching. 

Japanese maple trees do well in moist, well-drained soils. They’re not so picky about the type of soil they grow in, as long as it is slightly acidic and has an abundance of organic matter in it. 

– Best Planting Season

Japanese maple is best planted during early spring or fall months when the soil is workable, and there’s no threat of snow. On another note, when you see the growth has been halted, it is because this tree go dormant during winter, so planting them in the fall gives the roots time to grow and spread properly.

– Lighting Issues

When you are cultivating one of these beautiful trees, you must take into consideration that the Japanese maples have delicate leaves that can be damaged by excessive light. As a result, it can be tricky to strike the correct balance when it comes to lighting. 

Hence, you must note that if these trees don’t receive sufficient light, the leaves of the more vibrant varieties will develop a greenish tone, which is still spectacular to behold. However, it’s quite different from the typical burst of bright fall colors.

4. Rowan Tree

Sorbus aucuparia, commonly called Rowan trees or European mountain ash, are perennial trees that grow wildly in Asia, Europe, and Northern Africa.

Rowan Tree Full of Fruits

They are classified as shrubs or small trees in the rose family, and this is their specific criteria. These trees grow as tall as 40 feet and can spread as wide as 20 feet, and they are prone to grow well in Hardiness Zones 3 to 6, but ideally they are best in 6b.

– Features

Planting Rowan trees is an excellent option if you want bursts of reds and greens across your landscape. Summertime brings forth a profusion of red fruits from this tree, which continue to grow even through winter time, after all the leaves have fallen. 

On another note, an advantage that is has is that birds are attracted to their brightly colored fruits, which is why you will have visitor birds, as you’ll have the perfect view of a plethora of them.

– Growth Requirements

Rowan trees perform well under full sunlight. About eight hours of sun a day is ideal for growing healthy and a well established tree. This tree would thrive in moist, well-drained soil with an acidic pH, usually between 4.5 and 7.

They require minimal care and maintenance once they have been settled in the soil properly. Also, they don’t need frequent watering, except during very dry periods. Mulching with compost can help to retain moisture during such periods.

– Best Planting Season

Anytime between the months of November and March is best for planting bare-root Rowan trees. Although, you can plant the ones that are pot grown anytime, as long as the ground isn’t frozen.

5. Tibetan Cherry

Prunus serrula, commonly known as Tibetan cherry, Paperback Cherry or Birch back cherry, is popular for the reddish-brown bark of its trunks. The trees can be found growing wildly in several parts of Japan, Korea, and China. They’re perfect trees to grow in hardiness zones 5 to 6.

Trunk of a Tibetan Cherry Tree

– Specifications

The trees’ color, combined with the horizontal lenticels on the barks, adds a beautiful contrast and texture to any landscape.

Tibetan cherries have a medium growth rate, and they’re great for lawns in mountainous regions. They would produce beautiful white flowers and that would even have some red fruits blooming which can be harvested during spring. Their lovely blooms attract pollinators such as birds and butterflies.

– Prone to Pests

Despite all the beautiful characteristics the Tibetan cherries possess, they are only planted occasionally. This results from the tree’s susceptibility to pests and diseases, making it generally short-lived. 

They would face issues like different kinds of rots, such as root rot due to the fungal growth, and on another note, it is very vulnerable for different diseases such as blight, or even powder mildew.

– Growth Requirements

For healthy growing trees with vibrant foliage and blooms, it’s best to plant Tibetan cherry trees in view of the full sun. Avoid planting them in water-logged soils, as this can cause the trees to develop root rot, hence you must be keen on the watering, so water it when it is properly dry enough. 

Also, they require rich organic, moist soils to grow correctly. However, with proper care and maintenance, the Tibetan Cherries will thrive in your garden and add a distinct feature to your landscape. 

– Best Planting Season

Tibetan cherries bloom and produce fruits during spring and fall. You don’t have to worry about growing seasons for Tibetan cherries. You can plant them anytime you get them, as they can grow in all seasons.

5. Purple-Leaf Plum

Prunus cerasifera is generally known as Purple-leaf plum. It is a small to medium-sized, attractive flowering tree grown for ornamental purposes. They are perfect for large backyards as well as small spaces. 

Blooming Purple-Leaf Plum

– Features

These trees produce sweet-smelling, and some showy flowers and fruits in the right blooming season. Their purple or burgundy colored leaves add spots of color to an otherwise green landscape. The fissured barks of these trees also add to the aesthetics of the environment. 

Purple-leaf plum trees perform well in cool climates, with USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8, more specifically in zone 6b. However, note that the trees don’t grow so tall, only to heights of about 25 feet, even when the right care is given. 

– Growth Requirements

When you’re ready to plant purple-leaf plums, consider the soil type in your garden or backyard. These trees grow best in moist, acidic soils that drain well. Note that they don’t do well in water-logged areas. 

However, for maximum bloom and fruit yield, grow them in view of full sunlight to enrich themselves, although they also tolerate partial shade, but not in the long run. As a result, too much shade will not encourage the production of their typical bright leaves. 

Purple-leaf Plum trees love water and require proper irrigation. Once the trees have grown to a certain level, they are able to tolerate short dry spells. However, during scorching weather conditions, they will require more watering. 

– Best Planting Season

It would be best if you planted purple-leaf plums in early spring or fall to get the best results. They yield properly if they’re planted in early March, or early September. This is because the ground is workable and the roots of the tree can be established and settled easily during these periods. 

6. Apple Trees

What’s better than an apple tree in your backyard? The Malus pumila trees commonly called Apple trees are perennial trees of the rose family. The trees grow small and do not grow more than 25 feet tall.

Apple Trees in a Garden with Apples

One great thing about apple trees is that they’re fruit trees, and they also produce beautiful and fragrant flowers that bloom yearly in spring and also enhance the beauty of any landscape. 

– Growth Zone 

There are several species of apple trees. A lot of these species can grow in zone 6b regions. However, some apple species will thrive in this zone.

Some of the species include; dwarf Honeycrisp, lodi, liberty and red Macintosh, red Halareds, and Gala apples. If you find yourself living in zone 6b, these apple tree varieties can be a great addition to your backyard landscape. 

– Growth Requirements

Apple trees, like most fruit trees, need as much sun as possible to grow to their full potential and produce the best fruits. They require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, ideally in a place that shields them from the worst summer afternoon sun. 

However, you must be planting these apple trees in loamy or sandy soils that are well-drained and not water-logged produces the best results. As the soil should be with a slightly acidic pH or neutral one, which would work best for apple trees, to elaborate further, the pH should be between 6 and 7. 

– Best Planting Season

Timing is critical in planting trees, especially fruit trees. Plant at the perfect time, and you get maximum results. Plant at the wrong time, and you get terrible yields. Spring is the ideal time to plant apple trees. Especially between March and April when all the frost has dissolved, and the soil can be worked. 


Like with other hardiness zones, zone 6b has several tree options that can be planted. These trees include; flowering trees, fruiting trees, trees that are grown for their foliage, etc.

In making a choice, you need to remember the following;

  • The trees that will thrive in zone 6b are the ones that are cold and heat tolerant, at least to some extent. 
  • Zone 6b trees can grow in almost any soil condition, but make sure it is not too acidic. 
  • All you need to do is to consider your garden or backyard needs and pick the one that directly meets those needs.
  • As long as you’ve picked a suitable variety of trees and met all the growth requirements, you should expect beautiful, healthy trees. 

Planting trees is always the right choice. You can get started by picking any of the trees listed in this article for your zone 6b garden.


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