The USDA plant hardiness zones were originally established for the United States, but are now widely used for other countries. The hardiness zones are based on the concept of the average winter minimum temperatures. The lower the number, the colder the winter climate in that area. Zone 3 is likely to be the coldest zone in which it is still possible to grow fruit trees. The warmest zone in Europe is zone 10, which corresponds to winter temperatures of in the range -1C to 4C. Our fruit tree search page and product pages include details of the minimum USDA hardiness zone.
Belgium has a maritime climate, mostly in zone 8 and fruit trees can be planted at any time in the winter.
Western Bulgaria, including Sofia, lies mostly in zones 7a and 7b, while eastern Bulgaria, nearer to the Black Sea, is typically zones 7b and 8. Early spring is the best time to plant fruit trees.
The whole of Czechia lies in zone 7 and the best time to plant fruit trees is generally in early spring.
Denmark has a mild maritime climate and lies mostly in zone 8. Fruit trees can be planted at any time during the winter.
Most of western, central, northern and southern France lies in zones 8b to 10a, with minimum temperatures unlikely to be a problem for planting fruit trees.
The mountainous areas are mostly in zone 7, and spring planting is likely to be the safest option.
Almost the whole of Germany lies in zone 8, with minimum temperatures down to about -12C, so the best time for planting fruit trees is likely to be late February. The areas near the Polish border are noticeably colder, down to zone 7, as is much of Bavaria. Spring planting is best for these areas.
The island of Ireland lies almost entirely in zones 8 and 9, and fruit trees can be planted at any time during the winter.
Italy has a good climate for fruit trees. Southern Italy is mostly zone 10, with temperatures rarely falling below freezing at all. In these areas fruit trees can be planted between December and February. Northern Italy is mostly zone 9, while the mountainous areas of the north and centre are zones 7 and 8a.
Hungary lies almost entirely in zone 7. Western Hungary and Budapest is mostly zone 7a while eastern Hungary is mostly zone 7a.
It is possible to plant fruit trees in late November, but much safer to plant in late February or early March.
Lithuania falls primarily in zone 6, with average winter minimum temperatures falling below 20C. Fruit trees should be planted in early spring.
The whole of the Netherlands has a mild maritime climate, mostly zone 8. Fruit trees can be planted at any time in the winter.
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With the exception of the Baltic coast, which is zone 8, most of Poland lies in zone 6b and zone 7a. The best time to plant fruit trees is in early spring.
The climate of Portugal is dominated by the Atlantic ocean and winter temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Fruit trees can be planted at any time in the winter.
Apart from the Pyrenees mountains most of Spain lies in zone 9 or above, and therefore fruit trees can be planted all winter.
Southern Sweden is zone 7a, with minimum winter temperatures down to about -17C. The coastal areas are zone 8a. Central and northern Sweden is much colder - zones 5 or 4. Fruit trees should be planted in early spring once the ground has thawed.