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Orange Pippin Trees USA logoSpecialist fruit trees for your orchard or back-yard

The best apple trees for USDA zone 3 and zone 4

With winter temperatures between -30F to -40F (-29C to -34C) USDA zone 3 is the coldest zone in which you can still grow good quality apples. Of course not all apple varieties can tolerate such low temperatures. Our countdown picks the best apple and fruiting crab-apple varieties for zone 3.

  • 1st Honeycrisp

    See also Honeycrisp

    Developed by the University of Minnesota specifically for northern climates, Honeycrisp is a deservedly popular apple. There is no compromise on flavor or texture here either, Honeycrisp is a lovely apple with a pleasing juicy apple flavor - and of course it has a wonderful crisp crunchy flesh.

    And although Honeycrisp has a wide climate range, the best flavors come from trees  grown in colder climates.

    Buy Honeycrisp apple trees here
  • 2nd Wolf River

    See also Wolf River

    Wolf River is a big cooking apple. The flesh is also quite dry which means the bake is not flooded with excess liquid.

    Wolf River is named after the Wolf River valley of Wisconsin where it was first found. It is thought to be a seedling of a Russian variety called Alexander.

    It is a big vigorous tree with a solid reputation for cold-hardiness.


    Buy Wolf River apple trees here
  • 3rd Black Oxford

    See also Black Oxford

    Black Oxford is a classic north-country apple, blending exceptional cold-hardiness with excellent eating qualities.

    The tree is cold-hardy and disease-resistant. The apples are almost inedible when picked, but develop and mature in storage. They can be used for eating fresh and in the kitchen, and the full-flavored juice is useful for sweet and hard cider.

    Black Oxford was found as a seedling tree in Maine in the late 18th century

    Buy Black Oxford apple trees here
  • 4th Macoun

    See also Macoun

    Macoun is one of the best McIntosh-style apples, with the characteristic flowery vinous flavor. The apples don't keep, so this is one to eat straight from the tree in late fall.

    The tree is vigorous and reliably cold-hardy.

    Buy Macoun apple trees here
  • 5th Wickson Crab

    See also Wickson Crab

    Wickson crab is a popular crab apple variety with an intense sweet-sharp flavor. It can be eaten fresh but the strong flavors make this a good choice in the kitchen too. More recently cider makers have noticed the unusual combination of sugar and acid which makes it useful for cider blends.

    Wickson was developed by Californian apple enthusiast Albert Etter. It's parentage is unknown but many suspect Transcendent Crab, a well-known north-country crab variety. Wickson is happy in southern California, but it is also exceptionally cold-hardy.

    Buy Wickson Crab crab apple trees here

Click here for a list of all our zone 3 and zone 4 apples and crab-apples.