Woody Perennials

Perennial Fruit

perennial fruit cover image

Most of Minnesota lies within the USDA hardiness zones 3 and 4, and gardeners often wish they could grow a larger variety of fruit. Cold winters kill or harm trees and branches, while short growing seasons prevent certain crops from properly maturing. In spite of these shortcomings, a surprising diversity of new and unusual crops can grow here. Some crops grow better here than in surrounding states, and the number of Zone 3 and 4 crops available to plant is increasing.  In some cases, crops that were forgotten by older generations are being rediscovered; while in other cases, cold hardy varieties and species are being introduced from Eastern Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, some native plants with commercial potential are still being domesticated. A major driving force behind the growth in new crops is the recently discovered and rediscovered health benefits of berries and other fruits.