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Snow Covered Tree in the Mountains

8 Cold Climate Trees to Consider for Your Memorial Tree

Even if you live in a cold region of the country, you can still honor your loved one with a memorial tree. Cold-climate trees are resilient to freezing temperatures and add beauty, character, and meaning to the landscape throughout the year. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established a hardiness zone map to help determine which trees can thrive in the cold. There are thirteen zones in the United States—the lower the zone, the colder the climate. For example, zone 8 generally experiences warm winters while zone 4 may endure moderate cold temps. With The Living Urn, you can simply enter your zip code to determine which tree species would be most suitable for your region. Here are eight superb cold-climate trees that can be found in our award-winning nursery:

Sugar Maple in Autumn Season

Red Maple

The Red Maple (Acer rubrum) is a standout choice for a memorial tree in colder climates, thriving in zones 3 through 9. Aptly named, the red maple features red in each season—red flowers in spring, red leafstalks in summer, brilliant red foliage in autumn, and red buds in winter. It can flourish in a variety of soil types, grow quickly, and provide shade and beauty in relatively short order. Its adaptability to different environments and spectacular autumn color display encapsulates the beauty of life and the changing seasons, making it a meaningful memorial.

Eastern Redbud

The Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a small to medium-sized tree known for its striking pink to purple flowers that bloom in early spring before the leaves emerge. This tree symbolizes new beginnings, making it a poignant choice for a memorial. It can withstand cold winters, although it thrives best in the warmer range of cold climates. Eastern Redbud’s preferred zones are 4 through 8. The heart-shaped leaves and the cascade of flowers provide a burst of color and life, reminding us that the spirit of our loved ones is ever-present.

Sugar Maple

The Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is famous for its role in producing maple syrup, but it's also a magnificent memorial tree for cold climates, flourishing in zones 3 through 8. It features vibrant fall colors, with leaves turning brilliant shades of orange, red, and yellow. The sugar maple is a symbol of strength and endurance, capable of living for hundreds of years. Its majestic stature and the sweet sap that flows in the spring make it a living legacy that can be cherished for generations.

Pin Oak

The Pin Oak (Quercus palustris) is distinguished by its pyramidal shape and glossy green leaves that turn russet, bronze, or red in autumn. It's well-adapted to various soils and is particularly tolerant of wet conditions, making it versatile for different landscapes in zones 4 through 8. The Pin Oak's strong structure and the way it gracefully ages make it a symbol of resilience and steadfastness, ideal qualities for a memorial tree.

White Oak

The White Oak (Quercus alba) is one of the most majestic trees native to North America. It’s celebrated for longevity, with some specimens living for centuries. The white oak has a broad, spreading canopy and a rugged appearance, with leaves that turn a striking red or burgundy in the fall. White oaks can persist in very frigid winters with no problem, flourishing in zones 3 through 9. Planting a kingly white oak as a memorial tree is a gesture of respect and reverence for the loved ones who helped shape the people we’ve become.

Ginkgo Biloba

The Ginkgo Biloba, or maidenhair tree, is a living fossil, unchanged for over 200 million years. Its unique fan-shaped leaves turn a bright yellow in the fall, creating a serene and striking display. Suitable for zones 4 through 9, ginkgo is extremely hardy, tolerating cold, heat, and urban pollution. Ginkgo symbolizes endurance and resilience, embodying the idea of the unbreakable bonds we share with our loved ones.

White Fringe Tree

The White Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a small, deciduous tree or large shrub known for its airy clusters of fragrant, white, fringe-like flowers in the spring. It adds a delicate, ethereal beauty to any landscape, particularly in smaller gardens. Capable of thriving in zones 3 through 9, the white fringe tree, also known as Grancy Graybeard, is resilient to cold and prefers moist, well-drained soils. Its unique beauty and fragrance make it a touching memorial, symbolizing purity and the uplifting spirit of the loved one it commemorates.


Spruces are evergreen trees that bring year-round color and life to the landscape. With their conical shape and dense foliage, spruces are iconic in cold climates. Spruces, particularly the Blue Spruce (Picea pungens), with its distinctive silvery-blue needles, are symbols of peace and tranquility. They stand as steadfast sentinels, offering a constant reminder of enduring memories and the everlasting nature of love.

Find Your Perfect Memorial Tree at The Living Urn

The patented Living Urn® is America's first and leading bio urn & planting system designed to grow a beautiful, enduring memory tree with cremated remains. The Living Urn can help you find the perfect tree for your special memorial in cold or warm climates. Our award-winning nursery has over fifty magnificent tree options to choose from. By entering your zip code, you can receive a tailored menu to help narrow down the most suitable trees for your region. All of our trees can be shipped directly to your home. If you would like some help choosing the right tree for your special memorial, contact us today!

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