Planting mast orchards is a great way to attract deer and other wildlife to your property. However, in order to maximize the effectiveness of your hard and soft mast trees at attracting wildlife you need to follow proper planting procedures, and choose plant varieties that are specifically adapted for the climate in your area. 

One of the best tools for determining this is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Long considered the standard by which gardeners and growers determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a specific location, the Plant Hardiness Map divides the nation into 10-degree F zones based on average annual minimum winter temperatures. These Zones, or Regions, are then used to describe the range that specific plants are adapted to and will achieve the best growth. 

To ensure you pick the right plants for your region, Chestnut Hill Outdoors lists these Zones for each of their products. From North to South – Dark Purple is Zone 4, Blue is Zone 5, Dark Green  is Zone 6, Pale Green is Zone 7, Yellow is Zone 8, and Tan is Zone 9. They also check all orders to ensure plant species are appropriately suited for their destinations.

Use the link to plug in the zip code where you will be planting.

USDA Plant Hardiness Plant Zone Map Link

This is a good starting point, but it’s important to note that inside these Zones, variation in elevation, site location, directional orientation and proximity to bodies of water can create greater temperature variations at a specific site. These so-called micro- climates can enhance or hinder the growth rates of particular plants and are an important consideration in choosing which tree species will do best in a specific area.

For example, fruit trees that break dormancy early could be damaged by late season frosts that settle into frost pockets at the bottom of valleys or even swales, but may do better on hillsides where the cold air drains off to the bottom and does not damage the trees. Another example is south-facing slopes, which are warmed by winter sun and protected from prevailing cold north winter winds.

In general, try to pick a location that avoids low lying frost pockets or areas that stay wet in the spring for extended periods during snow melt. You should also match the plant hardiness rating not just to the plant hardiness zone on the USDA map, but also to the specific micro-climate at the site. And if you have any questions, the folks at Chestnut Hill Outdoors are always willing to help.

Chestnut Hill Outdoors is more than just a nursery. In order to ensure you receive the maximum benefit from their products, they also provide sound advice and instruction on proper planting and care. For more on Chestnut Hill Outdoors products and how to care for them, visit, or call (855) 386-7826.

Chestnut Hill is the best place for you to purchase your food plot and deer attractant plants because they offer a large selection, their plants are specifically bred to attract deer, and they offer customers different sized plants at different levels of growth.

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