Canadian Forest Service Publications

Canada's new plant hardiness zones: Significant changes you need to know. 2015. McKenney, D.; Pedlar, J.; Lawrence, K.; Papadopol, P.; Campbell, K. Landscape Trades 37: 12-16.

Year: 2015

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35927

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record

Plain Language Summary

Hardiness zones are intended to help define the potential suitability of perennial plant species to different regions of the country. Canada’s plant hardiness zones have recently been updated using climate data covering the 1981-2010 period. The changes are significant with zone designations changing in most communities across the country. This paper provides a quick refresher on the history of hardiness zones in Canada and some insights on their use and what the future may bring. In particular the paper provides an understanding of the limits of hardiness zones and suggests climate envelop models of the type that are provided for 1000s of species on the plant hardiness web site could be a more robust approach to better understanding potential plant distributions, whether it be for the gardening/nursery sector, agriculture and/or forestry. Collaborations are invited and readers are directed to NRCan’s plant hardiness web site: