What zone is montana?

Montana Planting Zones – USDA Map Of Montana Growing Zones

Click on the image above to see a larger version.

Using Montana Planting Map for the Best Garden

The vast majority of the state of Montana falls into Montana USDA growing zones 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a and 5b. There is a small section in the northwest region of the state that falls into a 6a-growing zone. This growing map is used to determine which plants, trees and shrubs will overwinter without damage in particular areas.

The new 2012 USDA plant hardiness map is the result of 30 years of data collection from over 8,000 weather stations throughout the country. The map, which formerly considered only average extreme winter low temperatures, now factors in essential data regarding elevation, urban heat and proximity to large bodies of water. With the new data and a significant winter warming trend across the country, many zones have shifted up from previous versions of the map.

Although no gardener should take the Montana planting map as an absolute guarantee, the information is extremely valuable. To find your location on the Montana plant map, enlarge the map above and determine your zone or visit the USDA site where you can put your zip code into the new interactive feature.

When selecting plants for your garden, it is wise to use the USDA plant hardiness information as a foundation. Most local greenhouses will carry trees, shrubs and flowers that are suitable for your region.

Montana Planting Zones

Montana is one of those interesting states with more than one climate and more than four Montana planting zones. In fact, the state has several identified climates. It is virtually split into eastern and western regions that are almost separated by the Continental Divide, which has a huge effect on the overall climate of the state. It is what restricts warm Pacific air from moving toward the east, as well as not allowing the continental dry air to move through west. The western region has mountains and valleys, and the eastern half of the state has the badlands and prairie terrain. The eastern region has a semi-arid continental climate and the western side of the divide has a modified northern Pacific coast climate with cooler summers and milder winters. Average summer temperatures statewide are in the mid 60s and winters average in the low 20s.

Because the state has so many climates, Montana growing zones widely vary. A Montana planting zone can be anywhere from the 3a to 6a range. Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map shows what Montana zone you are in. Planting zones are based on first and last frost dates, and different weather patterns determine different zones. Knowing which zone you are planting in will help determine which plants and flowers to plant and which are most likely to survive conditions typical to any specific zone. Choose plants that are rated for your zone or lower if you are concerned about winter survival. Plants that are rated for a higher zone are not a good idea because any plant designated for a zone above your own will most likely not survive any colder winter conditions.

There are many plants, flowers and vegetables to choose from that will grow well in Montana. Some of the flowers known to thrive in this region include mullein, lupine, arrowleaf, prairie coneflower and clematis. Numerous vegetables will produce in spring and summer gardens, such as potatoes, squash, mustard greens, peas, mint, sugar beets and corn.

Plant Hardiness Zones

By Jan Cashman • Posted on February, 18th 2014

Plant Hardiness Zones—What do they mean? Are they important? By Jan Cashman 12/3/13

This winter, when you’re studying gardening magazines and seed catalogs to decide what to plant next spring, do you ever wonder about the “Zone” numbers next to plant names? These numbers are supposed to tell us whether a plant will grow in an area. The US Department of Agriculture has based these zones on average annual minimum temperatures during a period of years and put them on a map so anyone can easily tell what zone they live and garden in.

The USDA published their first Plant Hardiness Zone map in 1960 making 10 hardiness zones in the United States based upon 10 degree Fahrenheit gradients. Then, in 1990 a major overhaul of the map was completed using temperature data from 1974 to 1986. One new zone was added and the 10 degree gradients were broken down into 5 degree “A” and “B” zones, an improvement for us gardeners.

In 2012 the USDA released a new map adding two new climate zones, 11 and 12. This map is available as an interactive GIS-based (Geographic Information System) for which a broadband Internet connection is recommended. Users can type in their zip code when on the web site (planthardiness.ars.usda.gov) and find the hardiness zone for their area.

Before the USDA did their 1990 overhaul, Bozeman was listed between hardiness Zones 3 and 4. Because of warmer weather in the years 1974 to 1986, the revised 1990 map listed Bozeman as Zone 4B and we are still listed as Zone 4B on the 2012 version.

Bozeman and surrounding area gardeners and need to realize that these hardiness zones are only guidelines. Temperature extremes, elevation, rainfall, humidity, length of growing season, and soil type are not taken into account when determining these zones but are important when determining a plant’s ability to thrive in a certain area.

TEMPERATURE VARIATIONS: Inland mountain climates have extreme temperature variations. For instance, the Gallatin Valley might be 30 degrees below zero on a winter day and the next day, a Chinook wind will warm the air to 50 degrees. These extremes can damage the tender buds of plants that have not fully reached dormancy. On October 12, 2009, after a mild start to fall, the temperature dipped to a record low of 9 degrees. The next spring many green ash, flowering crabs, and quaking aspen trees never leafed out.

RAINFALL AND HUMIDITY: Bozeman’s average annual precipitation is 19.3 inches and Belgrade’s is 14.8; humidity is low both summer and winter. Evergreens such as white pine and balsam fir might be listed as Zone 3 but will not thrive here. They grow better in locations where there is more humidity and winter cloud cover to protect their needles from winterburn.

LENGTH OF GROWING SEASON: In high elevations the growing season is short, fewer than 90 frost-free days in some places. Some late-blooming perennial flowers listed as hardy in Zone 3 might grow OK in higher elevations but never bloom because the season is so short. When planted at a high elevation, late season apples like Honeycrisp won’t have time to ripen.

SOIL TYPE AND pH: The USDA hardiness zones do not take into account soil variations. Many plants do not grow well in the heavy, poorly drained soils which are common to our area. Plants such as blueberries, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and even some maples, need acid soils to thrive, but our soils in the Valley tend to be alkaline, ranging in pH from 7.0 to 7.4, even higher in areas around Manhattan and Three Forks.

This winter, when you are planning your spring plantings, use USDA hardiness zones as a guide. But also remember your soil type and our high and dry climate. Make adjustments accordingly and your gardening will be more successful.

Shade Trees That Grow Well in Montana

If you are looking for large, hardy trees to add shade to your yard, you must consider your location. Trees have varying needs in terms of sunlight, moisture, and temperature. You can typically use USDA growing zones to determine which trees are suited to your region.

Most of Montana falls into USDA zones 3, 4, and 5. Here are five shade trees that grow well in this climate.

1. American Sycamore

American sycamores are large, stately trees that can reach up to 100 feet tall when mature. They are known for their patchy bark, broad leaves, and dense foliage. If you have a large yard you are trying to fill, a sycamore may be the perfect choice. Just make sure you do not plant it too close to a driveway, as sycamore roots can cause concrete to buckle.

The America sycamore likes well-drained soil and will tolerate some shade or full sunlight. Sycamores are best suited for USDA zones 4 through 10, so they won’t do as well in the northeast corner of Montana, which is designated as zone 3 – but they will grow well throughout the rest of the state.

2. American Red Maple

For a jaw-dropping fall landscape, consider planting an American red maple. This tree has a deep green color through the spring and summer, and it turns a brilliant red in autumn. Red maples are great for landscapes with poor drainage since they will tolerate both boggy conditions and droughts with little complaint. They grow quickly, too, adding as much as three feet of height per year.

Red maples can be up to 60 feet tall when mature. They grow well in zones 4 through 9, making most of Montana their ideal environment.

3. Sugar Maple

The sugar maple is another stunning maple variety that grows well in Montana, including in the northeast, zone 3 region of the state. Sugar maples are named for their abundant sap, which is often collected and made into maple syrup. They are green in the summer, but they turn a lovely blend of burnt orange, yellow, and red in the fall.

Sugar maples have a sprawling canopy that makes them great for shade, and they’re about 60 feet tall when mature. They’ll tolerate full sunlight or partial shade. Sugar maples prefer moist soil and are a bit less drought-tolerant than red maples, though they can tolerate some dry periods.

4. Quaking Aspen

If you’re looking for a particularly fast-growing shade tree, consider planting a quaking aspen, which can grow up to five feet per year. These trees have heart-shaped leaves that turn a gorgeous, bright yellow in the fall. Quaking aspen trees will grow in zones 2 through 6, making them a great choice no matter where in Montana you live.

A quaking aspen tree will tolerate some drought conditions. Plan for this tree to reach a height of 40 to 50 feet when mature.

5. River Birch

River birch trees are named for their tendency to grow along the banks of rivers, but they will do well in any moist yard. They are known for their peeling, cream-white bark, and they grow quickly to a final height of 40 to 60 feet. They grow best in zones 4 through 9.

River birch trees do require full sunlight, and they need to be watered regularly when young to ensure they develop strong roots. Give your birch tree the proper care, however, and it will reward you with years of beauty and shade.

These are just a few of the many shade trees that grow well in Montana. If you are looking for pre-started shade trees in the Moorhead area, contact Big Tree Nursery. We carry potted and large spaded trees for your convenience.

Buy Montana Fruit Trees, Shade Tree, Berry Plants, Bamboo Plants, Grape Vines, Nut Tree, and Flowering Trees

Planting fruit trees in Montana is limited to find fruits that are grafted on cold hardy, fruit tree, rootstock that can withstand temperature drops to minus 40 degrees F. Many types of fruit trees will live in Montana, but when the early spring freezes come, the flowers could be suddenly frozen, thus, fruit may not set on the tree. Montana gardeners may want to plant a tree or bush that would start bearing fruit or produce shade as soon as possible, so that a planter would want to select a large tree or to plant a fast growing tree. This sounds logical, but in a fast growing tree the developing cell walls elongate and elongate rapidly and do not deposit lignin and cellulose into the cell walls as fast and the lack of these insulating materials can cause damage or even kill the tree. The top selection of slow growing trees is often the best solution to Montana success in planting fruit trees, berry plants and nut trees of the highest quality.

Apple trees like Lodi and McIntosh apples are successful, if cross pollination is available, and the Oregon crabapple and the Siberian apple trees are good apple pollinators.The Sungold apricot tree is cold hardy along with the apricot trees. These apricots are high in sugar and are as sweet as honey.Sweet cherry trees are generally not cold hardy, however, the sour cherries like the Montmorency cherry tree and North Star cherry trees will grow in most Montana fruit tree orchards. The Stanley plum tree is cold hardy in Montana and the Stanley plums taste is rich and sweet. The Chicago Hardy fig tree has been recommended to grow successfully in USDA climate zone 5 in Montana.

Blueberry plants are very productive in Montana and the Low Bush Blueberry is a native blueberry bush with high cold tolerance. Blueberries are most often called huckleberries in Montana, however, the berries are technically harvested from blueberry plants.Montana State University scientists at Bozeman, Mt., recommend the Brazos blackberry plant and Boysenberry bushes as the best berry choices, but many tests on the new blackberry cultivars from Arkansas are introducing thornless blackberry bushes. Bunch grape vines and new hybrid Seedless grapevines will survive the frigid cold in MT. Mt. State University also recommends Boyne red raspberry plants and Heritage and September Red raspberry bushes. Black Hawk and Cumberland black raspberries produce deliciously tasty berries in the Fall. The only purple raspberry that survives as cold hardy is the Brandy Wine purple raspberry. Two of the best fig trees will survive in Zone 5 in Montana. Chicago hardy fig trees and the Tennessee Mountain fig tree have survived the brisk frigid winter in Montana when properly mulched, and many other fig tree cultivars are grown in greenhouses for their figs.

The Corkscrew Willow tree, Weeping Willow tree and Sassafras trees have been grown successfully in Zone 3, along with the Red Maple tree and Pine trees Many other trees like the River Birch tree, Sycamore and Ginkgo tree produce good fall color in zone 4 and 5. Bald Cypress trees, Elm tree and Tulip Poplar trees are all approved to survive in zone 5, Montana shade trees. The Sassafras tree grows into a very large shade tree, but it also grows clusters of gold flowers in unusual round fragrant clusters and can be a top choice flowering tree. The Lombardy poplar tree is a top tree for reducing wind damage and grows into an excellent privacy screen when the trees are planted about 6 feet apart in long rows. The Lombardy poplar tree grow fast, sometimes, up to 8 year the very first year of planting. The Sour Wood tree turns a dramatic brilliant mixture of colors in the fall.
Wildlife animal conservation is important to animal lovers and to hunters in Montana. The Mulberry tree, the strawberry bushes and the elderberry plants will grow in zone 3, 4 and 5 of the state. The Kieffer pear tree and the wild crabapple tree will grow in zone 4 and 5, and the Chickasaw plum tree, American persimmon tree and Catalpa fish bait trees will grow in zone 5. The Chinese chestnut tree and the hickory nut trees will produce slow ripening nuts during the fall that drop from the trees intermittently during the fall and winter. In MT zone 5 the fast growing tree sawtooth oak, the acorns will begin falling in the fall and feed the deer, pheasants and other game birds, when wildlife food is scarce. The Gobbler oak tree grows a small acorn that turkey like and the white oak trees at maturity produce heavy acorn crops and mast for wildlife animals to feed on.
The white flowering Dogwood tree, the Redbud Tree and Wisteria trees will all survive the cold winter in Montana. Get helpful privacy reviews, tips and purchase information at Ty Ty Nursery website, tytyga.com. The Japanese Magnolia tree is a beautiful flowering tree with dinner-plate sized pink flowers with a spicy, sweet fragrance. The flowering apricot tree is the earliest blooming MT flowering tree, and the Cleveland pear tree is wonderfully filled with white blooms in the spring. The Japanese flowering trees that include the Kwanzan pink blooms and the Yoshino white blooms are excellent flowering trees in the spring and the fall leaf color is brilliant gold.

You can order or purchase the top Black Walnut trees are cold hardy nuts (Juglans nigra) that consistently produces high quality walnuts in Montana. Chinese chestnut trees (Castanea mollissima) is a very cold hardy chestnut tree that grows chestnuts in a burr. The chestnuts are sweet to the taste and aromatic to cook in an open kettle like the Parisian street vendors around the Montmartre in Paris, France. The new strain of the American chestnut is blight resistant and begins bearing chestnuts when about 5 years old. The Hazelnut (Filbert) tree, Corylus americana, is a native nut tree to Montana and produces a small, sweet nut with a thin shell. The other nut trees that grow well in Montana is the shellbark hickory, (Juglans lacinosa) tree that produces an edible nut that is loved by wildlife animals and wildlife game birds. Wildlife hunting preserves are very important commercially in Montana, and all the fruits, berries and nuts listed are important to Montana commerce.

Montana bamboo plants can be used as privacy screens, but in cities like Great Falls, Missoula and Helena, MT, bamboo plants are extensively used for indoor Mall fast growing, landscape displays for that tropical look. Much further South in Billings, Montana, bamboo plants are useful as indoor home plants or as ornamental business office plants that are tropical looking, with canes or stems colored in bright blue, yellow or blackish green. Clumping bamboo plants are very cold hardy and when properly mulched have survived below F. zero temperatures of minus 20 degrees.

For plant collectors and tree lovers in Montana, Agave plants, Aloe plants and Yucca plants are important classes of desert native American plants that are armed with thorny, prickly leaves that terminate with a sharp spike at the end. These xeriscape plants are easy to grow and require little or no attention, fertilizing or watering and there are not disease or insect problems. The Century Plant, Agave americana ‘Marginata’ has leaves that are edged with brilliant white striping, and the Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ is vibrantly colored with bright stripes on the leaves. The first aid plant, Aloe vera is a curing plant for skin burns, fire ant bites, and bee stings, by placing the leaf juice on the flesh wounds. The Agave tequilana grows leaves that contain a sweet fluid that can be fermented into an alcohol beverage.


All plants must be picked up in person or delivered by nursery staff. We do not mail plants.

All trees and shrubs listed below are potted or balled and burlapped (B&B), branched, and nicely shaped. If windbreak/hedge plants are desired, see Windbreak page. When carrying trees in an open pickup or trailer, please bring sheets or tarps to protect leaves and buds during travel.

Ornamental and Shade Trees

ASH, Patmore Seedless Green: superior shade tree for Montana; improved seedless strain of Green Ash with round, symmetrical form; attractive shiny leaves; very hardy; steady performer in adverse conditions. (50-60′) see another image

ASH, Prairie Spire: selected by North Dakota State U. for superior hardiness and survivability in adverse prairie conditions; seedless; deep green glossy foliage turns golden in fall. (50-60′)

ASPEN, Quaking: excellent native tree for natural landscaping; delicate leaves “tremble” in the breeze; beautiful white bark; brilliant yellow fall color; extremely hardy and adaptable to soil types; available in single and multi-stem form; needs ample water; Montana native. (40-60′) see another image

ASPEN, Swedish Columnar: columnar form excellent for screening or narrow locations; fast growing and very hardy. (30-40′)

BIRCH, Paper: beautiful white bark; multi-stem form; needs moist, well drained soil; very hardy. (40′) see another image

BlRCH, Water: multi-stem form with shiny, cinnamon red bark; leaves yellow to orange-red in fall; attractive year-round; this has to be one of our favorite trees; prefers moist soil; Montana native. (25′) see another image

BUCKEYE, Ohio: hardy flowering shade tree with distinctive palmate leaves; vibrant fall color; performs best in deep, moist soil; grows beautifully in Big Timber area – one of our favorites, seldom found in nurseries in Montana; related to Horse Chestnut. (40′) see another image ;

CATALPA: fast growing, upright large shade tree; white 2″ flowers in June followed by fruit pods in summer; drought tolerant. (50-60′)

CHERRY, Canada Red: attractive maroon-red foliage on this small, very hardy tree makes this a good substitute for red-leaved maples where hardiness is essential; white, fragrant flowers in spring and red fruits in summer that birds love; drought tolerant; also available in shrub/multi-stem form. (20-25′)

CHOKECHERRY, Amur: exceptional small tree with white flowers followed by black berries birds devour; exfoliating golden bark beautiful in winter; available in single and multi-stem form. (20-30′)

COTTONWOOD, Black/Balsam (Populus trichocarpa): rapid grower and largest of the American cottonwood; used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition for dugout canoes; broad, dark green, shiny leaves; prefers moist sites; cottonless; native to the western half of Montana. (75-90′)

COTTONWOOD, Lanceleaf (Populus x acuminata): naturally occurring cross between Narrowleaf and Plains Cottonwood; native from Alberta to New Mexico; hardy to 6,000′; 4″ long leaves shaped like the head of a spear turn yellow in fall; cottonless. (40-50′)

COTTONWOOD, Narrowleaf (Populus angustifolia): the predominant cottonwood along the Yellowstone River and its tributaries west of Billings; hardy to 10,000′; narrow leaves turn yellow in fall; tends to sucker; cottonless. (60′)

COTTONWOOD, Plains (Populus deltoides): large, fast growing cottonwood native to eastern Montana and Wyoming at lower elevations; along the Yellowstone River, most common east of Billings; deeply furrowed barks gives it lots of character; broad triangular leaf with a flat bottom; defoliates later than most cottonwoods; cottonless; a Blake Nursery favorite. (60-90′)

COTTONWOOD, Sargent (Populus sargentii): fast growing, oval shaped and valued for its tall, straight growth habit; deep furrowed bark on older trees; similar to its cousin to the east, Plains Cottonwood/Populus deltoides, except that it defoliates earlier, ideal for those locations that tend to get early wet snows in the fall; cottonless. (70′)

COTTONWOOD, ‘Jeronimus’ Sargent (Populus sargentii ‘Jeronimus’): its straight growth habit makes it better suited to urban landscapes than other cottonwoods; moderate water needs; cottonless. (60′)

ELM, Accolade: upright, spreading tree with beautiful glossy, dark green foliage turning golden yellow in fall; highly Dutch elm disease resistant. (60-70′)

ELM, Brandon: selected from Manitoba for excellent winter hardiness; popular in boulevard plantings throughout the Canadian prairie provinces; stately vase-shaped form, rapid growth, and adaptable to many soil types. (60-70′)

FLOWERING CRAB, Brandywine: beautiful, fragrant, double, deep pink flowers smother this tree in spring; foliage dark green with burgundy overcast; vigorous grower. (20′)

FLOWERING CRAB, Dolgo: this tree is a fabulous ornamental with large, pure white flowers and has the added attraction of producing brilliant crimson fruits ideal for jelly making; extremely hardy. (20-25′)

FLOWERING CRAB, Klehm’s Bechtel: beautiful, fragrant, large pink double blossoms are loved by bees; blooms later than most flowering crab; minimal fruit. (20′)

FLOWERING CRAB, Gladiator: bright pink flowers followed by small reddish-purple fruit on a stately, upright crown; leaves glossy bronze-purple; ideal for space-challenged sites, including under power lines and as a small, boulevard tree; high disease resistance; seedling selection of Royalty; hardy to -50. (15-20′)

FLOWERING CRAB, Radiant: single, deep pink flowers and bright red, persistent, small fruit; leaves lustrous reddish, changing to green. (20′)

FLOWERING CRAB, Royalty: fruit and flowers dark red; new leaves reddish and turn purple with green undercast; red persistent fruit in winter; truly a splendid tree; very hardy. (20′)

FLOWERING CRAB, Snowdrift: a profusion of white flowers follow beautiful pink flower buds; heavy textured, glossy green foliage turns yellow in fall; persistent orange-red fruit attracts birds in winter; hardy low maintenance flowering crab that is more compact than Spring Snow. (15-20′)

Spring Snow Flowering Crab

For more information about flowering crabapple varieties

FLOWERING CRAB, Spring Snow: this is the ideal tree for somebody who wants a profusion of flowers but no fruit; fragrant flowers are white and foliage is bright green; outstanding for its tidy, rounded shape. (25-30′) see another image

HACKBERRY: very hardy fast growing tree; tolerant of drought and wind; unusual corky bark. (50-75′) Tree available on special request, please contact us for details.

HAWTHORN, Crimson Cloud: thornless variety with bright red flowers in spring; great tree for a smaller yard. (10-15′) see another image

HAWTHORN, Russian: small, beautiful, drought tolerant tree excellent for xeriscaping and wildlife habitat; white flowers mature into bright red fruit; gnarled and irregular branching habit and ridged bark. (15′)

HAWTHORN, Thornless Cockspur: small, rounded, charming tree with white spring flowers and red fall berries; distinctive horizontal branching; thornless; year-round interest. (15-20′)

HAWTHORN, Snowbird: selected in 1967 from Morden Research Station in Manitoba for hardiness; small shade tree recognized for double, white spring blossoms and glossy leaves; thornless; a Blake Nursery favorite. (15′)

HONEYLOCUST: graceful form with delicate leaves; spreading, open crown makes this tree, like all Honeylocusts, ideal for filtered sunlight, where light shade is desired; fast growing; thornless and mostly seedless. Imperial (35′) and Northern Acclaim (45′).

LILAC, Dwarf Korean: profuse, fragrant, lilac flowers cover this amazing small tree; beautiful accent plant – a real show stopper! (5-6′)

LILAC, Japanese Tree: large creamy white blooms in June; glossy foliage; a fabulous specimen plant and Blake Nursery favorite; very hardy and trouble-free; single and multi-stem forms. (20-25′)

LINDEN, American: rapid growing, large and stately shade tree; fragrant yellow flowers; very hardy. (60-80′)

LINDEN, Dropmore: a cross between an American and Littleleaf Linden; smaller tree with yellow fall foliage; very hardy, suited to prairie conditions. (35′)

LINDEN, Greenspire: very tidy Little-Leaf Linden with perfectly straight trunk; spicy, fragrant flowers; makes ideal street trees, as pruning is seldom necessary. (40-50′) see another image

LINDEN, Littleleaf: excellent choice for street and residential use; glossy dark foliage and fragrant pendulous flowers in early summer; virtually disease free and very adaptable, it does well in poor soil. (35-40′)

LINDEN, Redmond: we’re rather partial toward this distinctive cultivar – for years we’ve admired it thriving in Montana; tidy, pyramidal growth makes it an ideal street tree; attractive foliage turns bright yellow in fall; reddish stems appealing in winter; very hardy. (35-45′)

MAPLE, Amur: very hardy small tree that’s a Blake Nursery favorite; graceful, spreading branches; disease-free and drought-tolerant; excellent choice for xeriscape landscaping; fragrant flowers; seeds attract birds; brilliant red fall foliage; available in single or multi-stem form. (15-20′) See Shrub section for compact varieties.

MAPLE, Autumn Blaze: Silver and Red Maple hybrid; attractive oval shape with upright branching, striking red fall color, and rapid growth rate; adaptable to many soil types; one of best and hardiest maples for our area. (50-60′) see another image

MAPLE, Celebration: upright with strong uniform branching; better adaptability to higher pH soils that Autumn Blaze, but not as brilliant red in the fall. (40′)

MAPLE, Norway, Emerald Queen: straight-trunked, spreading shade tree; rapid growth; does very well in our area – many beautiful specimens in Big Timber and Livingston; glossy green in summer turn yellow in fall. (50-60′) see another image

MAPLE, Norway, Helena: this hardy maple was found growing in Helena, MT, a climate not known as being friendly to most maple varieties; yellow-orange fall foliage. (45-50′)

MAPLE, Norway, Prairie Splendor: the hardiest of the red-leafed maples, it is oval in structure with glossy, deep crimson leaves; discovered growing in southern Alberta. (30′)

MAPLE, Northwood: hardy Red Maple with fabulous orange-red fall foliage; excellent large shade tree; does best in moist well-drained soil; performs well in Big Timber; in 1994 selected as Plant of the Year. (45′)

MAPLE, Sensation Box Elder: this male seedless cultivar has more compact, uniform growth than other Box Elder; summer foliage is a pinkish green turning to soft red in fall; an excellent choice for dry, alkaline conditions; also tolerates wet soils; not susceptible to iron chlorisis. (35′)

MAPLE, Sienna Glen: attractive shade tree with pleasing form requires little pruning; rapid growth; excellent winter hardiness – less susceptible to frost cracking, sun scald and dieback; burgundy fall leaves. (60′)

MAPLE, Tatarian: high on our list of longstanding favorites because of extreme hardiness, manageable size, and attractiveness; white flowers followed by unusual coral samaras (winged fruit); striking, informal tree with abundant character; Cedar Waxwings nest in ours annually; available in single or multi-stem form. (25′) We also carry ‘Hot Wings’ Tatarian Maple, selected for it’s bright red samaras and brilliant fall foliage.

MOUNTAIN ASH, European: attractive throughout the year with reddish bark, clusters of white flowers in spring and orange-red berries in autumn; if you like having birds around, you should certainly consider planting one or more; very hardy. (30′)

MOUNTAIN ASH, Oakleaf: started from Wyoming collected seed; uniform shape; blossoms and fruit like other Mountain Ash; leaves lobed like English Oak; fireblight resistant. (30′) (shown at right)

MOUNTAIN ASH, Showy: same delightful features as European Mountain Ash but smaller and even hardier; one of our favorite trees. (25′)

NINEBARK, Diablo: compact tree form of the hardy shrub; whitish pink flowers in spring followed by red fruits; dark burgundy summer foliage; attractive white exfoliating bark all season long. (10′) Tree available on special request, please contact us for details.

OAK, Bur: wonderful shade tree with amber to crimson autumn color; acorns with mossy fringe, thus nicknamed “Mossycup” Oak; likes lots of sun; not particular about soil; native to eastern Montana; extremely hardy, drought resistant, and long lived; needs lots of space, plant this tree for the long haul. (70′)

Oak, Northern Red: large shade tree with glossy, dark green foliage; numerous acorns in summer; leaves turn deep red in fall; faster growing than Bur Oak. (60-80′) see another image

SERVICEBERRY, Autumn Brilliance: unusual and spectacular small tree with white spring flowers and brilliant red fall foliage; fruit attracts birds, and excellent for jam; available in single and multi-stem form; Blake Nursery favorite. (20-25′) see another image

WALNUT, Black: magnificent shade tree with heaps of character—including distinctive nuts, bark and leaves; prefers deeper, moist soils found in the bottomlands along rivers and creeks; wood prized by cabinetmakers. (50-75′) see another image

WILLOW, Golden: graceful spreading habit; fast growing; excellent for screening; needs moist site; bark attractive and colorful in winter; very hardy. (50′) see another image

Opportunity Zones in Montana

Montana has 25 designated opportunity zones, all of which are low-income communities. Montana did not designate any eligible non-low-income contiguous tracts as opportunity zones.

Urban vs. Rural

Montana is a highly rural state: statewide, more than two-thirds of Montana’s census tracts are located in rural areas. An even greater percentage (84 percent) of the state’s opportunity zones are rural.

Montana Opportunity Zones Map

Website: Montana Department of Commerce

Analysis of Montana’s Opportunity Zones

Data Source: Urban Institute

Montana Counties & Cities

List of top 150 U.S. cities located in Montana: None

Census tracts designated as opportunity zones in Montana

State County Census Tract Number Tract Type ACS Data Source
Montana Big Horn 30003940600 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Blaine 30005940100 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Carbon 30009000300 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Cascade 30013010800 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Custer 30017962000 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Deer Lodge 30023000300 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Fergus 30027030200 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Flathead 30029001100 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Gallatin 30031001102 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Glacier 30035940400 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Hill 30041940300 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Lewis and Clark 30049000800 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Lincoln 30053000200 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Meagher 30059000100 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Mineral 30061964600 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Missoula 30063000201 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Ravalli 30081000600 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Roosevelt 30085940002 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Rosebud 30087940400 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Sanders 30089000200 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Sanders 30089940300 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Silver Bow 30093000100 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Toole 30101000200 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Wheatland 30107000100 Low-Income Community 2011-2015
Montana Yellowstone 30111000402 Low-Income Community 2011-2015

Team Montana Zones Information

Team Montana Zone Coordinator: Stephanie Boysen


uestions? Contact Stephanie Boysen or phone 406-459-3311.

Western Zones 2020

2020 Western Zone Age Group Championships

August 5-8, 2020

Hosted by Inland Empire Swimming and Snake River Swimming at MT Hood Aquatics, Gresham, Oregon

This meet is for 14 and under swimmers ONLY

2020 Western Zone Senior Championships

July 28 – August 1, 2020

at the Clovis Swim Center in Fresno, CA

This meet is for swimmers 19 years and younger as of July 28, 2020.

2020 Zones Team Roster

Who will represent Montana Swimming at Senior Zones and Age Group Zones this year? Check out the team roster. It will be updated as athletes qualify for the team!

MT Swimming Clarifies Attendance at Long Course State Rule for Zones Swimmers

Montana Swimming has clarified the rule about zones swimmers competing at Long Course State. In the past zones swimmers were required to compete at Long Course State. Through a proposal passed by the House of Delegates, this rule has been changed.

Zones swimmers are now not required to complete at the Montana Swimming Long Course State Championships. However, Montana Swimming Zones swimmers must compete in six events (swim meets, AAA camp, attend USA Swimming convention, etc) including one (1) long course meet held in Montana that year prior to Zones as part of the criteria to qualify for the team. Any exceptions to this rule should be sent to the Zone Team Chair.

Zones gear will be handed out at Long Course State. Zones swimmers not in attendance at Long Course State must make prior arrangements to receive his/her/their gear.

Per the MT Swimming Zones Chair, May 20, 2019

2020 – Important Age Group Zones Information

NOTE for Age Group Zones: Tech suits are banned for all swimmers ages 12 and under at this meet due to the rules of Oregon Swimming. Parents please be advised of this and plan the suits for your swimmer to wear accordingly at the meet.

All OSI Sanctioned events after April 1, 2019 will ban the use of tech suits for 12 & under athletes

What constitutes a tech suit? USA Swimming says: A Technical Suit is one that has the following components:

  1. Any suit with any bonded or taped seams regardless of its fabric or silhouette; or
  2. Any suit with woven fabric extending past the hips.

(Note: WOVEN FABRIC – A suit with woven fabric and sewn seams that does not extend below the hips is permitted.) (Note: KNIT FABRIC – A suit with knit fabric and sewn seams not extending below the knees is permitted.)

2020 Zones Information

Registration Information:

Montana Swimming will utilize online registration and payment of the Athlete(s) registration fee for Senior Zones and Age Group Zones. The credit card is the preferred payment method.

Parents, click on the link below for the for either the Senior Zones meet or the link for Age Group Zones meet to register your athlete and pay the registration fee. (Information about the registration fees are also shown on this page.)

The registration form, medical release form and code of conduct form are all incorporated in the registration process. Other Zones information will be posted on this page.

Senior Zones Registration – not yet updated for 2020

Age Group Zones Registration – not yet updated for 2020

Registration fee for 2020 Age Group Zones is not yet determined per swimmer

In 2020 the fee will help cover a portion of the costs and Montana Swimming covered the remaining cost for the following:

  • 2 caps
  • 2 Montana Team Zones t-shirts
  • 1 Speedo Backpack
  • 1 Montana Team Zones hat
  • 2 Team Dinners
  • All lunches to be served to swimmers at meet
  • All entry fees for both individual events and relays

**Age Group Zones hard cut qualifiers guaranteed 6 individual events with only 1 qualification time**.

Age Group Zones Hotel:To be announced.

Registration fee for Senior Zones is not yet determined per swimmer plus airfare

The fee may cover for 2020 all hotel room costs, meals, transportation, entry fees, and team gear listed above. (The 2020 fees and what will be provided have not yet been determined.)

Swimmers will share a hotel room – up to 4 swimmers per hotel room.

Senior Zones Hotel:

Registration Fee Payments and Other Fee Payments:

This year registration fees will be paid online using the above registration link.

However, extra gear will be paid by check as usual. Extra gear is good to have on hand at the meet to swap with swimmers from other states.

Please make checks payable to Montana Swimming and mail to:

Steph Boysen, 70 Holmes Gulch, Clancy, MT 59634

2020 Team Gear: The deadline to order team gear is ______. Orders placed after the deadline may not be embroidered and all gear may not be received prior to the meet. Team gear order form PDF

Officials Reimbursement: The Western Zone is the only Zone that will reimburse officials for working 80% of either (or both) of zone meets. Last year the Western Zone took two excellent programs, for each meet, and consolidated them into a single usable workable program – Officials Reimbursement Program for each Meet. Money is generated from each meet and distributed to any Western Zone certified official based on the criteria of working 80% of the meet and participating in the mentoring program.

Senior Zones

Age Group Zones

2020 Senior Team Coaches:

Head Coach: Caty Flikkema (BMA)

Asst. Coach: Shannyn Midboe (MYST)

2020 Age Group Coaches:

Head Coach: Kyle Kallin (HLST)

Asst. Coach: Jessica Knote (BAC)

  • 2020 SR Zones Team Gear Order Form Deadline:
  • 2020 MT Sr. Zones Code of Conduct PDF
  • MT Sr Zones Lodging Agreement – MAAPP – Word
  • 2020 Senior Zone Meet Contract
  • 2020 SR Zone Time Standards Bonus Standards
  • 2020 Meet Event File
  • 2020 Full Psych Sheet
  • Clovis Meet website
  • Warm-up Schedule/Info
  • Group A Clubs
  • Group B Clubs
  • 2020 SR Zones Application to Officiate / Evaluation ​
  • Finals Heat Sheets
  • 2020 Admin/General meeting notes
  • 2020 Group A pre-scratch timeline
  • 2020 Group B pre-scratch timeline
  • Coach & Chaperone Flight Schedules
  • Chaperones:

  • California Concussion Protocols PDF
  • Concussion Information sheet for parents and swimmers with CA form PDF
  • Complete Results
  • Meet Results
  • Time Trial Results
  • Time Trial Results
  • 2020 AG Zones Team Gear Order Form – Deadline:
  • 2020 MT Swim Code of Conduct PDF
  • 2020 AG Zones Meet Contract
  • 2020 AG Zones Time Standards PDF
  • Time Standards File
  • 2020 AG Zones Event File
  • 2020 AG Zones Order of Events
  • 2020 Psych Sheet
  • Oregon Swimming Zone website
  • Meet Director: Jody Rash
  • Pre-Meet Practice Schedule Monday Tuesday
  • Warm Up Schedule
  • Site Map
  • BBQ Kickoff Dinner and Pre-Meet Social registration form
  • WZ Business Meeting/Dinner Reservation Form
  • 2020 Team Count
  • 2020 WZ AGC Application to Officiate / Evaluation
  • 2020 Timeline
  • 2020 Skit Schedule
  • Complete Results
  • Meet Results file
  • Coach and official concussion training required in Oregon. PDF

Montana Zone Coach Information:

Montana Zone Coach Job Descriptions (Head and assistant coaches for senior and age group zones) WORD PDF

Montana Zone Coach Application: WORD PDF

Officials: If you are interested in officiating at the Zones meets, fill out the appropriate form(s) and return them per the instructions.

WZ Meet Officials Reimbursement Program PDF

Application to officiate at 2020 Senior Zones (application included in the meet information)

Request for Evaluation at 2020 Senior Zones

Application to officiate at 2020 Age Group Zones (application included in the meet information)

Request for Evaluation at 2020 Age Group Zones

2020 Western Zone Meets

2020 Western Zone Age Group Championships will be at Mt. Hood in Gresham, Oregon, August 5-8 co-hosted by Snake River Swiming and Inland Empire Swimming.

2020 Western Zone Senior Championships will be in Clovis, CA, August July 28-August 1.

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