The American Sentry Linden is a large, fast-growing shade tree also referred to as an American Basswood Tree. It is a hardy shade tree, with a tall stately presence, providing great shade during hot summer months. This is a low maintenance tree–basically just plant it in a full sun location and watch it grow. (Just water occasionally in the first couple years during the hot summer months).
It grows to roughly 45 feet in height with a spread of 20 feet, substantial enough for a large landscape, but not too big or wide for a more smaller yard. It has heart shaped leaves that give a full effect to its spreading branches. The Linden is resistant to Japanese Beetles which are plaguing the Ash trees around Colorado.
This tree has fragrant smelling yellow clusters of yellow flowers that grace its branches in the spring. As summer progresses you’ll enjoy watching woody, pea-sized seeds form. Their light green shade provides a slight variation in color throughout your tree for the late summer. When autumn appears, your Linden’s leaves will take a dramatic step as green leaves transform to brilliant yellow.
The American Linden starts out pyramidal in shape but becomes rounded at maturity. Its benefits go far beyond its ornamental features. The wood is valued for its light but strong nature and is suitable for a wide variety of uses. Parts of the tree have medicinal uses, and some consider the honey from Linden flowers to be some of the best available. Be careful when applying street or sidewalk ice melt/salt as Linden trees don’t do well with salts.
The American Linden tree is an excellent choice for almost any yard or landscape–simply plant it in full sun and enjoy it for years.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 ft.
The American Sycamore is an excellent choice when a hardy, reliable tree resistant to pollution is needed for urban areas. It is a native tree from Eastern North America and grows well in most states including Colorado. This tree quickly grows into a large, attractive shade tree and will grow well on all but very dry soils. This tree is very popular due to its attractive mottled bark, fast growth rate, adaptability to many planting environments and soils. Its leaves turn yellow in the fall but it is not known for its brilliant fall color.
Its handsome mottled bark and large leaves make it an asset in any location where there is room for it to grow and display its best features. This tree will grow to 80-100 feet tall in time with a 30-50 foot spread, so plant your American Sycamore in the right spot with plenty of room. This tree can be pruned to make an effective privacy screen. This tree is a classic of small-town America and will look right at home on any larger property. It has large leaves and good branching structure make this a very striking tree which holds up well in Colorado rapid freezing/thawing.
The American Sycamore can tolerate some shade when it is young but ideal planting condition should be in full sun.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 ft.
The American Yellowwood is a medium sized, low branching deciduous tree which features a broad, rounded crown and typically grows to around 30 feet tall in Colorado. This tree has 7-11 leaflets per stem which open in the spring as yellowish green, turn bright green in summer, and then turns beautiful yellow or orange in the fall. The Yellowwood has intensely fragrant white flowers appear in late spring and early summer, often in alternate years. These white, pea-like flowers form in 8 to 14 inch long clusters, followed by a flattened pod 2 to 4 inches long. This tree may or may not flower for the first handful of years, depending on the soil and conditions, but once the bloom begins it is a spectacular sight. Most often these trees are multi-trunked and have a smooth light gray bark. Even though this tree is native to North America it is uncommon which makes it even more unique when you see it in a landscape.
The Yellowwood is a moderate to slow growing tree which has a rounded bloom at maturity. Once established this tree is drought tolerant and would be considered a low maintenance tree. Basically just occasional watering in the middle of summer months and pruning as needed for shape (prune this tree in the summer). The roots of the Yellowwood grow deep so other plants can be grown underneath where they will get filtered shade. This tree is very adaptable and can be planted in urban areas, used as a medium-sized shade tree near patios, or as a landscape tree.
This tree is a top choice among horticulturists and does very well in Colorado. ArborAdvisor gives you a tip-of-the-cap for originality to all of our clients who choose this tree.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 ft.
The Austrian Pine is a fast growing pyramidal evergreen with wide spreading branches. It is 'Christmas Tree' shaped when young, but at maturity, sometimes achieves a picturesque flat topped head. Its 4-6 inch long needles are uniquely shiny green.
This is an extremely hearty tree that will tolerate limestone or acidic soils, dry rocky locations and windy conditions. A number of Austrian Pines were planted during the dust bowl because they are one of the only varieties that could handle the dry, windy conditions and nutrient depleted soil—needless to say, this baby is tough.
This tree is great for urban settings due to its tolerance for salt and pollution. Austrian pines are also good for use as thick screens or windbreak. (To use as a screen, space 6 feet apart.) These trees do really well in Colorado and grow to be roughly 35-45 feet tall by 25-35 feet wide.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
Autumn Blaze Maple
Acer x freemanii 'Jeffersred'
This Maple was introduced in 1982 as a cross between the red and silver Maple to provide a stronger and more color-consistent Maple making it a highly sought after Maple variety in the United States. Autumn Blaze Maple trees are the fastest growing Maple tree with a hardy nature and brilliant color. Due to upward limb growth, the Autumn Blaze Red Maple trees fare well in snow and ice with minimal limb snapping. It's leaves emerge as green with a slight reddish tint. It grows rapidly through the summer—almost 3 feet! It has one of the most vibrant red fall colors which hold longer than most other trees. It is also has a more narrow width than many shade trees, which makes it desirable for small yards and along streets. The Autumn Blaze Red Maple is disease and pest resistant and does well in drought conditions. Just plant this tree in a full sun area and water occasionally during the middle of the summer and watch this tree rapidly grow. In Colorado you can expect this tree to grow to roughly 45 feet tall by 20-25 feet wide.
The Autumn Blaze Maple tree has won several “tree of the year” awards for its amazing unequaled qualities. For all of the reasons listed above, it is one of the most popular trees in the Colorado Front Range.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 Feet
Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry
Amelanchier X Grandiflora
The Autumn Brillance Serviceberry is a medium-sized shrubby tree popular for its fall color and succulent summer berries (referred to as juneberries). This tree grows to be about 15-20 feet tall at maturity and is typically used as a shrub border in yards or grown as a small tree. In the spring, 5-petalled clusters of white flowers emerge which are followed by small green berries which gradually progress to red and then deep purple in the summer. In the fall, the 5 inch long leave turn into a spectacular reddish-orange in the fall.
This Serviceberry can be grown alone as a shrub or pruned to be a multi stemmed or single stemmed small tree. Many people in Colorado use this tree as a privacy screen as it has a wide spread and dense foliage. This is a very hardy shrubby tree which grows best in full sun and is tolerant of a wide range of soils. It has smooth light gray bark.
The juneberries which grow on this tree are commonly eaten raw or can be used in jams and pies.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 8,500 ft.
Prunus avium ‘Bing’
The Bing Cherry is one of the best and most famous cherry tree varieties. This is ArborAdvisor's SWEET cherry tree recommendation for Colorado. The Montmorency Cherry tree is the SOUR variety recommendation. The main difference between the two is the Montmorency is self-pollinating so you can plant just one to get fruit, the Bing however, requires a pollinator tree nearby to help it produce fruit. (Yes, both cherries taste great in pies.)
The Bing Cherry is a beautiful small fruit tree with spring flowers and delicious sweet cherries. In early spring, this tree is covered in beautiful white flowers. Later in the spring and through the summer bright green leaves persist with deep garnet, almost-black looking fruit. At maturity this tree will reach 16-20 feet but can be held to any height with pruning. The cherries are very large, dark, delicious—great for baking and preserves. It's cherries will be ready to harvest in mid to late June.
Note: The Bing Cherry does require cross-pollination, so another variety cherry tree nearby is necessary if you want it to produce fruit. Although almost any other sweet cherry will cross-pollinate with a Bing, we recommend the Black Tartarian Cherry tree which does well in Colorado and is a great pollinator tree. You may consider looking at existing trees within 100 feet of your property to see if a pollinator tree already exists.
As with all cherry trees, the Bing has a beautiful round shape for a featured spot in the landscape. It is extremely winter hardy and very adaptable. Fruiting time can take a couple years depending on soil and weather.
Hardy to -30° Maximum elevation: 6,000 ft
Black Hills Spruce
Picea Glauca 'Densata'
The Black Hills Spruce is an ornamental evergreen conifer that has a strong upright habit. This tree is great for use as a windbreak, privacy screen and accent planting in your yard. The Black Hills Spruce adds attractive dark green foliage and a conical shape to any landscape. The needles on this tree are short and soft to the touch which is nice when mowing or brushing up against this tree.
This tree does great in the cold streaks along the Colorado Front Range. It does best in rich, moist soil, and full sun, but is adaptable to dry, well drained locations as well. This tree requires little to no pruning and doesn't attract pests. The Spruce can live to be 150-350 years old, so plant with a long-term home in mind.
Hardy to -50°F Maximum Elevation: 9,000 ft.
Black Tartarian Cherry
Prunus Avium 'Black Tartarian'
The Black Tartarian Cherry is a beautiful tree that provides excellent fruit. ArborAdvisor recommends that this tree be planted within 100 yards of the Bing Cherry (a recommended sweet cherry tree) for pollination purposes. The Black Tartarian acts as a great pollinator for many cherry tree varieties and is a beautiful tree that provides years of delicious fruit. This cherry tree is the quickest to produce fruit after planting—about one year later.
The Black Tartarian will have an abundance of white, fragrant flowers in the spring which attracts butterflies. As the summer arrives, this cherry tree will fill out with shiny green leaves and begin to form dark cherry fruit which will be ready to pick around June. The Black Tartarian is about 1-inch in size with a deeply purple hue. The stone comes loose easily from the cherry, so even if you’re pitting the cherries, you won’t have to work very hard.
This tree is hardy, disease resistant, and tolerant of most soil conditions. It is bigger than the other (semi-dwarf) cherry trees in our catalog, growing to around 25-30 feet tall. This tree can be trimmed back to be smaller as needed.
Bloodgood London Planetree
Platanus acerifolia ‘Bloodgood’
Don't let this tree's name fool you! The Bloodgood London Planetree is a fantastic tree for the Colorado Front Range. This is a popular street tree which can also be used as a yard shade tree. This tree was discovered in London where the first hybrid was found thriving in the sooty air of 1645, while still providing wonderful shade. This tree can withstand pollution, drought, disease, and the challenges of urban growing environments.
This tree has great winter interest with exfoliating bark which reveals patches of light brown, olive, and cream. The Bloodgood grows medium to fast depending on the soil and will grow 13-24 inches per year. It has strong upward limbs which help reduce issues with snapping in freezing conditions. Its fall colors are not dramatic, however, due to its unique bark and branch shapes it has visual interest all year. Bloodgoods are long-living, big shade trees with a pyramidal shaped canopy so make sure you plant it in the right spot! It should grow to be about 75 feet tall and 50 feet wide, with a trunk circumference of 10 feet.
This tree needs to be planted in full sun and watered occasionally during the hot months during its first couple years after planted.
Pinus heldreichii var. Leucodermis
This beautiful, moderate to slow growing tree typically grows to 25-30 feet tall and 7-10 feet wide. It has densely branched pyramid shaped form of short, glossy, green needles. When young this tree has purple-blue cones (2-3" long) and mature to brown. At maturity its bark is ash gray. This variety of Bosnian Pine does well in the Colorado Front Range, and rarely has problems. It does great in landscaping and can be used as a visibility screen or windbreak if planted in a row of others Bosnian Pines.
Note: This tree is very similar to the 'Emerald Arrow' Bosnian Pine (also recommended by ArborAdvisor). The only differences are that this variety has pine cones and is a tiny bit larger in both height and width than the 'Emerald Arrow'.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
The Bur Oak makes an outstanding ornamental shade tree and is one of the most tolerant white oaks. It is sometimes spelled Burr Oak and is also called "Mossycup Oak".
Oak trees live a very long time—typically between 200-300 years. This beautiful tree is tolerant of most soil and water conditions and adapts well to urban settings. From Texas to Alaska, the Bur Oak adapts to its environment. Spring through summer the Bur Oak has distinctive shiny, deep green leaves. This tree is not know to be a brilliantly colored fall tree, but its leaves do turn an orange/brown before falling for the winter. Shortly after the arrival of the leaves in the spring, your oak will flower with yellow-green catkins. These small, elegant flowers are where the acorns will originate. The acorns of the Bur Oak are the largest of all North American oaks. They are very important to wildlife as a food source.
You can expect this tree to grow to between 50-60 feet tall and 40-50 feet wide at the canopy. This is a beautiful, rugged tree that will bring wildlife to your yard and last for many generations. The Bur Oak is a great choice.
Hardy to -50°F Maximum Elevation: 7,500 ft.
Chanticleer Flowering Pear
Pyrus calleryana 'Chanticleer'
The Chanticleer Pear is a tight, narrow, pyramidal, thornless, ornamental pear tree. This deciduous tree is a true four season tree with white flowers in early spring, glossy dark green foliage in summer, and long-lasting, dramatic red and purple leaves in mid to late autumn.
Chanticleer Pear trees are very hardy and fast growing, and are an excellent choice for a trouble-free, beautiful addition to any landscape situation. These are extremely popular in the Denver metro area and all along the Colorado Front Range due to their adaptability, low maintenance, and aesthetically pleasing look.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,500 Feet
Chinese Juniper ('Pom Pom' Juniper)
The Chinese Juniper, also known as the 'Pom Pom' Juniper is a popular fountain-like, upward-spreading ornamental tree with light silver blue foliage which remains throughout the year. It typically grows to 5-7' tall and to 8-10' wide with unique Dr. Seuss like shapes. This tree was very popular from the 1950s to the 1980s, so it's common to see these in mid-century Colorado neighborhoods. The 'Pom Pom' Juniper has become popular again as it is a great ornamental landscape tree for small spaces, in front of bay windows (as pictured), or as a patio accent.
This needled evergreen requires full sun and is very tolerant of urban air pollution, varying types of soils, and dry conditions. This tree requires occasional watering—mainly just in the very hot summer months and maybe once or twice in November/December if there isn't much snow/rain. These Junipers do very well in Colorado and are not susceptible to many problems, so they are a very tolerant and hearty choice. This tree grows moderately fast.
The fun with this tree is how you can shear it into unique shapes once it is established. It should be trimmed and shaped in the winter months as it can get brown burnout spots if trimmed during the hot months.
The Chinkapin Oak tree is also known as bray oak, chestnut oak, rock chestnut oak, yellow oak and rock oak.
The Chinkapin oak is a medium sized deciduous oak of the white oak group that typically grows 30-50’ tall with an open globular crown. This oak produces small oval acorns with scaly cups that extend to approximately 1/2 the acorn length. These acorns are valued food for a variety of wildlife.
Chinkapin Oak trees have narrow, shiny green leaves which provides light shade. Its fall color is variable, but it usually displays shades of yellow and brown.
It is one of the more alkaline tolerant oaks, and will adapt to many soil types. This is a slow growing tree which will look great for many years—it can be planted as a street tree or yard tree.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,500 ft.
Cleveland Select Flowering Pear
Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select'
The Cleveland Select Flowering Pear is a hardy ornamental tree. This upright, narrow pyramid shaped tree provides all seasons of beauty. It works perfectly for smaller yards where space is limited or along the street where it won't get hit by cars or street sweepers passing by the curb.
The spring flowers are so dense that they seem to blanket the tree in white blossoms and provide a light fragrance. The tree has small heart-shaped glossy, green leaves, which in the fall turn to a warm red/purple hue.
The Cleveland Flowering Pear thrives in almost all soil types and is heat and pollution tolerant. It grows to 20-30 feet tall at maturity in around 15 feet wide in Colorado. It requires low maintenance, is extremely hearty, and does very well in cold weather.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,500 Feet
Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis
The Cockspur Hawthorn, is a small, thornless tree which grows to be between 10-20 feet and a similar width. It has single white flowers which appear shortly after the dark green leaves unfold. The tree also has abundant red fruit and silver-gray bark. The fruits are a bright red and are produced in masses, which provide excellent color in late summer and early fall. The Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn is drought resistant and has low water needs but it does require well drained soils and full sun.
Rounded growth habit
Very disease resistant
No major insect problems
Resistance to rust diseases
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 8,000 ft.
Cologreen Rocky Mountain Juniper
Juniperus scopulorum 'Cologreen'
The Cologreen Rocky Mountain Juniper, also known as the Colorado Green Juniper, is a dense and narrowly columnar evergreen shrub with soft textured silvery-gray needle-like foliage and abundant small blue berries. This is a great choice for narrow spaces, landscape accents, privacy screens, and difficult landscape situations. This tree has dark green foliage which remain dark green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
The Cologreen Juniper is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely oval form. This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, however, if pruning is wanted it should be done in late winter once the threat of extreme cold (or heat) has passed. This is an ArborAdvisor recommendation due to its adaptability, low maintenance, and cold and drought tolerance.
The Cologreen Juniper will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a width of 6 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.
This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a native North American juniper species.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 7,500 Feet
Colorado Blue Spruce
Picea pungens var. Glacier Blue
The Colorado Blue Spruce is the iconic tree of Christmas. This tree is native to the Rocky Mountain states of the US, so needless to say, it thrives in Colorado. These trees grow to be 30-60 feet tall with a narrower width than other conifers—only growing 10-20 feet wide. he unique blue/green/silver color of the tree makes it stand out year round, especially in the winter.
The Colorado Blue Spruce makes for both a great landscaping tree, privacy screen, or wind break if several are planted in a row. It is cold hardy, drought tolerant, and low maintenance, requiring little more than planting it and watching it grow (no pruning required). It can be planted in either full sun or partial sun. The growth rate ranges from 10 to 18 inches per year which is fast for a conifer. Birds, rabbits, and other small animals love the shelter it provides, but you don’t have to worry about them (or deer, for that matter) nibbling on the tree. This tree also grows perfectly shaped pinecones.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 9,000 Feet.
Explore our curated collection of the best evergreen trees for Denver metro.