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.
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.
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.
The Coralburst Crabapple is a compact, slow growing tree which forms a symmetrically rounded crown. Ruby red buds open into semi-double, rose pink blossoms and are followed by reddish-orange fruit alongside deep green foliage.
This tree is very disease resistant to scab as well as fireblight, cedar-apple rust and mildew. It produces a light crop of small, bronze-red ornamental fruit which will attract birds and wildlife.
It is best used as an accent tree that will grow to be roughly 15′ tall with a spread of 15′. Requires full sun and moist to well-drained soil.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood
The Cornelian Cherry Dogwood tree, also called “Cornelian Cherry”, is a hardy, small ornamental tree. They are highly adaptable due to their size and the fact that they can be planted in full sun or partial sun. This tree remains beautiful in all seasons. In the spring yellow flowers appear before the leaves appear. In the summer this tree produces olive shaped red fruits which are edible. This fruit can be eaten fresh, used in pies, preserves, and syrups. Depending on the year, this tree can turn a reddish-purple in the fall but almost always a red and yellow fall foliage. This is a self-pollinating tree meaning you only have to plant one to get fruit, however, it does much better with another variety of pollinator somewhere nearby.
This tree can be used in a lot of situations including in partly shady areas such as under or nearby large trees, overhangs, or side-yards. Scaly bark that curls back and can be displayed by removing lower branches to make a tree form. If left alone, this tree will grow into a bushy shrub, which acts as a privacy screen or hedge if that is the intention.
This tree does very well in the Colorado Front Range and should be planted in areas that have good drainage. It should be watered occasionally especially the first couple years, and then ongoing on a periodic basis during the summer months. Overall a low maintenance tree which grows to be around 12-15 feet tall on average in Colorado.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 5,500 ft.
The Eastern Redbud is one of the first trees in the spring to burst into a pink cotton ball of blossoms. The flowers come straight out of the branches and even the trunk and pop out before the leaves do. This is a beautiful and popular accent tree in Denver. The Eastern Redbud tree is surprisingly hardy, has a yellow fall color and does well in protected spaces. This tree is an understory species and thus, much like the Quaking Aspen, is somewhat shade tolerant.
This tree is native to the Americas spanning from Michigan to Texas, and requires very little maintenance. It grows 1 to 2 feet per year until it peaks out at he redbud grows to 25 feet with roughly a 20-foot spread. When the leaves drop in the fall, the bean-like seed pods that have formed on the tree branches throughout the summer remain.
The Eastern Redbud adapts easily to most soils, is disease resistant, and thrives in the Colorado Front Range. Ideally planted in full sun, or a spot with partial shade.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 Feet
Hot Wings Tatarian Maple
Acer Tataricum 'Garann'
The Hot Wings Tatarian Maple is the perfect choice when you don't have room for a giant tree. Available in shrub or tree form, it has a graceful, upright spreading form. This Maple has small yellow flowers which are followed by bright red samaras (winged seeds), hence the name Hot Wings. These showy red samaras shine in bright contrast to the summer foliage of this small tree. In the fall, it has dark green foliage which turns yellow to red. This tree only grows to 20-23 feet tall and 18-20 feet wide which makes it most widely used as an ornamental tree.
This tree is an excellent performer in rugged climates, harsh conditions, and can tolerate higher pH soils than other maples. This tree can handle dry conditions, which is ideal for owners who want a very low maintenance tree.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
Indian Magic Crabapple
Malus 'Indian Magic'
The Indian Magic Crabapple has an open, rounded crown, upright spreading branches, and is covered in deep pink flowers in the spring. This is a great ornamental tree for landscaping standing 15 feet tall and 20 feet wide spread at maturity. This is perfect for planting under power lines or hiding any mid-height neighborhood eye sores.
Indian Magic truly has multi-season appeal. Red buds open into single, deep pink flowers in the spring, followed by green summer foliage, then turning to a golden-orange in the fall. It also has some small bright red fruit that persists into the winter attracting birds.
The Indian Magic Crabapple thrives in full sun and grows best in well drained, slightly acidic soils, however, it will grow well in many soil types. This tree tolerates cold winters and hot, dry summers.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,500 ft.
Just as most flowering trees are beginning to fade, the Japanese Lilac tree blooms with fragrant-smelling, showy flowers.
The Japanese Lilac is typically planted as a multi-stemmed shrubby tree but can be formed into a taller single trunked tree over time if so desired. It is famous for its fragrant, creamy-white panicles of flowers and long bloom time in the summer. Unlike many of its peers, the Japanese Lilac's flowers and leaves are on the tree at the same time. This gives a beautiful and exotic look to your garden. Its rigid branches form a small tree or large shrub. Deep green leaves turn a golden yellow in fall.
This tree can be used in commercial landscapes and streetscapes as it is a very hardy tree. For the best floral display, plant the Japanese Lilac where it will get plenty of sun. The Japanese Lilac has textured and striped, cherry tree-like bark that looks great even during the winter. It is a slow growing tree and needs moderate watering, especially when young. A great tree for planting under power lines.
Mature Height: 15-20 feet, Mature Width: 10-15 feet Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 Feet
Prunus cerasus 'Montmorency'
The Montmorency Cherry Tree produces the United States' most popular sour cherry. It is considered the best cherry for pie making. This deliciously tart cherry matures in June and is bright red in color, medium in size, and has clear juicy flesh. Brilliant snow-white flowers appear in spring, and are followed by clusters of red sour cherries in July. Because it’s self-pollinating, only one tree is needed to produce buckets of delicious, tangy cherries.
The tree grows 15-20 feet tall with a similar spread. Montmorency Cherry trees can be maintained at any height with pruning. As with all sour cherry trees it has a beautiful round shape for a featured spot in the landscape.
It is extremely winter hardy and very adaptable. Fruiting time can take 3-4 years depending on soil and planting site.
Hardy to -30° Maximum elevation: 6,000 ft
Prunus cerasifera 'Newport'
The Newport Plum has unique purple colored leaves which makes it a great landscaping tree to break up the common green color of most landscapes. In the spring, the Newport Plum is one of the first trees to bloom delicate pink flowers. Its flowers produce a fragrant scent.
When the spring flowers are done flowering, a 1-inch purple fruit will develop which is a draw for birds in the area. The foliage of the tree turns a maroon-red in the summer and fall. The Newport Plum grows to 15 feet in height with an equal spread. Its spreading branches create a rounded crown. It’s a hardy tree requiring little maintenance and it's not bothered by deer.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,500 ft.
Pinus cembroides edulis
The Piñon Pine is a medium-sized pine tree native to Colorado. It has spreading upward branches which creates a broad, bushy, rounded evergreen with short green needles. This tree produces small reddish-brown cones with edible nuts. This tree is great for either accent planting or as a privacy screen. It tolerates poor soils, extreme cold, as well as harsh weather conditions. The Piñon Pine is a popular tree for smaller spaces because it tends to not out grow limited spaces. Its average size will be 20 feet tall by 15 feet wide. It can be planted in full sun or partial sun areas.
Cold hardy to -35°F Maximum Elevation: 7,500 Feet
Pioneer Chinese Apricot
Prunus armeniaca 'Pioneer'
The Pioneer Chinese Apricot is a hardy deciduous tree that produces delicious, early fruit. In the spring, pink-hued, white flowers will appear across the tree’s branches. After spring, oval green leaves cling to your Chinese Apricot’s branchlets by colorful, reddish stems through the warm months. As the season progresses, the flowers give way to spherical, pitted fruit. The fruit of the Chinese Apricot is freestone, making it easy to use in canning, drying, or in baked goods. It blooms very early and is also one of the earliest ripening fruits. Chinese Apricot is typically sold in semi-dwarf size, growing up to 15 feet in height and 15 feet wide. This is a hearty tree which is adaptable to many soil types, disease and pest resistant, and visually pleasing. This tree can be trimmed back as needed (much like a peach tree) to fit smaller spaces.
It doesn’t require a pollinator, so you can plant one and still get fruit!
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
Looking to add color to your yard? The Profusion Crabapple has intense red flower buds which bloom into stunning purple-pink flowers. Not only is this tree extremely hardy, disease resistant, and tolerant of most soils, the new leaves, which appear early in the season, are a rich coppery red and provide color most of the year. The Profusion Crabapple has upright spreading branches with berry sized fruit; very little of it drops to the ground. It is not a messy tree.
The Profusion Crabapple does well in urban areas and the country. It is not bothered by pollution, salt, or deer. This is a great flowering tree for small yards in particular as it only grows to about 15-20 feet tall with a broad canopy that stretches no wider than 20 feet.
This tree grows moderately fast and does best in full sun, but can also be planted in partial sun.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,500 ft.
A medium sized, upright deciduous tree native to Colorado. Small, heart-shaped leaves are a waxy-green in summer and brilliant shades of yellow to gold in the fall. A fast growing tree with smooth, white bark that becomes furrowed with age. This tree can be purchased in single stem or multi-stem "clump" form. Aspens can be planted in full or partly sunny areas. A very adaptable tree for a wide range of soil conditions.
It should be noted that Aspen trees don't always do well in the Front Range and have been know to have roots that spring up small sucker trees around the area below. Aspens are naturally a “succession” tree, moving into areas where other trees and shrubs were removed by logging, fire, erosion, insects or disease. As a succession species, they are not long lived and can be prone to disease and insect damage. It is smart to plant a few of these together as they seem to do best planted in groves. We did not remove them from the ArborAdvisor list however because of their iconic Colorado status, shimmering beauty, and the fact that they are perfect for certain types of planting locations—just not all.
Mature Height: 30-35 feet Mature Width: 15 feet Hardy to -50°F MaximumElevation: 10,000 ft.
Red Delicious Apple
Malus sylvestris 'Red Delicious'
The Red Delicious is the most widely grown variety of apple tree in the world. It should be noted that Red Delicious and Golden Delicious (the other ArborAdvisor recommended apple tree) are entirely different varieties of apple tree. Red Delicious apples are sweet, but very mild in flavor. The flesh is juicy with a light crispness. Blooms appear around mid April, with fruit ripening around mid September.
NOTE: Unlike the Golden Delicious, this tree needs a different variety of apple tree nearby for pollination. It may be smart to look around your property (100 yards) to see if a neighbor already has an apple tree which would act as a pollinator for your tree.
This tree can grow to between 15-20 feet tall with an equal spread, resulting in relatively rounded crown and pleasing landscape appearance which can last up to 50 years. In the spring, clusters of small white flowers with subtle pink hues will adorn its branches with their fragrant elegance. In the summer, dark green leaves adorn a rounded shape which turns a brilliant yellow in autumn, sprinkled with deep red fruit.
This is a hardy tree that grows very well in the Colorado Front Range.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum elevation: 7,500 ft.
The Robinson Crabapple is a very popular tree in Colorado due to its huge pink blossoms (1.5" in diameter) in the spring and year round good looks. It's also a flowering tree that resists most of the diseases and pests that plague other varieties of crabapples.This tree typically blooms a little earlier than the other flowering trees which is a welcomed sight after winter. Its summer foliage is a bronze-green that changes to a nice coppery-orange in fall.
The Robinson Crabapple is best used as a landscaping tree in the yard or a featured tree in the landscape. This tree produces small red berries (3/8" in diameter) which attracts birds and butterflies. The fruit can also be harvested and used for jams. It has an upright and wide spreading canopy which grows to 15-20 feet tall and 15 feet wide at maturity. This tree is extremely easy to grow and requires little maintenance other than occasional summer watering during the first couple years. This tree grows fast and should be planted in full sun. Although it is not necessary, pruning every couple years can help define its shape. For best results, prune in the winter.
Hardy to -30 F Max. Elevation 7,500 ft.
Explore our curated collection of the best evergreen trees for Denver metro.