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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Concolor Fir (White Fir)
The Concolor Fir (White Fir) tree lives over 100 years and naturally occurs at an elevation between 2,950-11,200 ft. It is native to the mountains slopes of the western United States including the Cascade, Sierra, and Rocky Mountains. This tree is best grown in rich, medium moisture, slightly acidic, sandy/gravelly, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. (Best in full sun.) Established trees tolerate some soil dryness, but best performance usually comes with moist soils. The Concolor produces lightly barrel-shaped cones (to 3-6” long) that are most often yellowish-green, maturing to brown or purple. As is distinctive with the firs, the cones appear upright on the branches. This tree may not produce cones and seeds for up to the first 40 years. Its bark is ash-gray and smooth, but will furrow with age. The word Concolor means "all one color" and thus, you can expect a beautiful bluish green color year round with this tree.
This is a popular tree for use as ornamental landscaping and as a Christmas tree. This is a durable tree for the Colorado Front Range and has no serious insect or disease problems. This tree does not do well with urban pollution—so it's not recommended along busy streets or in areas with poor air quality. This tree grows in an elegant pyramidal shape with a symmetrical outline. The height and width can vary depending on soil and site, with mature height ranging between 40-60 feet tall and 20-30 feet wide.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 10,000 ft.
Crimson Spire Oak
Quercus robur 'Crimschmidt'
The Crimson Spire Oak is one of the most popular new tree varieties to appear in decades, and has become a favorite all over the United States. The Crimson Spire Oak is a hybrid of White Oak and English Oak trees, inheriting the upward branches and adaptability of the English Oak and the dark green, mildew-resistant foliage and adaptability of the White Oak. This tree is a fast-growing, hardy columnar tree that’s a great fit for both streetscapes and landscape settings. It reaches about 35 feet in height with a 7-10 foot spread in a typical urban landscape setting—making it an excellent choice for narrow spaces.
The dark green leaves turn rusty red in mid to late autumn. The leaves will turn brown and many will persist through the winter. Dense foliage creates living screens for blocking unsightly views and muffling traffic sounds. Its columnar form is a perfect fit for narrow or confined spaces. You can plant this tree alone, in groves, or in rows—it’s the perfect vertical design element. The Crimson Spire Oak thrives in Colorado's front range and requires low maintenance. It is cold hardy, drought tolerant, disease resistant, and adapts to varied soils and tough urban growing conditions. It is a long lived tree that will provide many years of shade, privacy, and enjoyment.
Available in either a low-branched form or with the branching starting higher up. (Please specify in the notes section if you have a preference).
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 ft.
Emerald Arrow Bosnian Pine
Pinus leucodermis 'Emerald Arrow'
This beautiful, slow growing tree typically grows to 20-30 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide. It has a densely-branched pyramid-shaped form and short glossy green needles. Its mature bark is ash gray in color.
The 'Emerald Arrow' Bosnian Pine does very well in the Colorado Front Range, and rarely has problems. This tree works well both in landscaping or can be used as a visibility screen or windbreak.
Note: This tree is very similar to the regular Bosnian Pine (also recommended by ArborAdvisor). The only difference is that this 'Emerald Arrow' variety does not have pine cones and is a tiny bit smaller in both height and width.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
The English Oak is an iconic tree, easily identified by almost everyone with its lobed leaves and acorns. For those who have seen the movie The Shawshank Redemption, Red digs up the cash and directions to meet up with Andy (pictured) underneath an English Oak.
Often thought to be slow-growing, this tree can grow fairly quickly in good soils. This is a long-living tree that will typically be 60 ft tall in 50 years. The English Oak will grow best in deep, moist, fertile loamy soils. It will, however, cope with almost any conditions. It compensates for the poor ground by growing more slowly.
The English Oak is a stately, broad, round-topped tree with spreading branches and deeply grooved bark. Its dark green leaves turn golden yellow then brown in fall often clinging through winter. Its acorns are 1/2” wide and 1” long. They occur individually or in clusters of up to five and ripen the first year. This tree adapts well to most soil types and is relatively pest free.
Plant in full sun, allow plenty of space for growth, and prune for structure often when young. English Oaks provide dense summer shade. This tree is considered drought tolerant once established and requires relatively low maintenance after initial pruning years.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 8,000 Feet
Fat Albert Blue Colorado Spruce
Picea pungens 'Fat Albert'
The Fat Albert Blue Colorado Spruce is an evergreen conifer with rich blue needles on a densely branched, naturally pyramidal form. If you were going to describe this tree in human terms, you may use words like "heavyset" or "big boned". This tree is a very dense, upright, pyramidal conifer which can be a wonderful choice for use as a living Christmas tree. The Fat Albert is very slow growing, but it will become quite large over time at 30 feet tall by 25 feet wide.
This tree is best used as a yard tree or planted in a row and used as a privacy screen. Being a grafted (clone) tree it will show consistent shape and color when used in mass plantings. A great tree which does well in Colorado with very little maintenance. Plant in partial or full sun.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 9,000 ft.
The Gambel Oak is also referred to as a Scrub Oak, Oak Brush, or White Oak. This tree is an extremly hardy and adaptable tree native to the southwestern United States and can vary in size. The primary dwarf variety is most often used as a shrub or small tree in narrow areas or in Xeriscape landscaping. This oak has shiny dark green leaves which are about 5 inches long with three or four rounded leathery textured leaves on each side of the stem. The Gambel Oak produces small acorns which ripen in August or September. The leaves turn a brilliant red in fall. It can grow as a single tree with a rounded crown or form a dense thicket depending on the availability of water and if you buy it in stem or clump form. Plant in full sun to partial shade, moist to semi dry, well drained or slightly rocky soil. It has very little needs and is adaptable to harsh conditions.
At mature height this tree will get to be 8-15 feet tall and 6-12 feet wide, making it a great choice to plant under power lines or in narrow areas.
Hardy to -40F Max. Elevation 9,000 Feet
Gray Gleam Juniper
Juniperus scopulorum 'Gray Gleam'
The Gray Gleam Juniper is an upright, pyramid-shaped evergreen tree native to Colorado. This tree has silvery-gray needles with a dense branching habit. The Gray Gleam Juniper is a great choice for privacy screens or wind protection. This tree is extremely drought tolerant, low maintenance, and cold hearty. Pruning is not necessary but if you'd like to it is best done in the winter in between extreme cold and extreme hot weather swings to avoid burnout spots.
The Gray Gleam Juniper will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. This tree also works well as a specimen tree in lawns or with other groundcovers as an accent tree. Its height makes it a good choice for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more. Plant in a full sun or mostly sun area.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 8,500 Feet
Heritage River Birch
Betula nigra 'Cully'
The Heritage River Birch is an iconic tree around Colorado for its highly textured and colorful pealing bark. This versatile, highly heat tolerant tree thrives with high water tables and problematic low wet soils, yet adapts to mild drought once established. If planted in a non-wet area, this tree will need to be watered regularly during the summer months for the first couple years. This tree requires full sun to partial sun. The Heritage River Birch is possibly the most adaptable and heat tolerant of the birches. Avoid pruning in spring when the sap is running. This tree is resistant to bronze birch borer. This tree will grow to roughly 45 feet tall by 30 feet wide at maturity.
This tree is sold either in clump form (most often) or single stem form.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 ft.
Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis 'Impcole'
The Imperial Honeylocust is a favorite of ArborAdvisor—it's essentially the perfect tree for the Colorado Front Range. With its beautiful rounded shape, it makes a great lawn or street tree. In the spring it has yellow and white small flower strings which provide a nice fragrant scent. It has thin fern-like leaves which provide nice filtered shade all summer and then turn a lovely golden yellow in the fall. This tree does so well in lawns partly because it provides a filtered shade that allows the grass and other partial sun plants below it to still grow. Also, when its leaves fall they are so small that they don't need to be raked! The leaves aren't big enough to hurt the grass below them. Another great thing about the Honeylocust is it drops its leaves earlier in the fall which keeps it from being damaged by early Colorado hard freezes and heavy snow.
The Imperial Honeylocust is native the the United States and has been bred to be extra hardy. It holds up well in urban environments where there is air pollution, salt, soot, and varying soil types. All this tree needs is a full sun location and occasional watering (especially in the first couple years after planting) but otherwise it is an extremely low maintenance tree. This is a fast growing tree so you wont have to wait decades to see a beautiful large tree on your property. It's roots stay well below the surface as well, so no worry about pushing up the sidewalk or creating trip hazards in the yard. Unlike other Honeylocust varieties which have thorns and large seedpods this variety has neither—the Imperial Honeylocust is both thornless and seedless. This tree is slightly smaller than the Shademaster Honeylocust and will grow to be roughly 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide at maturity.
Iseli Fastigate Narrow Blue Spruce
Picea pungens 'Iseli Fastigiate'
The Iseli Fastigate is a narrow, vertical form of the Colorado Blue Spruce. It is the perfect evergreen for narrow spaces or for privacy screens as it doesn't sacrifice ground space. This tree is a strong growing and adaptable tree which works great as a landscape tree for vertical accent, or where space is a consideration. This tree is also widely used as a wind screen and as a natural privacy screen. It does great in the winter and adds nice accent to any landscape.
The Iseli Fastigate typically grows to a width of 6-9 feet and height of roughly 25 feet. This tree has a beautiful blue color which persists all year long and adds great contrast to any landscape. This tree is cold hearty and more drought tolerant than other spruce varieties and prefers rich soil but will generally do fine anywhere around Colorado's front range in well draining full sun areas. The Iseli Fastigate should be watered occasionally for the first 2-3 years especially during the hot summer months.
This tree requires very little maintenance and no pruning–just plant it in a well draining area with full sun. Recommended to water occasionally during Colorado’s hot summer months, especially in the first couple years after planting.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 9,000 ft.
Explore our curated collection of the best evergreen trees for Denver metro.