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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Malus sylvestris 'Honeycrisp'
The Honeycrisp Apple is consistently one of the best-selling apples trees on the market and one of the best fruit trees for cold weather. One of the benefits of this tree is that the delicious round yellow fruit that ripen in September don’t immediately drop, so you can take your time picking them. Plus, the apples keep until roughly April in storage and retain their crispness. This apple can be used for cooking and baking.
Note: This tree requires another type of apple tree within 500 feet to act as a pollinator. You may want to look around your neighborhood to see if another apple tree exists already.
This tree only grows to 20 feet and spreads an equal distance so it is the perfect size for an urban or suburban garden. Its low canopy makes it ideal for planting under power lines or in other such troublesome locations as well as convenient in picking apples without needing an extension ladder. It needs full sun for optimal growth and you can increase your fall yield if you plant another variety of apple tree close by to aid in pollination.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum elevation: 8,500 ft
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.
The Japanese Pagoda tree is actually native to China, not Japan. It was traditionally planted around Buddhist temples due to its beautiful flowers. It has strands of 1-2 inch leaflets and creamy white fragrant flowers in the spring. The flowers then turn into 3-8 inch green pods that mature into yellow-green fruits with large beans within thin pods that persist through the winter. It should be noted that these pods can result in some litter underneath the tree requiring periodic clean up especially if the tree is planted over walks or driveways. It should also be noted that the seed pods have poisonous qualities if ingested by animals and humans. Its fall color is not as showy as others on ArborAdvisor with leaves turning a green-yellow.
The Japanese Pagoda can be utilized either as a shade tree or a large ornamental accent tree. You can see this tree in Denver growing in lawns along York Street, in Washington Park, and in front of Union Station in cutout sidewalk pits.
The Japanese Pagoda has a rapid growth rate at a young age and a moderate rate in maturity. Tolerant of heat, pollution, and drought, the Japanese Pagoda grows well on the Colorado Front Range. At maturity this tree will grow to roughly 65 feet tall and 45 feet wide.
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
Juniperus scopulorum 'Moonglow'
The Moonglow Juniper is a beautiful evergreen which is native to North America. It makes the ArborAdvisor catalog for the following reasons:
Cold-hardy down to -50
Can handle a variety of soil types
This tree thrives nationally across the central United States including Colorado. It has dazzling blue foliage that, like the name suggests, reflects the moonlight in a silvery display. Unlike other trees which lose their leaves or drop cones, the Moonglow Juniper will look exactly the same all year long with cool, silvery needles on dense upward forming branches. This tree forms a dense growth habit which makes it frequently used as a privacy screen or windbreak. This tree does not shed any needles or produce any litter at all which make it virtually maintenance free (other than occasional watering, especially during the first few years.)
This tree will naturally grow to 10-15 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide, but can be pruned to remain smaller if so desired. Plant in full sun or partial sun.
Hardy to -50°F Maximum Elevation: 8,500 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.
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.
The Radiant Crabapple is an ornamental tree with edible fruit. The Radiant Crabapple is named for its “radiant” bloom of aesthetically pleasing color. Its single, deep pink blossoms are followed by persistent red fruit, providing food for birds in winter. The flower buds swell into the deep pink 1 1/3-inch blossoms that will cover your tree for weeks in the spring and provide a beautiful fragrance.
The leaves on this Crabapple display a reddish-purplish hue in spring before turning a vigorous green in summer. In the fall the tree turns bright orange-red and ½-inch crabapples ripen, ready for you to harvest for cider or various culinary dishes if you'd like. If not, you can leave them for the wildlife with very little yard mess.
The Radiant Crabapple is a moderately fast growing tree with a broad, globe shaped crown. It needs to be watered occasionally in the heat of the summer and planted in full sun.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 8,000 Feet
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.
Explore our curated collection of the best evergreen trees for Denver metro.