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 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.
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.
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
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
Tilia cordata 'Greenspire'
Do you have a challenging site for a tree? Perhaps it’s windy. Maybe it’s too wet or too dry? Does the tree need to live in the ‘hell-strip’ between the sidewalk and the street? How about a small patio yard in a big city?
The Greenspire Linden is one of the most hardy and adaptable trees you’ll find. If you have a difficult place on your property that is windy, salty, wet, dry, questionable soil condition, or near the street—this is your option. This tree is extremely versatile and requires very little maintenance as long as it has full sun. It is also a fantastic shade tree with a strong, pyramidal shape.
The Greenspire produces fragrant yellow flowers that bloom in early summer when few other trees are in bloom. Then, the dark green heart-shaped leaves turn a gold color in the fall. It has a strong central trunk, nice upward branches which start to branch out at 6 feet above the ground and helps it minimize limb snapping during freezing rain and snow. This makes it perfect for parking areas and parks, as well as your yard.
Be careful when applying street or sidewalk ice melt/salt around the tree as Linden trees don't do well with salts.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The Kentucky Coffee tree is a large, hardy, moderately fast growing tree which provides filtered shade, growing up to 40 feet tall. This tree can be seen all around Denver as it is a very popular street and yard tree due to its fast growth rate, adaptability, and low maintenance needs. It has leathery, olive-brown pods which are 5-10 inches long with large round seeds. Its leaves emerge pinkish, turn dark green in summer and golden yellow in fall.
NOTE: This trees seeds, leaves, and pulp are toxic for dogs and humans if eaten.
This tree requires very low water maintenance once established. Recommended planting site is in full sun with well drained soils. It is prone to snow loading damage which should be considered when planting near areas where snow is piled up in winter. It has very strong bark, and can withstand damage by animals, including deer. The Kentucky Coffeetree is a top choice by city foresters in cold climates such as Denver. This tree can be planted in landscaping as a shade tree, alongside the street, or in problematic areas.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 6,500 Feet
Juniperus scopulorum 'Medora'
The Medora Juniper is a compact upright, pyramidal evergreen shrub with soft textured blue needle-like foliage. Native to the Badlands of North Dakota, this evergreen tree, nevertheless, thrives on the Colorado Front Range. It is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with narrow vertical growth, which makes it great for full sun narrow spaces or as a privacy screen. This tree has attractive and unique looking powder-blue foliage which remains showy all year long. The Medora Juniper produces small blue berries and flowers in early summer.
This tree is best use as an accent tree or as a privacy screen and should be planted in full sun. The Medora Juniper makes the ArborAdvisor favorites list because it has no significant negative characteristics; it is tolerant of both moist and dry growing conditions (just no standing water), and does well with urban pollution. However, this is a high maintenance shrub that will require annual pruning in order to get a nicely defined shape which is best done in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed.
The Medora Juniper will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable 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.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 7,500 ft.
Explore our curated collection of the best evergreen trees for Denver metro.