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
Fagus sylvatica 'Roseomarginata'
The Tricolor Beech is a great shade tree with unusual foliage which thrives best in partially sunny and mostly sunny areas. Its early spring leaves are marbled with silvery-white and cream, changing to purple leaves edged in pink and white in the summer. Up close its leaves are purple with a border of blushing white and rose. This tree blazes with color for a stunning effect— it really stands out with its unique color. The Tricolor Beach becomes a large tree at around 30 feet tall at maturity, so it needs adequate room to grow. It can be a versatile tree but it's mostly ideal for lawns—possibly as a front yard statement tree or possibly as a backyard shade tree in a city environment.
This is a slow-growing tree so it can be used in landscapes, but be thoughtful when planting as it will become a large tree. Requires regular watering especially during the summer months. This is a cold-hardy tree ready to stand up to Colorado winters. It should be planted in well drained areas.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
The Saskatoon Serviceberry is a deciduous shrub or small tree which typically grows to 15-20 feet tall, and 6-8 feet wide in Colorado. Its growth form varies from single stem to clumped. It has leaves which are nearly circular and has clusters of white flowers which appear in the spring. These flowers are quite fragrant and appear on the upright arching branches as deep green leaves develop. Around mid summer, small purple-black fruit appears. The fruit tastes similar to blueberries and can be eaten many ways. They are delicious raw and can also be used in pies and jams. The Saskatoon Serviceberry's fall foliage is yellow to red. This tree is very adaptable and has low water needs once established.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 9,000 Feet
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.
Winter King Hawthorne
Crataegus viridis 'Winter King'
The Winter King Hawthorn is a hardy ornamental tree that looks great long into the winter (hence the name). This tree has silver-grey bark wh,ch peels showing an inner peach-copper color. It has a nicely rounded habit with a vase-shaped branching structure. This tree produces 1/2 inch red berries which remain long into the winter and are a favorite of birds. It has 2 inch glossy green leaves that makes for a unique looking mid-size shade canopy. In the spring, this tree produces 3/4" white flowers with a succulent fragrance. In the fall, the leaves turn golden red. This is one of the best looking of the Hawthorns. This variety grows to a mature height of around 30 feet tall and equal width. This tree really stands out in the winter as it has a silvery-grey color with red berries still in tact.
The Winter King Hawthorn is a hardy tree and hard to beat for versatility. It's also low maintenance with only occasional watering in the first couple years after planting.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
Wichita Blue Juniper
Juniperus scopulorum 'Wichita Blue'
The Wichita Blue Juniper is a medium-sized tree with silvery blue foliage that stands out all year long with no bronzing or fading—for a lifetime of nearly 70 years! A great accent tree or privacy screen, it's short enough not to interfere with power lines. Birds love the tree for its tiny silver blue berries that persist in the summer and winter. This tree grows relatively fast at 6-12 inches per year.
At 10 years old it will be roughly 15 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide and keeps growing to eventually reach 15-25 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide. If using as a screen, plant 4 to 6 feet apart and 6-8 feet from a fence or drive to avoid overgrowth. This tree can be pruned to meet a particular height or shape.
This tree is very drought tolerant, cold hearty, and adaptable to most soil types.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 8,500 Feet
Ulmus ‘Morton Glossy’
The Triumph Elm is a great tree for both residential and commercial properties. It has an upright vase shaped form with strong branching and dark green foliage. These new “Triumph” Elm’s are not like those of the past that were susceptible to Dutch Elm disease. This tree is exceptionally resistant to disease and pests. The Triumph Elm develops softly arching branches as it matures. Elms are adaptable to a wide variety of soil conditions and come in both vase-shaped and weeping forms. The Triumph Elm leaves turn a yellow/gold color in the fall. This tree grows extremely fast–up to 3 feet per year initially and in maturity 1.5 feet per year.
Elms prefer full sun and is very adaptable to wide ranges in soil pH, moisture, wind and heat. Note: this tree has very strong and aggressive roots which can probably break sidewalks and raise pavement if trees are improperly located. This tree is best located in the yard and used as a shade tree. This tree does very well in Colorado and quickly grows to be roughly 50 feet tall by 30 feet wide at the crown.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 Feet
The Thinleaf Alder is a native Colorado tree with dark green foliage that turns yellow in fall. In the spring it has flower clusters before its leaves emerge. It is a small to medium size tree with smooth grey bark even in old age (60 years). It has reddish bark and small cone-like seeds in fall and winter. This tree has an upright habit and does well in moist soils. It has been known to have some stump suckers which shoot up around the tree, but no so many as to be problematic. This tree comes in either single stem or multi-stem "clump" (most common) form.
This is an extremely hardy small tree well-suited to difficult wet sites. It's not particularly striking, but it is a neat, clean choice for landscape purposes.
Mature Height: 15-20 feet Mature Width: 12-14 feet Hardy to -50°F Maximum Elevation: 10,000 Feet
Texas Red Oak
The Texas Red Oak, also commonly referred to as Spanish Oak, Nuttall's Oak, Spotted Oak, Rock Oak, and Buckley Oak, is a large deciduous tree native to Oklahoma and Texas. The Texas Red Oak is the red oak tree recommendation by ArborAdvisor for Colorado. (It is almost indistinguishable from the Schumard Oak.)
This is a stately tree with a wide rounded crown which provides great summer shade. Like all oak trees it produces oval acorns (to 1 1/2" long) with scaly cups that mature in two seasons after planting. (The acorns are loved by small mammals.) This tree has dark green leaves that are 4-8'' long. Its fall leaves range in color from yellow-gold to bright red depending on seasonal and soil conditions. This tree's colors change later in the season, so while other trees are already turning brown, this tree will still be brightly colored.
The Texas Red Oak is very popular due to its fast growth rate, ease of care, fall color, and ability to thrive in varying soils including semi-wet areas. This tree is popular with city foresters along the Colorado Front Range. It does well in winter conditions and makes a perfect shade tree, street tree, or ornamental tree. This tree usually reaches a height of around 35-50 feet and a canopy width around 30-35 feet at maturity.
Hardy to -20°F Maximum Elevation: 5,500 Feet
Tannenbaum Pine (Semi Dwarf)
Pinus mugho 'Tannenbaum'
The Tannenbaum Pine is the perfect sized evergreen for small yards. A tough-as-nails, dwarf pine tree, the Tannenbaum has an open shape in youth but consistently matures to a compact, pyramidal form. Its needles are dark green and medium in length and it produces cones at an early age.
The Tannenbaum Pine has rich green foliage (with a hint of gray/blue) that stays full during winter. This tree is highly adaptable to a wide range of environmental and climatic conditions and very hardy in cold weather. At maturity, expect this tree to reach 10-12 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide after 25 years.
Maximum Elevation: 8,500 Feet Cold Hardy to -40°F
Swamp White Oak
Native to the United States, the Swamp White Oak is a beautiful tree which grows very well in the Boulder and Denver metro areas. This oak also grows well in either normal or poorly-drained, swampy soil. A Front Range favorite, this is a fast growing tree that produces small yellow flowers in spring. As with all oak trees, this tree produces acorns, which shed in September or October.
This tree can live to be 300-350 years old and is one of the best shade producing trees with a rounded crown and dense foliage. The Swamp White Oak has dark green leaves, which become golden orange and red in fall. Its bark sheds in ragged, papery flakes providing great winter interest. It has stiff branches and it holds up well in tough conditions such as ice freezing and thawing.
This tree grows to be 40-60 feet at maturity, is highly adaptable, and should be planted in full or mostly full sun.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
Spring Snow Crabapple
Malus 'Spring Snow'
The Spring Snow Crabapple is a dense, oval-shaped upright tree with bright green leaves that turn yellow in the fall. This is a fruitless crabapple so there is no mess on patios and in courtyards. In the spring, this tree has stunning fragrant double white flowers along its branches which create a garland of white blooms.
Plant this tree in a location with full sun and well drained soil, and you can use it as either a privacy screen or as an accent plant. This is a low-branched tree, so keep in mind that it will block a view (which can be good or bad).
It has a good resistance to rust and mildew, and, once established, it also has some drought tolerance. Although some flowers may be lost, it is best to prune this tree as needed in late winter. Spring pruning should be avoided as it produces fresh, open cuts where fireblight bacterium can enter.
Hardy to -35°F Maximum Elevation: 8,000 ft.
Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket'
Completely maintenance free, the Skyrocket Juniper is a great tree for Colorado! This tree is ideal for areas where you need height, but you don't want to sacrifice ground space for a wide based tree. This tree is very fast growing at roughly 1 foot per year and will reach mature height in roughly 10 years. The Skyrocket Juniper is a dusty green-blue all year—no browning or fading.
This is THE Arbor Advisor recommended evergreen for narrow spaces as it is drought resistant, highly adaptable, pest free, fast growing, and beautiful. It also does not require pruning! Just plant it in full sun and watch it grow. This tree is best used in urban gardens, as a privacy screen, or in narrow spaces.
This tree will reach a mature height of 15 feet, and 3-4 feet wide.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,500 ft.
Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis 'Shademaster'
The Shademaster Honeylocust is a favorite here at ArborAdvisor. This tree has a beautiful rounded shape and may be the perfect lawn or street tree for the Colorado Front Range. In the spring it has yellow and white small flower strings, which provide a nice fragrant scent. It has thin fern-like leaves that provide filtered shade all summer and turn a lovely golden yellow in the fall. Part of the reason the Shademaster Honeylocust does so well in lawns is because it provides a filtered shade that allows the grass and other partial sun plants below it to grow. Also, when these leaves fall in Autumn they are so small that they don't need to be raked! They simply aren't big enough to hurt the grass below them.
The Shademaster Honeylocust is native to 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. This is a fast growing tree so you wont have to wait decades to see a beautiful large tree in your yard. Unlike other honeylocust varieties which have thorns and large seedpods this variety has neither. The Shademaster is both thornless and seedless. No mess! No raking!
This tree will grow to be 50-60 feet and 25-35 feet wide at maturity.
The Russian Hawthorn is a relatively small deciduous tree growing to about 15 feet tall at maturity. This tree is primarily planted as an accent tree in yards and landscaping. It has a low canopy 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 50 years or more. In mid spring, the entire tree is covered in stunning clusters of white flowers. The flowers are followed by showy red berries that persist through late fall which attract birds. Throughout the season this tree has green foliage. Its oval leaves turn slightly yellow and red but are not as dramatically colored in the fall as other tree species.
Note: The fruit can be messy if planted directly alongside a driveway or sidewalk.
This tree should only occasionally need maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. The Russian Hawthorn is a highly adaptable tree to both dry and moist soil as long as there is no standing water. It does very well with urban pollution and can thrive in inner city environments.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 8,000 Feet
Ruby Red Briotti Horsechestnut
Aesculus x carnea 'Briotti'
The Ruby Red Briottie Horsechestnut tree is a mouthful...so let's just call it Horsechestnut for short. It is our #1 recommended Horsechestnut for Colorado.
This is a small hybrid tree with prominent 10 inch ruby red clusters of flowers which bloom in mid-spring above the green foliage. It has dark green leaves which emerge light green in the spring. In the fall the leaves are not overly dramatic in color, but turn a pleasant yellow. This tree grows very well in Colorado and is ideal for use as an accent tree or a yard tree as it's canopy is low, roughly 4 feet from the ground. Unlike other Horsechestnut trees it doesn't have many seeds which makes for easy cleanup/maintenance.
This tree is more compact than other Horsechestnut trees, growing to be about 40 feet tall and 40 feet wide at maturity. It has a a rounded form and can be pruned every couple years to shape the tree (best pruned in the winter). This tree can be expected to live for 60 years or more and grows at a medium rate. It does best in full sun to partial sun with average moist conditions—not overly dry or wet soil. It is a very adaptable tree and is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. It is very resistant to most disease and pests.
Hardy to -20°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 ft.
Royal Raindrops Crabapple
Malus transitoria 'JFS-KW5'
If you're looking for a beautiful flowering tree for your yard, look no further. The Royal Raindrops Crabapple has magenta pink blooms, deep purple foliage, sparkling red fruits, and a bright fall medley of bronze, orange, and purple color giving it all-season appeal. Its fast growth rate is outstanding, and this tree displays excellent resistance to common crabapple diseases. It is also highly adaptable to various planting sites, heat, and drought making this one of the most prized crabapple trees in Colorado. Great for privacy and accent, the Royal Raindrops Crabapple is extremely versatile in the landscape. This tree may be used in pretty much any area of the lawn, but keep in mind this is a low-branched tree, so it will block the view of anything behind it. This tree should be planted at least 10 feet away from buildings as it has a sprawling width.
The Royal Raindrops Crabapple has strong upward branch angles and growth habit which minimize pruning needs and reduce potential for limbs snapping during winter freezes. This tree is also a top performer in windy climates due to its sturdy branches which are more vigorous than other crabapples. This tree quickly gains caliper size while developing a sturdy, well-tapered trunk. Plant in partial or full sun.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,500 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.
Prunus persica 'Reliance'
Considered the hardiest of all peach tree varieties, the Reliance Peach thrives on the Colorado Front Range. The Reliance also typically produces more peaches than other varieties. This tree bears medium-to-large freestone fruit around mid August with a sweet, mild flavor. The Reliance Peach, after exhibiting beautiful pink flowers in early spring, produces a peach with dark red skin. This a tough tree that is fast growing and can adapt to many soil types as long as it is well-draining. For optimal fruit production it should be pruned annually. This tree should be planted in full sun. Reliance Peach trees grow naturally to average heights of 8-15 feet tall by 10-12 feet wide, but can be trimmed to fit most areas.
Hardy to -25° Maximum elevation: 6,000 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.
Explore our curated collection of the best evergreen trees for Denver metro.