The American Sentry Linden is a large, fast-growing shade tree also referred to as an American Basswood Tree. It is a hardy shade tree, with a tall stately presence, providing great shade during hot summer months. This is a low maintenance tree–basically just plant it in a full sun location and watch it grow. (Just water occasionally in the first couple years during the hot summer months).
It grows to roughly 45 feet in height with a spread of 20 feet, substantial enough for a large landscape, but not too big or wide for a more smaller yard. It has heart shaped leaves that give a full effect to its spreading branches. The Linden is resistant to Japanese Beetles which are plaguing the Ash trees around Colorado.
This tree has fragrant smelling yellow clusters of yellow flowers that grace its branches in the spring. As summer progresses you’ll enjoy watching woody, pea-sized seeds form. Their light green shade provides a slight variation in color throughout your tree for the late summer. When autumn appears, your Linden’s leaves will take a dramatic step as green leaves transform to brilliant yellow.
The American Linden starts out pyramidal in shape but becomes rounded at maturity. Its benefits go far beyond its ornamental features. The wood is valued for its light but strong nature and is suitable for a wide variety of uses. Parts of the tree have medicinal uses, and some consider the honey from Linden flowers to be some of the best available. Be careful when applying street or sidewalk ice melt/salt as Linden trees don’t do well with salts.
The American Linden tree is an excellent choice for almost any yard or landscape–simply plant it in full sun and enjoy it for years.
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 ft.
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.
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
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.
Chanticleer Flowering Pear
Pyrus calleryana 'Chanticleer'
The Chanticleer Pear is a tight, narrow, pyramidal, thornless, ornamental pear tree. This deciduous tree is a true four season tree with white flowers in early spring, glossy dark green foliage in summer, and long-lasting, dramatic red and purple leaves in mid to late autumn.
Chanticleer Pear trees are very hardy and fast growing, and are an excellent choice for a trouble-free, beautiful addition to any landscape situation. These are extremely popular in the Denver metro area and all along the Colorado Front Range due to their adaptability, low maintenance, and aesthetically pleasing look.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,500 Feet
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.
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.
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.
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
The Northern Catalpa tree is a fast growing tree with amazing spring blooms. It is a unique ornamental shade tree with large, showy white, trumpet-shaped spring flowers and bean shaped pods persisting into the winter.
It may reach heights of 70 feet tall and 40 feet wide, making a great shade tree that is known to attract hummingbirds. The huge heart shaped leaves can be as big as 12 inches across which help provide great shade and easier leaf raking in the fall.
The Northern Catalpa is very tolerant of tough conditions. It withstands wet, dry, alkaline soils and hot, dry environments, but prefers moist, deep soil. It should be planted in full sun or at least partial sun.
Tolerates heat and cold well. This tree is easy to grow and tolerates many conditions.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 ft
Pioneer Chinese Apricot
Prunus armeniaca 'Pioneer'
The Pioneer Chinese Apricot is a hardy deciduous tree that produces delicious, early fruit. In the spring, pink-hued, white flowers will appear across the tree’s branches. After spring, oval green leaves cling to your Chinese Apricot’s branchlets by colorful, reddish stems through the warm months. As the season progresses, the flowers give way to spherical, pitted fruit. The fruit of the Chinese Apricot is freestone, making it easy to use in canning, drying, or in baked goods. It blooms very early and is also one of the earliest ripening fruits. Chinese Apricot is typically sold in semi-dwarf size, growing up to 15 feet in height and 15 feet wide. This is a hearty tree which is adaptable to many soil types, disease and pest resistant, and visually pleasing. This tree can be trimmed back as needed (much like a peach tree) to fit smaller spaces.
It doesn’t require a pollinator, so you can plant one and still get fruit!
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
A medium sized, upright deciduous tree native to Colorado. Small, heart-shaped leaves are a waxy-green in summer and brilliant shades of yellow to gold in the fall. A fast growing tree with smooth, white bark that becomes furrowed with age. This tree can be purchased in single stem or multi-stem "clump" form. Aspens can be planted in full or partly sunny areas. A very adaptable tree for a wide range of soil conditions.
It should be noted that Aspen trees don't always do well in the Front Range and have been know to have roots that spring up small sucker trees around the area below. Aspens are naturally a “succession” tree, moving into areas where other trees and shrubs were removed by logging, fire, erosion, insects or disease. As a succession species, they are not long lived and can be prone to disease and insect damage. It is smart to plant a few of these together as they seem to do best planted in groves. We did not remove them from the ArborAdvisor list however because of their iconic Colorado status, shimmering beauty, and the fact that they are perfect for certain types of planting locations—just not all.
Mature Height: 30-35 feet Mature Width: 15 feet Hardy to -50°F MaximumElevation: 10,000 ft.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
If you're looking for a low maintenance shade tree that requires little to no watering—this is your tree. This may be the toughest tree on the ArborAdvisor site. The Western Hackberry is found on a wide range of soils east of the Rockies from southern Canada to Florida and is considered a Colorado native tree. The Hackberry thrives in a wide range of temperatures and on sites that vary from 14'' to 60" of annual rainfall. These trees also can stand up to strong winds and can tolerate air pollution.
This hardy shade tree has a wide spread, upright arching branches, and light green foliage throughout the year—creating an open, airy appearance. The Hackberry's leaves turn yellow in fall and produces small, dark red drupes about 1/3" in diameter that turn dark purple as they mature in mid-autumn. These berry-like fruit persist into the winter.
This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13" to more than 24" per year. Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree. The Hackberry is best suited for open areas and along streets. It would fit well into the home landscape if there is a need for a large tree and lots of shade. Planting close to the west side of the house (no closer than 12 feet) will provide comforting afternoon shade.
Hardy to -50°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 ft.
Explore our curated collection of the best evergreen trees for Denver metro.