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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore our curated collection of the best evergreen trees for Denver metro.