A gorgeous spring flowering crabapple, ‘Adams’ is a great Colorado tree and perfect for small yards or spaces due to its smaller stature than other crabapples. Adams Crabapple is a strong tree with good disease resistance. The foliage has a reddish tint in spring, is green all summer, and turns golden yellow in late autumn. It produces 5/8” bright, glossy red fruit that persists all winter. This crabapple grows to 20′ and does best in full sun and moist, well drained, slightly acidic soil.
Hardy to -30°F Maximum Elevation: 6,000 ft.
The American Hornbeam is a slow growing, deciduous, small-to-medium sized understory tree with an attractive round form. Being a native forest understory tree, it is useful for shady landscapes and naturalized or woodland gardens. It is native to the midwest where it is typically found in rich moist woods, valleys, ravine bottoms, and rocky slopes along streams. That said, this tree thrives where many others do not—in 'partly shade' and 'mostly shade' areas in your landscape. It should be noted that this tree can be planted in full sun as well, but due to the very hot Denver sun (as compared to the midwest) it may do best with some shade. This tree is highly adaptable which is why ArborAdvisor recommends this tree for areas with questionable or varying sunlight.
This tree typically grows to be 20 feet tall by 20 feet wide. The trunk is a unique smooth grey color and larger branches of a mature tree exhibit a distinctive muscle-like fluting that has given rise to another common name of "musclewood" for this tree. Flowers appear in spring in separate male and female catkins, with the female catkins giving way to distinctive clusters of winged nutlets. New leaves emerge reddish-purple in the spring, changing to dark green, then turn yellow to orange in the fall.
The extremely hard wood of the Hornbeam was once used by early Americans to make bowls, tool handles, and ox yokes. Commercial use of the hornbeam is not practicable, however, due to the limited amount of wood that can be harvested per tree.
American Sentry Linden
Tilia americana ‘McKSentry’
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 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 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.
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
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
Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis
The Cockspur Hawthorn, is a small, thornless tree which grows to be between 10-20 feet and a similar width. It has single white flowers which appear shortly after the dark green leaves unfold. The tree also has abundant red fruit and silver-gray bark. The fruits are a bright red and are produced in masses, which provide excellent color in late summer and early fall. The Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn is drought resistant and has low water needs but it does require well drained soils and full sun.
Rounded growth habit
Very disease resistant
No major insect problems
Resistance to rust diseases
Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 8,000 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.
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
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
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.
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.
Explore our curated collection of the best evergreen trees for Denver metro.