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  • Writer's pictureKassi K.

The Best Trees for Colorado Backyards

Updated: May 16

Here at Bath, we are devoted to bringing you beautiful and healthy trees that will thrive in the arid and ever-changing Colorado climate which we live in. Our nursery is filled with evergreen trees, deciduous trees, fruit trees and more, and we have knowledgeable staff on hand at all times to help you pick out the tree that is best suited to your space.

Honeylocust Tree

Honeylocust Tree

These beautiful trees exhibit a unique fern-like foliage that provides light shade, allowing turf to grow well under even a mature tree. In the fall, their leaves turn a beautiful and vibrant yellow. Two larger varieties that are well suited to our Colorado environment are the Shademaster and the Skyline Honeylocust trees, with the Imperial Honeylocust being a smaller variety that is better suited for smaller yards. Sunburst Honeylocust trees are another variety with foliage that first appears a bright yellow and gradually changes to green as the season progresses.

When should I plant my Honeylocust tree?

In general, it is best to plant any variety of tree either in the spring or the fall. The extremely hot summer weather we often experience here in Colorado, as well as the extreme colds and hard-to-predict freezes, put a lot of stress on newly planted trees. Planting in the spring or fall helps avoid these extreme temperatures, preventing any unnecessary stress from affecting the tree, and giving it a much higher chance of growing strong and healthy.

How to care for a Honeylocust

These trees prefer to be planted in full sun. They are very hardy and can grow in a large variety of soils, however a well-amended soil is best. Honeylocust trees are rather tolerant of both flooding and drought, though meticulous watering within the first year of planting is always advised. Newly planted trees should be watered as soon as they are planted, and should be watered weekly for the first year. Consistent watering is the most important! It is best to water slowly for long periods of time. Water slowly for an hour at a time, allowing water to gradually soak into the soil around the root ball.

Other important things to know

The bark of Honeylocust trees is more tender than most trees, and therefore it is more prone to damage or injury. Be careful to protect the trunk from things such as lawn mowers. Creating a ring around your tree and filling it with mulch will help protect the tree by keeping lawn equipment at a distance.

Kentucky Coffee Tree

kentucky coffee tree

This type of tree has been very popular as of late, specifically the Espresso variety. These trees classify as a large shade tree, are exceptionally durable, and can withstand harsh locations, making them a go-to for many yards across northern Colorado. They also produce fragrant white flowers that are pleasing to the senses. These trees exhibit beautiful yellow fall color, and they drop their leaves earlier than most trees in order to avoid getting hit with early snows.

When should I plant my Kentucky Coffee Tree?

As mentioned above, the best time to plant will be in either the spring or fall seasons. Planting at this time of year will ensure that any unnecessary stress is avoided, and will ensure that your new tree is given the best possible chance at growing strong and healthy.

How should I care for my Kentucky Coffee Tree?

These trees are also very tolerant of a wide range of different soils. While they can grow in less than idea soils, you will have a happier and healthier tree, not to mention an easier time caring for your new tree, if it is planted in rich, well amended soil that is kept moist and has good drainage. Amending your soil with compost is always recommended when planting a new tree! These trees will grow best in full sun conditions.

Other important things to know

Kentucky Coffee trees product large brown seed pods. This is actually how the tree got its name, as early settlers in the Kentucky area found a resemblance between the seed pods of this tree and coffee beans. If this is your tree of choice, be prepared for a little extra clean-up. The tree will drop its large seed pods in the spring and will also lose its large leaves in the fall.

Linden Trees

linden tree

These trees offer dense shade and bloom with inconspicuous flowers that emit an aroma that will fill your yard with a sweet and pleasing fragrance. These types of trees are available in many different varieties which are conducive to a wide range of spaces. The Greenspire variety is a smaller variety, while Redmond or Boulevard varieties are more tall and slender. These trees do prefer a little more water than others and do well planted in grassy areas. And if you like bird watching, this is a great tree to have in your yard, as small seeds serve as an attraction for birds of all kinds.

When should I plant my Linden Tree?

Linden trees also prefer to be planted in the spring or fall. Avoiding the extreme hot temperatures of the summer, as well as avoiding the freezing temperatures of winter, will help ensure that this tree is exposed to the least amount of environmental stressors as it works to establish itself throughout the first year after planting.

How should I care for my Linden Tree?

These trees prefer to be planted in full sun, though they will tolerate being planted in partial shade. Moist, well-draining soil is ideal for this tree, and they prefer soils that are neutral to alkaline. It is recommended to water your Linden tree slowly for longer periods of time, once to twice per week during the first several months after the initial planting. This will help ensure that the roots get the moisture they need to become well established.

Other important things to know

Since these trees prefer moist soils, creating a circle of mulch around the base of the tree will help hold in some moisture. Keep the mulch several inches away from the base of the trunk to avoid rot.

Hackberry Trees

hackberry trees

These trees are considered a large shade tree. They are native to the central plains and are perhaps the most durable trees that one can grow in our region. They rate highly in terms of heat and drought tolerance and are great trees for attracting birds and beneficial insects with their reddish purple cherry-like berries. Hackberry trees show off with a bright yellow color in the fall, and drop their leaves early to avoid early winter snows.

When should I plant my Hackberry Tree?

Plant your new Hackberry tree in the spring or fall for best results! Avoiding the extreme temperatures we often experience here in Colorado will help ensure that your new tree is able to establish itself with the least amount of added stress.

How should I care for my Hackberry Tree?

These trees are moderately drought hardy, though they will grow best in soil that is moist and well draining. Be sure to water consistently throughout the first year after planting to help encourage strong root growth. Plant your new Hackberry tree in full sun or partial shade for best results.

Other important things to know

Hackberry trees mature rapidly and can serve a variety of different uses including use as windbreaks, use in ornamental landscapes, as well as use in restoration projects around bodies of water to help prevent erosion. The fruit produced by these trees is also a great attraction for a wide variety of birds!

Oak Trees

oak tree

This common tree provides longevity and an abundance of sizes and varieties. Burr Oak trees are native to the central plains and provide dense shade when they reach maturity. Other Oak trees such as the Shumard variety provide lovely fall color, while the Crimson Spire variety exhibits a columnar growth habit and brilliant fall colors.

When should I plant my Oak Tree?

For best results, plant your new Oak tree either in late spring before temperatures reach extreme highs, or plant in the fall just after the weather begins to cool down slightly. Avoiding stressors such as extreme temperatures immediately after planting will help your tree establish itself, ensuring that it will grow strong and healthy for many seasons to come.

How should I care for my Oak Tree?

Oak trees definitely prefer full sun conditions and will grow best in these conditions. Once mature, Oak trees do not require regular waterings, though they will benefit from being watered once or twice during exceptionally dry seasons. Keep the soil around the tree moist with weekly waterings during the first year after planting. This will help encourage strong root growth and establishment of the tree.

Other important things to know

Oak trees can grow to be extremely large, so make sure you plan your space accordingly! While your Oak tree is still small, it may be a good idea to create some sort of protective cage to help keep wildlife from decimating the tree. If you feel like taking on a little backyard experiment, your Oak tree will produce acorns which you can then grow new trees from!

Have Questions About Trees and how to Care for Them??

If you have any questions about these varieties of trees or any other varieties, check out our Tree and Shrub Planting Guide, or give us a call! Our knowledgeable staff of tree experts are standing by waiting to answer your questions. We can’t wait to help you find the perfect tree for your space!


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