When you have extremely cold temperatures it’s important you plant the right type of tree on your property.
Plant the wrong kind of trees and they’ll die before you have a chance to see them become taller than you are.
In Colorado, you want trees that can withstand the cold and will do well without getting a ton of sunlight.
What are the Best Trees to Plant in Colorado?
The best trees to plant in Colorado are native to the area and include the blue spruce, the scrub oak, the limber pine, Wasatch maple, and ponderosa pine. It’s best to plant native trees because they have already proven they can adapt and survive in the current environment.
The evergreen gets its name from the limber branches it has as a young sapling and is a perfect tree to plant in Colorado.
It does decently in droughts and is more resistant to salt and winterburn than other evergreens that have the five-needle design.
Although the limber pine won’t grow to enormous heights, it does have a max of 50 feet so be careful when planting around the home.
The hardest part about the limber pine is how long it takes to grow. Compared to other evergreens, it takes a lot longer to reach its full height, so you’ll need a bit of patience with this variety.
Evergreen trees are what come to mind when you’re thinking of Colorado mountainous environments, but planting a Wasatch maple will bring some color into your yard.
Also known as a bigtooth maple or canyon maple, the Wasatch changes its foliage with the seasons and produces brilliant colors in the fall when the leaves are about to drop.
On top of the aesthetic beauty, Wasatch maples do pretty well in a drought and can withstand temperatures dipping to as low as minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
You won’t have any trouble trying to keep this tree alive throughout the year, but it does grow slowly so make sure it’s taken care of while it’s young.
The Colorado blue spruce is the state tree so you know it has a long history of surviving the elevation and climate.
The tree has branches that grow horizontally to the ground, spreading in various directions. There are small pine needles that grow off each branch.
The color of the pine needles is exactly what gives this tree its name because they come in blue-green, green, and silver-blue.
The tree has a fairly large width and height, so if you plan on having this plant in your yard you need to make sure to give it plenty of room and do not plant it near telephone wires.
Blue Spruce can grow as tall as 60 feet with a width of up to 25 feet. You’ll have to water this tree slightly more than the rest on this list, but if you can keep it alive it will do very well in the windy, strong winters of Colorado.
You don’t have to look far in Colorado to find a ponderosa pine off the highway. They’re one of the most widely distributed native tree varieties in Colorado.
The reason being, the ponderosa is very drought resistant and it’s even resistant to wildfires.
This isn’t the type of tree you’re going to plant near the house because it can grow upwards of 60-100 feet tall.
The giant size provides plenty of shade and the thick trunk ensures it won’t topple over due to windy weather.
The ponderosa does well in all types of soil because it adapts well to different situations, but if left without water for too long it will become susceptible to pests and diseases.
If you’re looking for a durable tree that can last all winter but will be perfect for the yard, then the scrub oak might be for you.
Topping out at a height of 15 feet, it shouldn’t threaten any telephone lines but it will still provide plenty of shade during the summer months.
It also has a pretty tolerant drought resistance, so you won’t need to keep it watered as much as the blue spruce.
You could add a row of scrub oaks together if you wanted a good windbreak from terrorizing your home. You’ll just have to be careful to prune any sprouts as much as possible.
The long runners from the scrub oak produce a ton of sprouts, so you have to constantly maintain it to keep from a bunch of trees taking over your yard.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Trees to Plant in Colorado
What is the best tree to plant in Colorado for privacy?
The aspen is going to be the best tree to plant in Colorado for shade because the close proximity of branches and pine needles make it very dense and hard to see through. Planting several next to each other could create another privacy wall or raise the privacy of your current fence.
What’s the best fast-growing tree to plant in Colorado?
Cottonwood trees are the fastest-growing trees you can plant in Colorado. They can grow at an annual rate of about 6 feet a year. That doesn’t mean they will be the best for your yard since they reach a max height of over 100 feet. Hence, it’ll take around 16 years for your cottonwood to reach full height.
Planting The Best Trees in Colorado
The best trees to plant in Colorado all do well in rough and windy winters and they also have good resistance to drought.
Just keep in mind how tall the tree will be because it might pose a danger to your home or telephone wires.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.