Most of our shade trees are in quart, gallon, on up to four gallon size pots–they are small and transplant easier than larger trees. Most of our fruit trees are larger and are listed in the Fruit Tree section.
Acer tataricum TATARIAN MAPLE: Small tree with rounded crown or can be grown as a large shrub. 15-20 feel tall. Tolerates alkaline soil. Drought resistant after establishment. Red to yellow fall color. 15′ tall. Zone 3.
X Chitalpa tashkentensis: An intergeneric hybrid of Chilopsis linearis and Catalpa bignoniodes. It flowers from July to September. Hummingbirds and butterflies like the flowers, too. Fast growing to 25′ it makes a great shade tree for a small yard or near the patio. Hardy in the garden in the nursery, not tested above 6500′ elevation.
Chilopsis linearis DESERT WILLOW: Although listed as Zone 6, I know quite a few people who have desert willows in Denver and Pueblo that have survived Minus 20 F. Ours are grown from seed from those same hardy trees. Fast-growing, multi-stemmed tree that reaches 15-20′ tall.
Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ SMOKETREE; A small tree that is very drought tolerant once established. The leaves are purple in summer and then turn scarlet in the fall. Pink seed heads provide the “smoke” of its common name. Can be grown as a multi-stemmed shrub or a single stemmed tree. Grows to 15′ tall. Zone 5.
Picea pungens COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE: Our state tree. Does best where summers are cooler, although I’ve seen lovely specimens at the lower elevations, too. Slow to moderate growing. Zone 3.
Populus tremuloides QUAKING ASPEN: A pioneer tree that regrows from its roots after a forest fire, aspen trees are found at high elevations in Colorado. The soft rustling of their leaves is one of nature’s loveliest sounds. The leaves are attached by flattened petioles (leaf stems), joined at right angles to the leaf, so that they twist and flutter with the slightest breeze. 40′-70′ tall at maturity. Zone 2
Populus idahoensis IDAHO POPLAR: Super fast growing, and easy to grow as long as you can give it adequate water. If you need shade in a hurry, this is your tree! Life span is normally 30 years, so plant a longer lived tree, too, to complement this one. 35′ tall at maturity. Zone 3.
Sambucus nigra caerulea BLUE ELDERBERRY: This small native tree (or large shrub) is a great addition to the garden. It flowers in June and July and the berries are loved by humans and birds! You must cook them to use them, however.
Syringa reticulata pekinensis CHINESE TREE LILAC: It has fragrant, creamy white flower clusters in late May or early June. It is tolerant to a wide range of conditions, and has no serious disease or pest problems. 20-25′ tall. Zone 3.