Hardy Trees for Spring Planting
Early spring is a great time to think about planting new trees. If you worry that your thumb isn’t “green enough” to plant and grow a tree, start with something hardy. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and the Colorado State Forest Service recommends these 13 trees are recommended for Northern Colorado.
Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) Produces acorns, fall color yellow to brown and occasionally red, very hardy and long lived
Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) Very hardy, can be susceptible to nipple gall, a cosmetic injury, reddish purple cherry like berries
Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata) Creamy, white flower clusters with showy, dark bark
Littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata) Yellow flower clusters, pea sized fruit, formal pyramidal form, excellent street tree
Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) Small trees or large shrubs with showy white flowers and edible fruits
Crusader Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) Flowers in the spring, small fruit produced, most varieties contain small thorns
Rejoice Crabapple (Malus spp.) Flowers in the spring, most varieties produce fruit, select a variety that has a high resistance to fire blight
Amur maple (Acer ginnala) Yellow- white flowers, abundant seed, orange to red fall color, does better in lower pH soils
Tatarian maple (Acer tataricum) Winged seeds good for birds, fall color orange-red, hardy tree
Bradford Redbud (Cercis canadensis) Early spring magenta-colored flowers followed by heart-shaped leaves, plant only northern strains in protected locations
European mountain-ash (Sorbus aucuparia) Dark green, pinnately compound leaves with silvery undersides, creamy white flowers followed by clusters of orange-red fruit
Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) State tree, sharp stiff needles, color of needles range from bright green to silver blue
Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) Long needle pine, works well in a windbreak
Optimum planting periods are from March 15 to June 15 and from September 1 to October 15.
Tree selection is one of the most important investment decisions a home owner makes when landscaping a new home or replacing a tree lost to damage or disease. Most trees can outlive the people who plant them, therefore the impact of this decision is one that can influence a lifetime.