Colorado is a unique region of the U.S. While the state is known to have plenty of sunshine, Golden, CO, and the surrounding areas are known for colder weather than the rest of the state because of these cities’ proximity to the mountains. For that reason, you want to carefully select which trees you plan to plant on your property.

Gambel Oak

The Gambel oak, more formally known by its scientific name, Quercus gambelii Nutt, may grow anywhere between six to 30-feet tall.

The leaves are around five inches in length and have three to four deep lobes. The leaves are smooth and rounded and don’t have teeth or spines. Generally, the leaves are a green color with the top part being shiny and the bottom being dull. In the fall, the leaves change from green to either a reddish-brown or yellow hue.

Typically, a Gambel oak will flower in April to March, which is when it produces catkins. The Gambel oak develops either single acorns or clusters of acorns. The acorns from the Gambel oak fall in autumn.

Fortunately, if you plant a Gambel oak, you’ll feed certain wildlife throughout the winter.

Douglas Fir 

A Douglas fir, also referred to as a red fir, Douglas spruce, or an Oregon pine, is a conifer — which means this tree produces pine cones. Despite its name, a red fir, isn’t a pine, spruce, or fir tree, though.

People use these trees as Christmas trees due to their attractive look, particularly their blue-green needles.

When a Douglas fir grows in the wild, it can grow up to more than 120 feet tall. Often, if the tree has a straight trunk, it may grow four to eight-feet wide. While these dimensions sound quite large for a yard, you may choose a dwarf version for your lawn that won’t grow as large.

Keep in mind that a typical red fir tree’s life span may reach 800 years.

Kentucky Coffeetree 

Just as the name insinuates, a Kentucky coffeetree originated in Kentucky. Interestingly enough, the pioneers used the seeds from this tree to make coffee.

These trees usually grow between 60 to 70-feet tall. However, a Kentucky coffee tree may grow up to 90-feet tall. The average tree has a spread of 40-feet wide.

One of the most noteworthy features of this tree is how often the leaves change colors. For instance, in the spring, the leaves on this tree are a pink-bronze color. The leaves then change to a dark bluish-green in the summer. Finally, the foliage changes to a yellow color in the fall. The leaves on this tree grow as leaflets in large clusters that are usually around two-feet wide and three-feet long.

Kentucky coffeetrees grow greenish-white flowers that are each about one inch. The flowers grow in groups. If you have a male tree, a group of flowers is only between 3 to 4 inches long. On the other hand, if you have a female tree, each group of flowers is between 8 to 12 inches in length.

The female trees produce fruit that looks like a woody pod and has a sticky pulp. Each fruit contains a few seeds. When you purchase this type of tree from a nursery, you’ll usually get a male that doesn’t produce fruit.

These three trees are just some of the options you have when you choose a tree for your Colorado yard. With proper care, such as pruning, you’ll have a beautiful landscape and a healthy tree that’ll last you for years to come.

Schedule an appointment with Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc., serving Golden, CO, and general vicinity, to have one of these trees or one of the other trees that grow well in Colorado planted in your yard.