Your Resource For Planting & Growing The Best Trees For Our Area
Here in the foothills west of Denver, CO we're officially in zone 4 and between 7000’ and 9000’ in elevation. That makes for highly variable conditions from property to property, and even microclimates within the same property. For example, the south side of a home can have conditions like zone 5 while on the north side it's closer to zone 3.
As a result, we have a lot of different trees growing in our area. Below you'll see some of the most common trees in the Denver foothills.
If you're looking for suggestions on which trees to plant in your yard, the ones shown here are good options, although it's difficult to say with certainty that the trees shown here are the best ones for your property. While the trees below are suitable for most properties in our area, consider any microclimates on your property before planting.
Also, keep in mind that deer and elk are everywhere, and even the occasional moose - and they love to eat and rub deciduous plants, including young trees. So be sure to protect any newly-planted trees (or put up a fence).
Ask the Pros
If you're not sure which trees are best in your situation or can't quite identify what's growing on your property, give us a call at 303-674-8733 - we're happy to take a look, ID any trees and recommend ones that would do well for you.
Get A Free Quote
Call us at 303-674-8733 or contact us online to get a free estimate for any aspect of our tree care services.
We recommend spring or early fall planting to get your new trees off to a great start. You can always call us for advice on where to plant your new tree(s) and don’t forget that we offer professional tree planting services if you don’t want to do it yourself!
Trees & Shrubs For Specific Situations
Common Colorado Trees & Shrubs
FAQs About Tree Suckers
Suckers are thin, upright branches that usually grow at the base of a tree or shrub’s trunk or near the base of the tree, growing from the roots.
Suckers primarily have two purposes:
- To create more energy for the tree or shrub
- To ensure a new tree or shrub will emerge as the current tree or shrub fades
A stressed tree will put out suckers as a cry for help. We’ll often see suckers on trees that are suffering from drought conditions, pest issues, or planted in a median or other small area surrounded by sidewalks or pavement.
A tree will also grow water sprouts, similar to suckers, if a tree was topped or pruned incorrectly. Unlike suckers, water sprouts grow from pruning cuts and are another way that a tree tries to get energy. When too many leaves and branches are removed, a tree struggles to create energy through photosynthesis
Many aspens that we see in the Evergreen area now were planted 25 to 30 years ago. Aspens, as individual trees or stems, have a short life span. When you walk through a larger, native grove of aspen you’ll notice all the deadfall on the ground.
For that reason, the root system of aspens will constantly send up new, young trees to replace the one that is dying out. These are clones of the larger plant. Aspen try to form a grove by sending up these clones, usually where there is moisture like at a downspout.
Many people cut or pull all of the suckers that an aspen sends out, but if you think of them as free replacement trees, this practice may be costing you money. Definitely don’t use an herbicide on them, you could damage the rest of your trees!
We recommend keeping some of the suckers and letting them grow into full aspen trees, just pick the ones that are in a good spot. A way to get them to grow where you’d like them is to water that area if it’s near the other larger trees. Or remove the aspens entirely and replace them with another type of tree.
On these trees and shrubs, the new growth that you see is not suckers, but just new growth. The plant is trying to survive and grow, so if you cut all of the new growth you are killing the tree or shrub. In an environment where they would grow from seed, these plants are more of a large shrub. They are pruned at the nursery to get them to grow with a single stem or “tree form” because some people prefer that look.
We recommend letting these shoots grow and become part of the tree or shrub. Most of the time the plant is more resistant to deer/elk damage as a large shrub than in tree form.
We also talk about mountain ash and Canada red chokecherry trees in our spring-flowering tree article >>
Suckers may be a sign that something else is wrong with your tree. If your tree is producing suckers it may need any of the following:
- Pest treatment
- Disease treatment
- Proper pruning
Contact LAM Tree to schedule a tree consultation where a tree expert can determine the cause of your tree producing suckers.
Keep in mind, however, that some trees reproduce by creating suckers. If your tree is known for reproducing in this way, it will always be creating offshoots.
See our list of Colorado trees (above) to determine if your tree is known for producing suckers.
Some tree suckers, especially aspens, can be eaten to the ground when they are young. You may need to place some kind of wire fencing or other form or protection around the suckers if you want to encourage them to grow into full-grown trees. Chicken wire is a common protection device to prevent deer or other herbivores from eating the young suckers.
Learn more about protecting young trees in our article on rodent damage >>