The Best Trees For Providing Shade in Denver
americanarbor February 16, 2024

Shade trees provide both beauty and purpose for your property in Denver, and with so many different types of shade trees, it’s exciting to pick the right ones to plant in your soil. In this blog, we’ll discuss how shade trees can benefit your property, and what types grow best in our Colorado climate.

The Benefits of planting shade trees in Denver

Shade trees offer a number of benefits to humans, animals, and the surrounding environment. They’re large, and their canopies stretch across your yard, providing a home for all different types of animals throughout the year. They’re also great at keeping wind and rain at bay, so you can enjoy shelter underneath. Best of all, shade trees have been proven to cool the air that’s directly underneath their canopies by up to 25 degrees. If you plant shade trees over your home, you can enjoy energy savings throughout the hot, summer months.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Shade Trees

When purchasing shade trees for your yard, you’ll want to consider these factors:

  1. The Denver climate
  2. Your soil and site conditions
  3. Maintenance requirements

Select trees that can handle Denver’s high altitude, dry climate, and alkaline soil. Have your soil tested before you buy any trees, since yours may be different, and may need to be amended to give your tree a good start. It’s also important to research each type of tree so you know how much water, fertilizer, and attention it needs throughout the year. 

Deciduous Shade Trees

Deciduous trees shed their leaves in the fall. They’re best known for their brightly colored yellow, orange, and red leaves in autumn and new growth that occurs in the spring. There are several different types of deciduous shade trees that grow well in Denver.

Maple Trees

Autumn blaze and Norway maple trees are large deciduous trees that look lovely in home landscapes. Sugar maple trees sport an explosion of red, orange, and yellow colors in the fall before shedding their leaves, and silver maple trees can be identified by their beautiful silver-toned bark.

Oak Trees

Oak trees are solid, hardy, and massively beautiful. Their canopies will stretch far and wide to shade your entire lawn. Some great oak tree varieties include the northern red oak and the bur oak tree. Oak trees also grow as quickly as maple trees do here in Colorado.

Other Deciduous Shade Trees

The honeylocust and linden trees are also beautiful trees that provide plenty of shade. Honeylocusts offer filtered light through their small leaves, and linden trees grow tiny white flowers that attract bees and hummingbirds. Spring snow crabapples, Japanese tree lilac and other non-fruit bearing trees make good options as well. 

Evergreen Shade Trees 

Evergreen trees are known for their foliage that remains green all year. These trees require full sun.

Pine Trees

Pine trees like the Austrian pine and the ponderosa pine are low-maintenance shade trees that provide plenty of protection from the wind. Pine trees also provide privacy for your home. 

Spruce Trees

Colorado spruce and Engelmann spruce trees grow tall, and they’re excellent at providing a wall of protection from the wind and sun in your yard. 

Fir Trees

Fir trees prefer full sun and offer excellent shade for your home and property. Make sure you research how to keep them healthy, since they’re prone to root diseases and damage if exposed to cold temperatures and soil that is too alkaline.

Two other types of evergreen shade trees include junipers and cedar trees.

Native Shade Trees of Denver

Native trees grow best in Denver because they’ve grown accustomed to our climate, soil, and altitude. Some native shade trees include:

  • Rocky Mountain Juniper
  • Plains Cottonwood
  • Narrowleaf Cottonwood

Fast-Growing Shade Trees for Immediate Relief

If you want to plant shade trees that grow quickly, consider these fast-growing trees. With proper care, they’ll grow very quickly, so you can bask in their shade without having to wait years or even decades. They include:

  • Hybrid Poplar
  • Weeping Willow
  • Maples, Oaks, and Pear Trees

Best Shade Trees for Small Spaces

If you want to plant a shade tree, but you’re cramped for space, consider these petite varieties:

  • Amur Maple
  • Japanese Tree Lilac
  • Hot Wings Maple
  • Hornbeams 
  • Skyrocket Juniper
  • Spearmint Juniper

Successfully Plant and Grow Shade Trees in Your Yard with American Arbor Care

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect shade trees for your yard, contact us today. Our experts will be happy to help you find the right trees for your space.

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