September 20


Notable Trees in Denver, CO

By Noel D.

September 20, 2019

crabapple, horse chestnut, japanese maple, notable trees, tree care, tree planting

Denver is a beautiful area that is lucky to have many natural features that make it even more special. That includes trees! Did you know Denver has some of the most historied and notable trees in the state? It’s true! Even if you weren’t aware, you probably see them all over with plaques or at least you see them in the parks. Most of these trees, however, are located at the University of Denver.

If you wanted to know more about the notable trees in Denver (and maybe get some ideas on what to plant in your yard), here is your guide:

Cedar of Lebanon

  • Initially found in the forests of Lebanon
  • Grow 40-70 feet tall
  • Used in many public parks

You can probably see Cedars of Lebanon all over Denver, including in many public parks. The most famous one in the area is at the University of Denver, where it grows 34.10 feet tall.

If you are looking to plant a Cedar of Lebanon for yourself, you want to ensure that it has acidic soil. It does prefer a well drained area as well, though there can be some leeway with that.

You may need to have these trees pruned, and that is best done in the fall months so that the tree can rest. It is best to train the trees to have a central leader, according to The Spruce.


  • Extremely easy to grow
  • Provide fruit for decor or for animals to eat
  • Perfect for small gardens

The University of Denver also has two of the largest crabapple trees in the state. These trees can be found almost everywhere else – they grow and propagate quite easily.

Attainable, Sustainable suggests planting them in your yard if you have other apple trees or just plants that need pollination from bees: “Crab apples are so effective at pollinating other apple varieties that old time orchardists would take branches of crab apples in bloom and put them in a bucket of water in the middle of their apple orchards. The bees would visit the crabapple blossoms and then visit the apple blossoms as they opened on the apple trees, improving the fruit set.”

If you do plant them in your yard, know that you will have to do some clean up.

Eastern Wahoo

  • Smaller shrub or tree
  • Dark green in color
  • Fall foliage is dark purple

If you are looking for a smaller tree to put in your Denver yard, the Eastern Wahoo is a great option. It is one of the most beautiful trees that you can plant – it shows off in every season.

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, it is an extremely easy to grow tree. It needs shade for at least part of the day and does need to be in a well drained area. Even better (especially for Denver), it is good at adapting to different climates and changing seasons.

You should know that there is some clean up with this type of tree.

Horse Chestnut

  • Can grow pretty much anywhere with a little care
  • Can be a shade or ornamental tree
  • Height of 50–75′ and a spread of 40–70′ at maturity.

Another tree that often gets overlooked but is a notable one in Denver (we have one of the tallest in the state) is the Horse Chestnut. When first planted, it isn’t that ostentatious, but as it ages, it will become more and more beautiful.

The Arbor Day Foundation tells you all you need to know: “Beautiful, 5″-12″ oblong clusters of white flowers with a yellow and red tint at their base characterize this large flowering tree perfect for large areas. Leaves are light green as they unfold, emerging dark green at maturity. Upright-oval rounded form with lower branches hanging down. Bark exfoliates on older specimens exposing orange bark underneath. Plant in moist, well-drained soil. Tolerates many soil types. Full sun or partial shade. Grows 50′-75′ high, with a 40′-70′ spread.”

If you are looking for a tree that has beautiful flowers that won’t stain and aren’t a complete pain to clean up, this is a good compromise.

Shantung Maple

  • Small trees that are somewhat rare
  • Smaller version of the Japanese Maple
  • Won’t get taller than 25 feet

The University of Denver attracts a lot of attention from Shantung Maple fans because it is home to the tallest one in the state (and one of the tallest ones in the country). This tree is a perfect choice for yards of any size because it is shorter, but it also has a lot of personality.

For those that love a little bit of color in their yards, these trees are among the first to show their colors, according to Gardening Know How. How the tree thrives depends largely on the climate, though they are known to adjust as needed.

Another great feature is that these trees just look unique – you won’t see anything like them in your neighbors’ yards. As such, they can also be a bit more difficult to find, so make sure you work with someone at a nursery or a store that can help you get what you need.

Trees don’t have to be notable to be important to you. In fact, the trees in your yard may be nondescript, but that can have a huge impact on your life. If your trees are giving you trouble or you are just worried about their health, make sure to contact a tree care professional as soon as possible. At Arbortec Tree Service, we serve the greater Denver area. Give us a call at your earliest convenience at: (303) 466-3175. No matter what, we will treat your trees like they are the most important ones in the area – that’s a promise.

Header photo courtesy of Jennifer Feuchter on Flickr!

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