Colorado Trees: Best Trees to Plant in the Summer

Trees are a fantastic addition to any landscaping and they provide various benefits. Some of the benefits of planting trees include the following: they increase your property value, make your space more enjoyable, can help decrease your A/C bill by shading your house throughout the summer months, and so much more!


Can You Grow Trees in Colorado During the Summer?

There are tons of different varieties of trees that are great for growing in Colorado. While most people shy away from planting trees in the summer due to the intense heat, trees will actually grow the quickest during the summer months and may simply need a little extra care and attention to help them withstand the sweltering temperatures. The intense heat of the summer can be hard on unestablished trees, perennials, and shrubs, however, any plant material planted during the summer will grow and thrive just as well as plant material that was put in the ground in the spring, as long as it is given the necessary care and attention!


You will also want to be aware of the fact that your new plantings will need more consistent watering throughout their first growing season in order to also help them develop strong root systems. Watering once a week (if not more often in the heat of the summer) will be necessary, and you will want to water deeply. The best way to do this is by placing your hose at the base of your tree and turning it on to a slow trickle you will want to leave your hose for a couple of hours. Watering in this manner will make sure that water soaks deep into the soil around the rootball of your tree instead of spreading out wide and only soaking in an inch or two. This will make sure your tree grows roots that are deep and strong instead of growing roots that are shallow and wide. In truth, this is how all of your landscaping plants should be watered! To learn more about best practices when planting a new tree, shrub, or any other perennial plant, check out our Tree and Shrub Planting Guide!


8 Trees To Grow in Colorado This Summer

Here is a list of some Colorado trees that are very popular and grow great here in our arid environment. For more options, check out our Plant Finder!


Corinthian Linden (Tilia cordata 'Corzam')

Corinthian Linden

Corinthian Linden has an upright, pyramidal growth habit with limbs evenly spaced around its trunk. It has a narrow growth habit and features lustrous dark green leaves that are neat and formal in appearance. It is quite a spectacle in the fall, with its leaves turning a bright orange-yellow color as soon as the weather begins to cool down.


Corinthian Linden Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-8

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 40-45 feet

  • Width: 15-20 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Fall Color: Yellow


Greenspire Linden (Tilia cordata 'Greenspire')

Greenspire Linden

Very suitable for street planting, this variety has a straight trunk, rich foliage, and features fragrant pale yellow flowers early in the summer. Greenspire Linden trees are award winners and have been named "Best Tree" for urban planting. They have an attractive, uniform shape and exhibit gorgeous fall color.


Greenspire Linden Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-7

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 40-50 feet

  • Width: 30-35 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Fall Color: Yellow

  • Attributes: Drought tolerant, urban tolerant


Bloodgood Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood')

Bloodgood Japanese Maple

A deservedly popular Japanese Maple, this robust, upright tree has large, deep red leaves that emerge bright red in the spring. Leaves mature to deep, rich purple and retain their color well, even during the heat of summer. Crimson fall color and scarlet, winged seeds add extra interest to this sturdy garden standard.


Bloodgood Japanese Maple Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-8

  • Light Requirements: Full to partial sun

  • Height: 15-20 feet

  • Width: 12-15 feet

  • Foliage Color: Red


Fall Fiesta Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum 'Bailsta')

Fall Fiesta Sugar Maple

One look is all you'll need to see that Fall Fiesta is superior to the sort. The branching is full and symmetrical. Leathery, glossy, deep green leaves are resistant to leaf tatter and leafhopper damage. A rapid grower, easy to transplant, and also resistant to sunscald and frost cracks. Outstanding fall color shows far more oranges and reds than other sugar maples. Prefers moist yet well-draining soil with a slight acidity for optimum growth.


Sugar Maple Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 3-9

  • Light Requirements: Full to partial sun

  • Height: 50-75 feet

  • Width: 50-75 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Fall Color: Orange, red, yellow


Hot Wings Tatarian Maple (Acer tataricum 'GarAnn')

Hot Wings Tatarian Maple

Brilliant red samaras (winged seeds) look like flaming flowers all summer long. This is an attractive and sturdy tree with showy fall color. Ideal for home landscapes where a smaller tree is desired.


Hot Wings Maple Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 3-8

  • Light Requirements: Full to partial sun

  • Height: 16-20 feet

  • Width: 15-18 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Red

  • Fall Color: Multicolor, red, yellow

  • Bloom Time: Summer

  • Attributes: Attracts bees, winter interest


Emerald Lustre Maple (Acer platanoides 'Pond')

Emerald Lustre Maple

This shade tree is known for its outstanding branching habit, hardiness, and vigor. The immature foliage displays an attractive red tinge before maturing to glossy deep green leaves with a slightly wavy margin. It has a naturally rounded growth habit and displays gorgeous yellow-gold leaves in the fall!


Emerald Lustre Maple Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-7

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 50-60 feet

  • Width: 50-60 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Fall Color: Golden yellow

  • Attributes: Rapid growth, very adaptable, very hardy, provides dense shade


Skyline Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis 'Skycole')

Skyline Honeylocust

This variety is stately and unusual with a distinctive pyramidal form. Honeylocust trees develop a strong, sturdy trunk and shapely crown. This variety is thornless and does not bear fruit. It is a highly valuable tree for light, filtered shade!


Skyline Honeylocust Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-7

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 40-50 feet

  • Width: 30-35 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Fall Color: Yellow

  • Attributes: Deer resistant, drought tolerant


Sunburst Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis 'Suncole')

This cultivar is noted for foliage that emerges bright golden-bronze and fades to green as it matures. The foliage then colors golden-yellow again in the fall. It is thornless and seedless and is an exceptional variety providing light, filtered shade.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-7

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 30-35 feet

  • Width: 30-35 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green, yellow

  • Fall Color: Yellow

  • Attributes: Deer resistant, drought tolerant

The Best Colorado Trees to Plant This Summer

We hope this has given you some good ideas for which trees would be great to plant in your yard this season! For more information on how to plant a tree, shrub, or perennial, check out our Tree & Shrub Planting Guide. If you would like to learn about more trees that are suitable for Colorado's environment, check out our Plant Finder! You can also find other helpful information in our blog and in our post on The Best Trees for Colorado Backyards. And as always, let us know if you have any questions!

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