The Colorado Front Range has some of the best fall weather to be had in the United States. When it comes to interesting fall foliage color however, Colorado lacks the abundance of color that can be found in other parts of the country. But with the right choice of trees you can enjoy some wonderful foliage fireworks in your own backyard.
Serviceberries are beautiful tree-like shrubs. They offer great spring flowers, edible berries that attract birds and beautiful fall color. They are also good choices for water wise landscapes.
Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry – Amalanchier x grandiflora 12’ Ht x 10’ W
Shadblow Serviceberry – Amalanchier canadensis 12’ Ht x 10’ W
The popular ornamental trees are renowned for their their spring flowers, but these crabapples provide excellent fall interest as well.
Indian Summer – Malus ‘Indian Summer’ Orange-red fall color. 18’ Ht x 18’ W
Lancelot – Malus ‘Lancelot’ Yellow-gold fall color. 10’ Ht x 8’ W
Prairiefire – Malus ‘Prairiefire’ Orange-red fall color. 20’ Ht x 20’ W
Spring Snow – Malus ‘Spring Snow’ Yellow fall color. 20’ Ht x 20’ W
Autumn Purple – Fraxinus Americana As if it glows from within the center of the tree, this Ash is a sight to behold. The color is a mixture of gold to bronze-purple. 50’ Ht x 30’ W
Fall Gold – Fraxinus nigra The bright yellow gold of this tree is great against a crisp blue Colorado fall sky. 40’ Ht x 25’ W
You can find these often planted along streets and in commercial landscapes. They provide spring flowers and fall color in relatively compact form.
Autumn Blaze – Pyrus calleryana ‘Autumn Blaze’ Orange red fall color. 30’ Ht x 25’ W
Chanticleer – Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ Orange red fall color in an upright form. 35’ Ht x 15’ W
Just like their cousin the Aspen, Cottonwoods are known for their yellow gold leaves. Although they are not recommended for residential yards due to their size and tendency to sucker, they are wonderful in large areas with native planting schemes, especially in wetter areas like drainages and ravines.
Plains – Populus sargentii 60’ Ht x 50’ W
Narrowleaf – Populus angustifolia 75’ Ht x 40’ W
Lanceleaf – Populus acuminate 50’ Ht x 30’ W
These maple trees will provide great red to orange-red color for your landscape. The Autumn Flame is gorgeous, but it can suffer chlorosis in our alkaline soils. Amur and Tatarian are the most fool-proof choices for our soils and climate.
Amur – Acer ginnala 20’ Ht x 10’ W
Bigtooth – Acer grandidentatum 25’ Ht x 25’ W
Autumn Blaze – Acer x fremanii ‘Autumn Blaze’ 50-40’ Ht x 30-40’ W
Tatarian Maple – Acer tataricum 25’ Ht x 20’ W
Several of the Oak species are wise choices for Colorado Front Range climate and soils. And a few of these offer nice fall foliage as well.
Chinkapin Oak – Quercus muehlenbergii Yellow fall color. 35-50’ Ht x 35-50’ W
English Oak – Quercus robur Golden yellow fall color. 40-60’ Ht x 30-40’ W
Northern Red Oak – Quercus rubra Bronze to wine red fall color. 40-60’ Ht x 40-60’ W