Tree Selection and Placement

Denver’s is a city of trees because most were planted. The most popular trees since the 1890s have been silver maple, ash, walnut, American elm, honey locust, Siberian elms, ginkgo, Kentucky coffee tree, oak, crabapple, linden, catalpa, and cottonwood. Tree species fall in and out of favor based on the approved city planting polices and esthetic trends of the time. Since trees live a long time, it is best to give some thought on what the use of the tree will before it is planted.

Cottonwoods and silver maples are out of favor now. Cottonwoods grow fast and can become enormous. They also drink up to 100 gallons of water per day. Mature silver maples can become hollow and weak. Large branches snap off without warning and dead trees lean and become unstable.

According to the City of Denver Forest Department, “Denver’s urban forest shades 19.7% of Denver with 2.2 million trees and saved more than $6.7 million dollars in energy costs for cooling.” Planting trees improves the curb appeal of a home and saves energy.

Tree Placement

Due to their size, tree placement is important because trees dominate the landscape of a yard. Trees should be planted in spot where they get the sun they need to grow. As deciduous trees grow, they create shade that cools homes and prevent the hot western sun to scorching grass and gardens. Evergreen trees planted on the north side of a yard protect the property from winter winds. According to Plant Talk from the Colorado State Extension Service, a rule of thumb is to plant trees a distance equal to at least two-thirds of their mature height from any structure. This way branches will not touch the roofs of homes and become hazards. Trees should be planted away from power and utility lines to avoid removal or heavy pruning from the local utility company.

DLC Arbor Services, LLC can make a tree recommendation.

Call (303) 378-8000 or email us at to set up an appointment. We are glad to help.

For more information about Denver trees and the services they need, join the DLC Arbor Facebook or Twitter community.


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