Shade Trees


These are the big guys!  The trees listed below need some room to put down roots and spread their branches. They are the large, stately trees that will eventually provide you with shade and possibly a place to hang a hammock! If you have a smaller yard or are limited on space, consider planting an ornamental tree which has a smaller mature spread.  

Phelan Gardens Tree and Shrub Planting Guidelines

Please Note:  In stock availability of specific varieties listed below will vary depending upon time of season and sales.  Please call (719) 574-8058 for current availability.

Birch (Betula)

River Birch (Clump Form)
Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Height: 40'-50'

Spread: 30'-40'

Fall Color: Yellow

Other notes: This river bottom native also does well on upland soils. Likes moist location.  Nice yellow fall color, and attractive cinnamon-brown exfoliating bark for an interesting winter effect.


Western Catalpa

catalpawestern_pcojencatalpawesternclose_pcojenHeight: 40'-50'

Spread: 20'-25'

Flowers: Creamy white blooms, in late spring/early summer, are orchid-like in appearance. Followed by long green-bean looking seed pods.

Fall Color: Briefly Yellow

Other notes: Leaves are very large and heart shaped.  Broad rounded habit with age.

Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

Siouxland Cottonwood/Poplar
Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Height: 70'-90'

Spread: 40'

Other Notes: Fast growing. We only sell the "cottonless" type. Rounded shape with slightly larger leaves than the typical cottonwood.  As with their relatives, Aspen trees, the shimmering leaves catch light and have a distinctive 'whisper' when the wind blows. Likes moist soil. Caution: Susceptible to wind damage, site where limbs cannot do damage.

Honeylocust (Gleditsia)

Sunburst Honeylocust
Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

gleditsiasunburstclose_pcojenHeight: 35'

Spread: 30'-35'

Fall Color: Golden Yellow

Other Notes: Seedless and thornless. Light green fern-like foliage is tipped with golden bursts of new growth. Open, spreading branches create dappled shade.

Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)

Kentucky Coffee Tree 'Espresso'
Photos Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Height: 50'

Spread: 35'

Fall Color: Yellow

Other Notes: Oval to vase shaped with upright arching branches. The huge doubly compound leaves give this tree a tropical feel, and the arching branches present an elm-like form. This is a seedless selection. Good tolerance of heat, drought, and cold. Zone 4.

Linden (Tilia)

Littleleaf Greenspire Linden
Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Height: 40'-50'

Spread: 30'-35'

Flowers: Creamy-yellow fragrant flowers in early summer.

Fall Color: Yellow

Other Notes: Heart-shaped green leaves. Pyramidal to oval growth habit.


Maple (Acer)

Autumn Blaze Maple
Fall Color
Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Height: 50'-60'

Spread: 40'

Fall Color: YES! Orange-red.

Other Notes: Dense, oval shape. A cross between a silver and a red maple.

Crimson King Norway Maple
Photos Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Height: 35'

Spread:   35'

Flowers:  Small maroon and yellow in Spring followed by 2" seeds (samaras)

Fall Color:   Maroon all season

Other Notes:  The dense foliage of this slow growing shade tree remains an excellent maroon-red all season long. This cultivar is known for its straight trunk and well-shaped head. Zone 4.

Emerald Queen Norway Maple
Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Height: 50'-60'

Spread:   40'-45'

Fall Color:   Yellow

Other Notes:  Performs well under challenging urban conditions.  Deep green leaves in season change to yellow in Fall.  A fast grower with an oval shape at maturity.  (Acer platanoides--Norway Maple)

Oak (Quercus)

Northern Red Oak
Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Height: 50'-60'

Spread: 35'-40'

Fall Color: Bright Orange to Red

Other Notes: Rounded-Pyramid Shape. Relatively fast growing.

Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)
Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Height: 50'

Spread: 40'

Fall Color: Red

Other Notes: Upright, open spreading tree with a broadly oval shape. Autumn brings deep, brilliant shades of red. Low maintenance and drought tolerant once established.

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