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Ornamental Trees

GREAT things come in small packages

Smaller in stature than shade trees, ornamentals are easier to fit into small yards. We have also grouped tall trees here as long as they have a more narrow width as these won't need the width that shade trees require.  Look to these trees to add landscape interest in the form of flowers, fruit, or fall color. Many offer 3-4 seasons of interest.

Fruit trees are also ornamental.  But, they are a bit more work than those listed below, so we've grouped them together here. If you are up for yearly maintenance (and harvest!), they make wonderful ornamentals as well.

** Please Note:  In stock availability of specific varieties listed below will vary depending upon time of season and sales. Delivery available based on zip code and size of tree. 

Aspen, Quaking (Populus)


Spread: 12'-15'

Fall Color: Yellow to Orange

Other Notes: Native tree with pretty white bark and trembling leaves. Prefers rich, moist soil. Trees will sucker, forming groves. They do best at higher elevations. At lower elevations we see many disease and insect problems.  We offer these trees in pots of single trunk (pictured) or multi-stemmed clumps.

Chokecherry, Canada Red (Prunus)

Canada Red Cherry AKA Shubert Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

Height: 20'-30'

Spread: 20'

Flowers: Pendulous clusters of white flowers in late spring, followed by purple-red cherries.

Fall Color: Reddish-purple

Other Notes: Green leaves in Spring while in flower change to a deep maroon for the rest of the season.

Crabapple General Info Malus

It's hard to beat crabapples for a show of spring flowers! They are typically as wide as they are tall which gives them a broad rounded shape. If you like the flowers but not the fruit, check out 'Spring Snow.' It flowers profusely with little or no fruit.   Crabapples can also be useful to pollinate apple trees that produce edible fruit.  They must bloom the same time as your apple tree to do this.  Blooming times for ornamental crabapples are listed by variety.

Crabapple, Indian Magic


Spread: 15'-20'

Flowers: Single red buds open to deep pink flowers. (Late blooming variety)

Fall Color: Small ½" glossy red fruit changes to orange. Yellow leaf color in Fall.

Other Notes: Deep green leaves during the season. Birds love the fruit.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Crabapple, Louisa

Height: 12'-15'

Spread: 12'-15'

Flowers: Deep pink buds open to dainty light pink flowers (Early blooming variety)

Fall Color: Golden yellow fruit.

Other Notes: Spreading shape with a weeping habit.

Crabapple, Perfect Purple

Height: 20'

Spread: 20'

Flowers: Deep pink

Fall Color: Deep purple leaves with purple-red fruit

Other Notes: Leaves are purple in season as well as in Fall. Deep pink blooms set the spring stage for dark purple foliage that crowns the perfectly rounded canopy of this attractive tree. Very cold hardy.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Crabapple, Prairie Fire


Spread: 20'

Flowers: Hot pink buds open to medium pink.  (Late blooming variety)

Fall Color: 1/2" Red fruit and leaves tinge orange/yellow.

Other Notes:  Dark leaf variety.  The bark is a glossy dark red and the fruit persists on the tree.

** Photos Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Crabapple, Prairie Rose

Height: 20'

Spread: 18'

Flowers: Large and fragrant double pink flowers look like miniature rosebuds.

Fall Color: n/a

Other Notes: Midwest native crabapple is welcomed for its fruitless character.

Crabapple, Radiant

Height: 15'-20'

Spread: 20''

Flowers: Deep Pink

Fall Color: Leaf color is insignificant but  1/2" red crabapples add interest.

Other Notes: This compact tree is hardy to Zone 3.  The foliage is deep red-purple when in flower...a striking contrast.  Leaves age to green and flowers are followed by bright red fruit.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Crabapple, Royal Raindrops


Spread: 15'

Flowers: Deep pink.

Fall Color: Orange-red leaves and small 1/4" red fruit.

Other Notes: A purple-leaf type that changes color in Fall. Upright spreading habit.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Crabapple, Spring Snow

Height: 20'-25'

Spread: 20'

Flowers: Sterile profuse double white blossoms cover the tree in early spring and produce little to no fruit.  (Early blooming variety)

Fall color: Yellow

Other Notes: Bark when young is a shiny amber color, very pretty.  Wonderful food source for bees in early Spring.

** Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Elm, Frontier (Ulmus)

'Frontier' Elm

Height:  25'

Spread:  15'

Fall Color:  Purple-red

Other Notes: The U.S. National Arboretum presents 'Frontier', an elm tree of moderate stature. This hybrid combines a high level of tolerance to Dutch elm disease, and a lovely red-purple autumn coloration. It is perfect for use in smaller landscapes, along city streets, and under power lines. 'Frontier' blazes a trail for elms in the urban landscape. Zone 5.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Golden Raintree (Koelreuteria paniculata)


Spread: 15'-20'

Flowers: Large sprays of yellow flowers in mid-summer followed by Chinese lantern-like pods.

Fall Color: Yellow

Other Notes:  Native to China and Japan, this small tree grows well in a wide range of soils, and is tolerant of heat, drought, wind, alkalinity, and air pollution. The bright yellow flowers are borne in large 12-15" panicles in July, followed by greenish fruit pods throughout the summer.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Hawthorn, Crimson Cloud (Crataegus)

Crimson Cloud Hawthorn

Height: 15'-20'

Spread: 12'-20'

Flowers: In Spring, unusual red blooms with a bright white center.

Fall Color: Red clusters of berries. No noticeable leaf color.

Other Notes: This thornless tree bears exceptionally large, single bright red flowers with a star-shaped white area in the center of each bloom. Resistant to leaf spot diseases, it provides a second colorful display in fall when covered with glossy red fruit which persists into winter. Small ornamental tree. Thornless.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Hawthorn, Thornless Cockspur

Height: 20'-30'

Spread: 20'-35'

Flowers: Creamy white in late Spring.

Fall Color: Green berries turn into a bright red that persists through winter. Orange leaf color.

Other Notes: Glossy green leaves. Horizontal growth habit. Bark exfoliates in thin strips. Interesting green berries in summer give the tree a two-tone effect.

Hawthorn, Washington


Spread: 25'-30'

Flowers: Creamy white in late Spring

Fall Color: Red berries and yellow/orange/maroon leaves

Other: Birds love the bright red berries on this tree that persist into winter.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Lilac Tree, Ivory Silk (Syringa) / Japanese Lilac Tree

'Ivory Silk' Lilac Tree

Height: 20'-25'

Spread: 15'-20'

Flowers: Showy, creamy white 'lilac' shaped flowers in early summer followed by tan fruit.

Fall Color: Not showy—gold tones.

Other Notes: Related to shrub form of lilacs. Dark cherry brown bark. Rounded vase-shape with age.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Locust, Black Locust 'Twisty Baby' (Robinia)

'Twisty Baby' Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Height: 15'-20'

Spread: 15'-20'

Flowers: Uniquely shaped white flowers form in clusters

Fall Color: Yellow

Other Notes: This is a dwarf, contorted tree of remarkable appearance. Branches twist and turn at every node; even the foliage twists. Its irregular, artistic form is as interesting in winter as in summer.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Maple, Armstrong Gold (Acer)

Armstrong Gold Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)


Spread: 12'-15'

Fall Color: Yellow/orange shades

Other Notes: A tall and narrow maple tree with nice fall color. Good for smaller yards.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Maple, Bigtooth 'Rocky Mountain Glow’ (Acer grandidentatum)

Height: 25’

Spread: 15’

Fall Color: Showy varies from yellow to red

Other Notes: Upright oval shape (branches low to the ground) A relative of the Sugar Maple but smaller overall and native to the Rocky Mountains. Showy fall color. Zone 4.

Maple, Box Elder 'Sensation'  (Acer negundo)


Spread:  25'

Fall Color:  Red

Other Notes: Rounded shape. Seedless variety. Sensation is a male box elder clone that features slower, more controlled growth, improved branch structure, and an outstanding display of brilliant red autumn foliage.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Maple, Norway 'Crimson Sunset'  (Acer truncatum x Acer platanoides)


Spread:  25'

Fall Color:  Reddish bronze

Other Notes: Upright oval shape. Deep maroon leaves in season lighten to reddish bronze in Fall. Flourishes in the summer heat.  Zone 4.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Maple, Amur/Flame (Acer ginnala)

Height: 15'-20'

Spread: 20'-25'

Fall Color: Ranges from orange-yellow to red

Other Notes: A graceful irregular shape with slender branches. Rounded shape. Extremely hardy and drought tolerant. Medium green leaves in season are adorned with decorative samaras in summer. Leaves turn bright shades in fall. We offer the tree form, but you will also see this tree grown around Colorado Springs as a multi-stem large shrub.

Maple, Tatarian 'Rugged Charm' (Acer tataricum)


Spread: 15'

Flowers: Small clusters of fuzzy white flowers followed by bright red tipped samaras.

Fall Color: Yellow to Orange-Red traditional maple color.

Other Notes: Compact and oval in form, the shapely canopy of this refined selection is a charming improvement over the hardy and rugged species! Bright red seed wings float in bright contrast against summer’s green leaves. Come autumn, the boldly textured foliage shows off a rich mix of yellow, orange, and bright red.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Mountain Ash, European Type (Sorbus)

Height: 20'-30'

Spread: 20'-25'

Flowers: Clusters of small white flowers.

Fall: Showy orange-red fruit that persists into winter. Leaves turn red.

Other Notes: Dark green, fine textured leaves. Birds love the fruit. Plant in soil with good drainage.

Mountain Ash, Oakleaf type (Sorbus)


Flowers: Clusters of small white flowers.

Fall: Showy orange-red fruit that persists into winter. Leaves turn rust colored.

Other Notes: This tree is grown from seed originally collected from Cheyenne Horticultural Field Station, Wyoming. A hybrid derived from European Mountain ash and Swedish Mountain ash, it is uniform with leaves lobed like English oak, and has white flowers followed by orange-red fruit.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Pear, Chanticleer (Pyrus)

Height: 25'-30'

Spread: 15'

Flowers: Clusters of creamy-white flowers in early Spring before leaves emerge

Fall color: Red/Purple tones.

Other Notes: This is one of the first trees to bloom in Spring and one of the last ones to drop its leaves in Fall. A very nice ornamental that fits in a small space due to its pyramidal, upright shape.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Plum, Cistena 'Big Cis' Flowering/Ornamental Plum (Prunus)

Cistena Plum 'Big Cis' (Prunus x cistena)

Height: 14'

Spread: 12'

Flowers: Fragrant single pink blossoms bloom in Spring before the foliage emerges.

Fall Color: Glossy Purple-red leaves all season.

Other Notes: A sport of Cistena, Big Cis® Plum grows quickly to a heavy-trunked, sturdy tree that is intermediate in size between Cistena and Newport. Cistena-like flowers are followed by dark purple foliage that keeps its fresh, clean appearance later in the season.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Plum, Newport Ornamental Plum  (Prunus cerasifera)


Spread: 15'-20'

Flowers: Fragrant pink blossoms in spring followed by small purple fruit.

Fall Color: Purple-red leaves.

Other Notes: Deep purple-red leaves all season. Rounded form.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Plum, Newport 'Thundercloud' Ornamental Plum (Prunus cerasifera)

Height: 15'-20'

Spread: 15'-20'

Flowers: Fragrant single pink blossoms bloom in Spring before the foliage emerges.

Fall Color: Glossy Purple-red leaves all season.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Map of Colorado Springs with Phelan Gardens location marked

Visit Our Central Colorado Springs Location

We are open all year round and always offer the seasons most popular varieties for gardeners and plant lovers alike!

Phelan Gardens
4955 Austin Bluffs Parkway.
Colorado Springs, CO, 80918

(719) 574-8058

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A photograph of various signs that point to sections of Phelan Gardens such as Perennials, Vines, Grasses and more
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