A photography of Phelan Gardens greenhouse and storefront in Colorado Springs Colorado

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.  

 ** 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.


Birch (Betula)

River Birch

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.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt


Western / Northern Catalpa

Height: 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.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Hackberry (Celtis)

Common Hackberry

Height: 40'-50'

Spread: 35'-40'

Fall Color: Yellow

Other Notes: A hardy, drought resistant tree. Light green foliage and corky ridges on bark. Rounded vase-shape.

Honeylocust (Gleditsia)

Sunburst Honeylocust

Height: 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.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)

Kentucky Coffee Tree 'Espresso'

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.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Linden (Tilia)

Littleleaf Greenspire Linden

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.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Maple (Acer)

Autumn Blaze Maple

Height: 50'-60'

Spread: 40'

Fall Color: YES! Orange-red.

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

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Crimson King Norway Maple

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.

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Deborah Norway Maple

Height: 40'-60'

Spread: 40'-60'

Fall Color: Reddish-purple spring leaves turn dark bronze-green in summer and bronze-yellow in fall.

Other Notes: Dense, broad oval shape. (Acer platanoides--Norway Maple)

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

Height: up to -80’

Spread: 40’-50’

Fall Color: Showy - Yellow Orange Red

Other Notes: Huge, beautiful shade tree for a large landscape. Winged seeds produced are a draw for wildlife. Sweet sap is harvested for maple syrup. Zone 3

Oak (Quercus)

Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

Height: up to 80’ but likely much smaller in our area

Spread: up to 80’ but likely much smaller in our area

Fall Color: Not notable. Yellow-brown

Other Notes: A type of white oak. Huge and long-lived tree that provides wonderful shade at maturity. Rounded tree that is slow growing, less than 12” per year- which gives its wood strength in our wind. Acorns are a source of food for wildlife. Leaves brown after their Fall show and persist in Winter. Hardy to Zone 2. Tolerant of many types of soils, drought tolerant.

 Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

Height: 50'-60'

Spread: 35'-40'

Fall Color: Bright Orange to Red

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

** Photo Courtesy J Frank Schmidt

Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)

Height: up to 60’

Spread: up to 50’

Fall Color: Copper-Bronze

Other Notes: Glossy green leaves in season are ‘bi-color’ with a silvery underside - thus its botanical name. A tall, spreading, open and broad oak. It is found in lower, moist areas naturally and thus, prefers more acidic soil. As with most oaks, it is also a shelter and food source for wildlife. Zone 4

White Oak (Quercus alba)

Height: 50’-80’

Spread: 50’-80’

Fall Color: Showy russet to red tones

Other Notes: Pyramid shape when young developing to a wide spreading irregular crown. Slow growing, less than 12” per year- which gives its wood strength in our wind. White oak is valued in the lumber trade. Acorns are a source of food for wildlife. Hardy to Zone 3. Long-lived, can live over 500+ years.

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
Phelan Gardens Perennials section of their store