small tree for backyard shade

Asked September 1, 2016, 1:25 PM EDT

We are looking into planting a small tree in our back yard. We live in Denver in an old neighborhood with a relatively small back yard, on the west side of the house, with overhead communication and power cables. There an space with an overhead about 15 feet which is free of cables. Can you recommend a hardy, low maintenance tree that would provide some shade? There are no other trees in the back yard, just a perennial garden, no grass, and two bricked patio areas.

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

You have a number of options for small deciduous trees (ie 15 - 20 ft) that would meet your needs - hardy, low maintenance & some shade. One species is the Malus spp. 'Coralburst', 'David', and 'Indian Summer'. These flowering crabapple trees are all resistant to fireblight. Another lovely species is Prunus nigra 'Princess Kay', a flowering plum tree. A beautiful ornamental maple that gets a bit taller - to 20ft. is Acer tataricum, Hot Wings Maple. All of these trees are proven hardy in this area & are low maintenance once established. However, regular deep (weekly) watering is essential for the first growing season and monthly during the winter months. Attached is a website link to the Colorado State University Fact Sheet on Small Deciduous Trees that will provide more details.