Fast Growing Evergreens for Colorado
Selecting Colorado evergreen tree types for the landscape can seem daunting, mostly due to the weather extremes that the trees must endure in the state. Evergreen trees, especially conifers or needle-leaf evergreens, are generally well-adapted to harsher cold climates, however. Depending on the space you have in your landscape and whether you want an evergreen tree to plant as an individual specimen or as part of a hedge, you’ll likely find a fast-growing tree that’s perfect for your Colorado landscape.
Some fast growing evergreens for Colorado are:
Fast growing evergreens for Colorado
|Tree name||Scientific name||USDA zone|
Spartan Chinese juniper
Southwestern white pine
Eastern white pine
Picea abies 'Cupressina'
Douglas-Fir Tree in Colorado
The Douglas-fir tree (Pseudotsuga mensiezii, USDA zones 4-6) is a conical-shaped evergreen that reaches 40 to 150 feet in height with a 12- to 40-foot spread. Enjoying moderate soil moisture, this is a versatile evergreen tree with a fast growth rate. A native Colorado tree, the Douglas-fir is extremely adaptable to many different soil types and is very cold-tolerant. Also, this evergreen tree has interesting cones surrounded by bracts that resemble mouse tails.
Spartan Chinese Juniper
The Spartan Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Spartan,' zones 5b-10) is a fast-growing evergreen tree that’s appropriate for smaller yards, growing to only 15 to 25 feet tall and 4 to 8 feet wide. You can also plant several of these junipers to create a tall hedge or privacy screen. This Chinese juniper cultivar is one of the best drought tolerant trees Colorado has to offer, requiring little moisture once established and growing into a conical shape with dense green foliage. The University of Florida rates Spartan Chinese juniper as having "high" drought tolerance, but it needs well-draining soil to prosper.
Best Pine Trees for Colorado
Southwestern White Pine
The southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis, zones 3-7) is a broadly column-shaped tree that reaches 60 feet in height and 35 feet in spread, with bluish-green needles and beautiful, large cones. Also a Colorado native, the southwestern white pine grows at a medium to fast rate and requires low to moderate moisture. This tree can also be trimmed into a Christmas tree shape, according to Washington State University.
Eastern White Pine
The eastern white pine (Pinus strobus, zones 3-8) is similar to the southwestern white pine, but it grows up to 80 feet tall and has more moderate moisture demands. Also, the eastern white pine is not native to Colorado and has more horizontal branches. You’ll need to plant this tree in a protected location, where it isn’t open to high winds and severe weather.
Norway Spruce Tree
The Norway spruce (Picea abies, zones 3-7) is also a broadly column-shaped evergreen that grows up to 70 feet tall and 30 feet wide, but it has short green needles and higher moisture demands. You’ll likely need to water this fast-growing evergreen tree to supplement rainfall. The Norway spruce’s branches weep or droop as it matures.
Cupressina Norway Spruce
A cultivated variety of the Norway spruce tree, the Cupressina spruce (Picea abies 'Cupressina,' zones 2-7) is a smaller tree with a narrower but still column-like shape. This spruce grows 25 to 30 feet tall and 6 feet wide, making it appropriate for smaller spaces or for creating hedges and privacy screens. Cupressina is a fast-growing evergreen that easily endures heavy snowfalls, but it has moderate to high moisture demands.
Moderately-Growing Colorado Evergreens
Some other choices, which aren’t quite as fast-growing but are great for Colorado landscapes, include:
- White fir (Abies concolor, zones 3-7)
- Limber pine (Pinus flexilis, zones 3-7)
- Mugo pine (Pinus mugo, zones 3-7), the
- Austrian black pine (Pinus nigra, zones 5-8)
- Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa, zones 5-9)
- Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris, zones 4-9)
- White spruce (Picea glauca, zones 3-6)
- Colorado spruce (Picea pungens, zones 2-8)
- Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens 'Glauca,' zones 3-8)