CO-Horts

CO-Horts Blog

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Downtown Flowers Signal Summertime for Puebloans


 By Sherie Shaffer, Horticulture Agent, CSU Extension-Pueblo County

My favorite part of the flower display, in front of Pueblo Union Depot

These two are Craig's favorite containers

Every year, Puebloans are signaled to the beginning of summer when the huge, beautiful containers of petunias and geraniums appear downtown.

These beauties are in front of local boutique, Razmataz

Everyone loves the smell of fresh petunias in the morning


The Pueblo Union Depot, along with B Street and a good portion of Union Avenue get decked out with these blossoms every year in May, thanks to local business owners the Koncilja’s. The flowers are purchased from a local nursery, but you may be wondering, who cares for them and keeps them looking stunning all summer long?
Looking down B Street from the Union Depot

Patrons of the cafes on B Street get to look at these containers while they dine

Some of the containers are hanging, while some are on the ground

The answer is two guys, Craig and Brandon. We got an opportunity for an insider tour of the daily care of these flowers, thanks to the fact that Craig is my brother. Turns out it’s no small feat to keep these blooms looking brilliant during the heat of a Southern Colorado summer.
Craig with his trusty hose reel 


Turns out it doubles as a fun ride

A close up of the reel



Unless it rains, which is not something that happens often around here, the flowers need to be watered daily. Craig and Brandon have portable hose reels, that they wheel around downtown and hook to multiple different spigots around where the flowers are located. They must start early, not only to beat the heat but also to beat the morning downtown buzz. Turns out it’s a lot easier to stretch the hose out when the foot traffic is low.
Luckily he's tall to reach the hanging containers




The hose spigots have keys to turn them on

As they water each container individually, by hand, they also do whatever deadheading needs to be done on each plant. This keeps the plants looking nice and encourages them to keep blooming all summer long. Sometimes, when a plant gets a little leggy, they will trim them up to keep the shape looking nice and compact.


Right in front of the doors to the Union Depot

These containers are in Tandoori's courtyard

More beautiful flowers

Of course, water and TLC aren’t quite enough to keep the flowers looking their best. They also get fertilized weekly. The Petunias get fed with a 20-3-19 water-soluble Petunia Feed that includes Magnesium. The geraniums get a 20-10-20 general-purpose water-soluble fertilizer. To deliver the fertilizer, they use a Dosatron nutrient injector. First, they mix about 10 cups of the dry fertilizer in a bucket, and fill it with water, this is the concentrate. They then set the injector to the appropriate level and insert the hose of the injector into the concentrate bucket. The water supply is then hooked to the injector and it delivers the desired concentration of fertilizer into the irrigation water.

The fertilizer they use to keep the blooms looking beautiful


The Dosatron fertilizer injector

Pest and disease issues haven’t been too bad in the past. During really hot spells some of the petunia leaves will become sunburnt from the reflected heat of the sidewalk, and they have dealt with some small aphid infestations. Nothing a call to the local Extension Agent/sister and a strong stream of water couldn't handle!


Another view of Tandoori's courtyard


These lucky flowers get some morning shade

So, although it’s no small task to keep these flowers looking great all summer long, the people of Pueblo are so glad that they are purchased and cared for to keep our downtown looking bright and beautiful!



Monday, September 13, 2021

Posted by:  Patti O'Neal, Urban Food Systems Coordinator, Jefferson County
Fall is the Time for Seed Saving 
“Oh that is the best tomato I have ever eaten!”
 “Look at the blooms on that hyssop, and the color!” 
“Could those cucumbers be any more sweet or crunchy? I want those again next year” 
 How many times have you said something similar and wondered how to get that exact flavor, texture and color every year? You can always buy more seed – especially if you have journaled the scientific name of the seed of the plant you so love; along with the company name that produced or marketed the seed. But another way is to learn to save seeds from your favorite plants to plant again the following year and actually adapt them to your garden. It is one of my favorite fall gardening activities. 
 Can all seeds be saved?
 No. In order to produce a plant that is exactly true to the parent plant that you love and to exactly duplicate the flavor, texture and color you were hoping for, you must save seeds that are open pollinated/heirloom. Hybrid seeds, those with an F1 or F2 designation on their package or label, are created 2 distinctive parents (usually of same species) cross pollinated by hand to produce offspring with a predetermined set of characteristics. Those characteristics could be flavor, skin texture, number and color of petals, plant height and so on. What happens when you try to save those seeds and plant them is that the plant begins to un-cross and does not produce true to the parent plant. If you love a hybrid plant, (example, one of the yummiest tomatoes on the planet is the Sun Gold cherry tomato which is a hybrid) be sure to plant new seed every year. 

 What are the advantages of saving seed? 
You can promote and protect the rich diversity that open pollinated/heirloom seeds represent to our history. Seeds are most rich in their ability to produce diverse plant material and a richness in diversity so wide that the plants reflect the environment they are produced and grown in. 

 They have the ability to adapt to certain terroir and to retain the changes in their DNA – to remember and to display the changes. So, by saving and planting seeds from the best representatives of each species in our own gardens, 
 • we play a part in preserving genetic variety and biodiversity 
• we can preserve varietal characteristics we value 
 we can preserve varieties specifically adapted to your particular microclimate and soils.
 According to Diane Ott Wheatley, co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, “Growing seed in the same geographic area allows the seed to adapt to local pests and climate challenges and requires less chemical pesticides and fertilizers.” 

What are the best seeds to save if you are a beginner? 
The seeds that will provide the best chance for success to save are:

  Beans 
 Peppers
  Lettuce 
 Peas 
 Tomatoes
 These plants produce seed in the same season as they were planted in. They are mostly self-pollinators so you do not have to worry about cross-pollination. 

 What are some basic tips for seed saving? 
Remember: Growing a plant to save seed is different from growing it to eat. Most plants will grow past the stage in which they are good to eat to the stage where they will stretch and produce flowers and from there, seed (i.e., lettuce, spinach)

or they will need to dry “on the vine” (beans). Plants like tomatoes, squashes, peppers will yield their seeds up during preparation to eat them. They can be dried out in various ways at that time. 
 Save seed from the very best of your plants. Those plants with no pest and disease issues, the best fruit producers, the best blooms, the best color; the best of the best of each species in your garden. 
Seeds aren’t viable until they are fully ripe. Watch the weather carefully and protect plants that are not fully ready and keep them dry. Keep plants healthy to the very end until ready to collect. This can be tedious but is necessary to keep the seed viable. 
 Cut seed heads or take plants from the garden and further dry out by hanging in a cool, dry, dark place until completely dry. 
 Separate the seeds from the chaff of the plants and store in glass jars or paper to keep dry and safe until ready to plant. Label carefully and make journal notes about the plant and it’s origin.

 What can you do to promote seed saving to others? 
• Share the seeds you save with neighbors and friends 
  Learn about Seed Libraries 
 Learn about Seed Vaults and where they are located 
 Learn about and visit a Seed Bank 
 Host a Seed Swap


 Saving Seed is a learned experience. It is sometimes frustrating and challenging. Yet, it has shaped the history of the food we eat. There is a small learning curve. As a home gardener, Don’t be so concerned with distances or number of plants at first. As your garden expands this will become relevant. It is more important to try saving seeds and to experiment, enjoy and value the process. Learning the basics and knowing when you can and cannot successfully save seed to produce the plant you so love will set you up for second round success and beyond.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Protecting our precious fruit trees from ravenous squirrels!

 A guest blog by Adams County Colorado Master Gardener Heidi Stark 

This has been a magnificent fruit year on the Front Range—peaches, apples, plums—so many luscious varieties that tempt the backyard gardener. However, those darned squirrels have figured out that my fruit trees are a smorgasbord for their summer dining. We have covered our trees in the past, but the trees have gotten rather large, and I wasn’t sure if my mesh netting would adequately cover the peach tree.


About five years ago, I purchased a bolt of wedding tulle. It was 25 yards long and about 54 inches wide. Since I am a sewer, I unrolled it, laid it on the grass, and cut it equally into four lengths, then sewed it together in an oblong. I had hoped it would cover my trees and keep the critters out. This year, I watched the webinar Carol O’Meara gave on April 30, “Protecting Gardens from Animals” (link for this recording is https://youtu.be/uYDMT0zFZmk). One picture on the Power Point was a tree using an umbrella frame as the support structure for the cover. Since I had recently acquired an old patio umbrella, I removed the canvas. We pounded a 10-foot piece of conduit into the ground right next to the tree trunk and placed the umbrella frame over it. It stands about 12 feet tall. We lashed the pole to the tree trunk with a couple of bungee cords.


Getting the mesh cover over the tree is tricky. It’s a little easier with three people lifting the cover up using additional long poles and even our pole pruner. Once we had the cover draped evenly over the canopy, we clothes pinned some sections of green bird netting to the mesh to make sure the cover reached the ground. Using garden staples, we tacked the netting down to the ground.

The mesh netting did tear at the apex where it sat on the umbrella frame due to the wind. Next year, I will reinforce this area to prevent this from happening. The opening did allow birds to enter and damage some of the fruit, but no squirrels were able to get into the cover (goal success!). We had a spot at ground level that was relatively easy to un-clothespin to allow access to pick the peaches as they ripened. The tree even survived a hailstorm that occurred on August 19. I watched the hailstones bounce off the mesh. In total I harvested well over 100 pounds of peaches off my backyard tree. Nothing says local like a fresh, juicy peach from your own backyard. 

We have now transferred the mesh cover to our Honeycrisp apple tree to keep those pesky squirrels out of our treasured apples. Within a couple of weeks, we will harvest the crop and the cover will go back into the garage for the next year! 



Thursday, September 9, 2021

Leave it messy this fall

Posted by: Todd Hagenbuch, Routt County CSU Extension

 As gardeners, we take a lot of time to make sure our home landscapes look attractive and well-kept. Having untidy spaces can make us feel like we are slacking on our duties, and as the end of the growing season rolls around, many of us are tempted to get out into our yards to ‘clean-up’ our dying and dried-up plants. I’d encourage you to consider the benefits of leaving it messy, however.

Outside of our landscaped areas, Mother Nature has broken-down and taken care of dead plant material for eons. These plants, finished with their growth for another year, stand testament to the previous year’s successes and bear the seeds of a fruitful season. Those seeds not only have the opportunity over the winter to fall out and help start new plants next spring, but also provide necessary food for winter foraging birds and wildlife.


My Native Garden is wonderfully messy and stays
that way.

Keeping plants and plant litter on your gardens can also reduce soil erosion and promote water holding. Dry areas that don’t see snow cover for the winter can benefit by having soil shaded and mulched by plants that are slowly breaking-down over the season. Those of us who do have snow cover can watch as the old plants help slow snowmelt and hold moisture when warmer temperatures arrive.

Older plants can also provide visual interest in a winter season that has little. My penstemon heads sticking up from the snow always remind me of the beautiful blooms I enjoyed the past summer and remind me that a new season will be upon us before we know it. Seeing seed heads and older stalks wave in the wind or cast shadows on my wintery flower bed make the winter seem less bleak and more dynamic, which helps me feel better about life on a January day that sees below-zero temps and a frigid wind whistling around my home.

The coop garden always looks interesting in the
winter with the seeds providing food for the birds.

If you can leave your yard a bit messy this fall, I’d encourage you to do so. My only word of caution is to make sure you clean up in areas that will promote voles or other garden pests by providing them cover, especially around trees they might like to girdle. Otherwise, enjoy the fruits of your labor a bit longer and know that there will be continued life there after the snow recedes.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

What's in season at your farmers' market?

Posted by: Alison O'Connor, Larimer County Extension

For 24 weeks every year, I spend my Saturdays at the Larimer County Farmers' Market in Old Town Fort Collins. The market is powered by Master Gardener volunteers who support daily operations and part of my job is market management. It's been a Fort Collins staple for 45 seasons and we're proud to have over 100 vendors sell with us during the season and connect Extension to the community. 

So when it comes to growing produce in my own gardens, I'm not super motivated, because I have weekly access to beautiful fruits and veggies grown by experts (as well as meat, baked goods, dog treats, and more!). I know many of you are growing your own, but consider stopping by your local market to see what else you might need! Everything is in season right now. Thanks to Master Gardener Karen Collins for taking these photos.

Who else has made sweet corn a meal? Yep, it's that good.

PEACHES! I'm on a two-peaches-a-day meal plan.


If you're a "tomato head" you probably grow lots of different varieties already. But market vendors might have one that you just have to try.

Fresh flowers make the perfect gift...or addition to your home or office. The sunflowers, dahlias, and zinnias are in full glorious bloom right now. (On the left is Mitzi, Master Gardener and market vendor!)

I had never heard of roasted chiles until I moved to Colorado (I'm from Minnesota!). And now I freeze green chiles for fall and winter meals. Are you a spicy or mild pepper fan?

When I did grow summer squash, I never harvested frequently enough to avoid the baseball bats that lurked in the garden. It's nice to buy zucchini that is a reasonable size. My favorite way to eat it is to sauté with toasted slivered almonds and parmesan.

The diversity of eggplant is wonderful! And it's one of the most beautiful fruits.

Farmers' Markets support local agriculture and small businesses. Plus, they are fun to visit! Many have special events, live music, and feature local non-profit organizations. If you're in Fort Collins on September 11, stop by for the first annual Chicken Olympics. Backyard athletes from my flock will be competing for the glory...and the gold medal!
 


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Cabbage Pests

By Yvette Henson, San Miguel Basin Extension

It’s been a tough gardening year.  My seedling plant starts got damping off disease, resulting in the loss of most of them.  I also had fungus gnats in the soil my seedlings were growing in.  The cabbage seedlings that survived damping off, got aphids.  Before planting them, I rinsed them in soapy water and removed aphids by rubbing them off.

Cabbages usually grow well in my 8,400’ mountain garden and although I’ve never had much of an issue with aphids, this year there have been quite a lot.  The hot weather may have contributed to this.  However, the cabbages have grown and so I haven’t done much about the aphids except try to keep the plants as stress free as possible by watering them well.  I give them a light fertilization with a complete fertilizer like 5-5-5 at planting and again every 4-5 weeks.  The cabbages I have harvested, I’ve soaked in salty water and the aphids came off in the water.   Purple cabbages are reportedly less susceptible to aphid infestation than green cabbages so if you have problems with aphids, try growing purple cabbages. 

Aphids and cast skins on cabbage leaf
(there's even a mummified aphid)

I’ve had infestations in the past of imported cabbage worms (Pieris rapae) on my cabbages and other brassicas, so I’ve kept an eye out for the adults-- white butterflies with purplish-black spots on their wings but haven’t seen any flying around.  I also haven’t seen any of the velvety green caterpillars with a single yellow stripe down their backs and two broken lines along their sides on my plants. They overwinter in an inch-long chrysalis that matches whatever it is on.  They can have several generations a year.
Imported cabbage worm

I cover most of my raised beds with row cover fabric held up and off the plants by hoops made from recycled irrigation tubing. This can deter the cabbage worm butterflies (and other pests) from being able to lay their eggs on the plants. 

Cabbages growing in a raised bed with row cover fabric on hoops

This year, although I haven’t seen any imported cabbage worms, the row covers didn’t prevent cabbage looper moths (Trichoplusia ni) from finding a way inside the cover to lay their eggs on my cabbage plants. Unlike the adult imported cabbage worm, which is a butterfly, the adult stage of the cabbage looper is a brown moth.  The caterpillars are green with several light lines down their back and sides.  The easiest way I’ve found to distinguish them from the imported cabbage worm is their distinctive “inch worm” crawl.   They overwinter in a white webbed cocoon on the undersides of the leaves, in plant debris or the soil.  They also can have several generations a year.
Cabbage Looper and feeding damage on Cabbage Leaf

Both Imported cabbage worms and cabbage loopers feed on the leaves.   They can do quite a lot of damage, making the plants unsightly and weakening them.  Cabbage worms sometimes bore into the heads.  It’s unappetizing when you boil a cabbage and several caterpillars float to the top of the hot water.  

 You can treat the plants when the caterpillars of both cabbage worms and cabbage loopers are young with Bt, Spinosad or some other insecticide (follow the label) but don’t use a broad spectrum pesticide that can harm beneficial insects. Because I usually have less than a dozen plants, I simply check the undersides of the leaves each time I water the plants and remove them by hand. Covering with row cover does prevent at least some of the adults from getting in and laying eggs.

Even though my gardening year got off to a rough start and my cabbages have been infested with aphids and cabbage loopers, I have still had a good harvest of some nice cabbages.  

Savoy cabbage harvested August 25, 2021

 

 



Friday, August 27, 2021

The Marvelous Monarch Butterfly

Posted by: Lisa Mason, Arapahoe County Extension

Monarch butterflies are an iconic species in the United States! These bright orange and black butterflies are known for their migration in North America. How do these small creatures make the 3,000-mile journey every year?

Identification

While the bright orange butterflies can be hard to miss, Colorado has a variety of orange-colored butterflies. You can identify a monarch butterfly by the black veins on the wings in addition to the bright orange color. They also have white spots on the edges of the wings. The wingspan usually ranges from 3-4 inches long. You can identify if the butterfly is a male or female by looking at the hind wing. If the butterfly is a male, it will have one black spot on each hind wing along one of the center veins. If the butterfly is female, she will not have a spot.

Monarch caterpillars have contrasting black, yellow, and white stripes on their body. Caterpillar size varies depending on what instar, or stage of growth the caterpillar is in.

A female monarch butterfly. Credit: Lisa Mason

Life Cycle

All butterflies including monarchs go through a lifecycle called metamorphosis that includes an egg, caterpillar, a pupa called a chrysalis, and an adult butterfly. When monarchs are caterpillars, their job is to feed as much as possible. They feed exclusively on milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.). Once they have fully grown, they will find a safe space to form a chrysalis. The chrysalis is a protective covering for the caterpillar while it transforms into a butterfly. It begins as a pale green color, then gradually turns black and orange as the butterfly gets ready to emerge. After emergence, the butterfly will soon search for a mate and the female will begin laying eggs on new milkweed plants. 

A monarch caterpillar on showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). Credit: Lisa Mason

Migration

Adult butterflies only live two to five weeks. The only exception is the overwintering generation of monarchs that can live up to nine months in Mexico. Once spring arrives, this overwintering generation will migrate north to Texas and surrounding areas. The females will lay eggs for the next generation. Once the next generation becomes adult butterflies, they continue to migrate north. After a few weeks, they will lay eggs for another generation further north. Typically, monarchs will have two to three generations throughout the summer season. Once fall arrives, the fourth generation, also known as the overwintering generation, will begin to migrate south back to Mexico. How does each generation of monarch know how to navigate migration? For other migratory species like Swainson’s hawks, they follow their parents and large groups of hawks to the overwintering grounds in Argentina. Scientists are still researching how monarchs are able to migrate to the same location every year. Recent research suggests they use a combination of the sun’s position in the sky, landmarks like mountains, and an internal magnetic compass. Genetics may also play a role in the ability to navigate.

Monarchs have two migratory pathways in North America. The eastern monarch population migrates from Mexico up north through the Midwest and eastern US. The western monarch population migrates from the Pacific Coast of California to the states west of the Rocky Mountains. While Colorado is not one of the main migratory corridors, you can still see monarchs throughout our state.

Butterfly Mimicry

Other species look similar to the monarch butterfly include the queen butterfly (Danaus gilippus) that hosts on milkweed and dogbane plants in the Apocynaceae family and the viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) that hosts on plants in the Salicaseae family including willows, cottonwoods, and poplars.

These three butterflies look similar for one reason: mimicry! The contrasting orange and black colors serves as a warning to predators that the insect may be distasteful and potentially toxic. Milkweed is full of a compound called cardenolides. When a caterpillar feeds on milkweed plants, the cardenolides stay in the body of the monarch, which makes it distasteful and toxic to predators like birds. The predators learn to stay away from insects with the bright coloring.

For long time, scientists suspected viceroy butterflies mimicked monarchs in a form of Batesian mimicry meaning that the viceroy appeared toxic and distasteful to predators based on coloring and wing shape, but they were not actually toxic or distasteful. Further research indicates that the monarch, viceroy, and queen butterflies may exhibit Müllerian mimicry, meaning all three can be distasteful or toxic to predators and they mimic each other. More research is needed to fully understand this mimicry relationship between the butterflies because variations in the butterfly’s colors, wing shape, distastefulness, and toxicity vary among different regions and caterpillar host plants.

A queen butterfly has more white spots on the hind wings than a monarch. Colors can be variable but often they are a darker orange color than monarch butterflies. Credit: Lisa Mason

A viceroy butterfly can be differentiated from a monarch by the black, circular line through the hind wing that is perpendicular to the other black veins. Credit: Lisa Mason

Supporting Monarchs and Other Butterflies

You can support monarchs and other butterflies by providing food, habitat, water, and space in your landscape. Each species of butterfly has a different caterpillar host plant, for instance, monarchs rely on milkweed plants for caterpillar food. Black swallowtail caterpillars feed on dill and fennel. All adult butterflies will visit a variety of other flowers for nectar. Plant flowers that have different bloom times so you will have flowers all season. Butterflies need sunny areas and places to shelter from wind and weather. Planting a variety of trees and shrubs can help provide sheltering areas. Be mindful of pesticide use because they can harm caterpillars and butterflies.

Click here for more information on attracting butterflies to your landscape.

For more information on monarch butterflies, visit MonarchJointVenture.org.

To learn more about butterflies in Colorado, read this CSU Co-Horts blog post called The Fascinating Lives of Butterflies

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Change the Future: Plant a Tree


 Photo Credit: Bruce Marlin, Morton Arboretum

 

By CSU Horticulture Agent Linda Langelo

Trees are more valuable to us because they are an integral part of our lives.  Without trees we would have less oxygen since they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Trees cool the atmosphere. Trees give us food and materials to build our homes and so much more. If you have space in your landscape, consider adding another tree. Here are two reasons why:

1)      It is good to have a diversity of trees in your landscape. If they are all the same, when one is effected by a disease the other trees are not a host to it.  But there are many more benefits to trees. They cool the air, land and water if strategically placed. According to the Arbor Day Foundation trees cool shaded surfaces between 20 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit below the peak temperature of any surface in full sun nearby.  

2)      As for larger towns and cities, trees can be used to cool the street and homes. Trees release water vapor into the air through their leaves cooling the town or city down 10 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, one single small tree has the capacity to cool as much as 10 single room air conditioners over a 20 hour period. The best part is it doesn't impact your electric bill to cool the environment around you. Well almost. You do need to water the tree. Trees need water during extended periods of drought and during fall and winter. Here is a Colorado State University Extension Fact Sheet on Fall and Winter Watering:
Fall and Winter Watering (colostate.edu)

On a global scale, forests remove about one-third of fossil fuel emissions annually from 1990 to 2007.  Trees remove pollution such as the 26,000 tons removed from Greater Kansas City each year. Wildfires occurring in the west and other places globally, lessen the capacity of forests to remove fossil fuels or add to the cooling capacity of the environment.

However, new research in a paper titled, "Trees, forests and water: Cool insights for a hot worldpublished in the journal of Global Environmental Change had 22 co-authors from the United States, Australia, Britain, France, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Peru, Indonesia, Ethiopia, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Belgium all stated, the more important process that trees assist with in our environment is the redistribution of water. According to David Ellison, they redistribute water and simultaneously cool planetary surfaces. These scientists are determining that deeper roots, trees can maintain their cooling function even during long-lasting heat waves.  In Extension, we teach water deeply and less frequently with all plants from trees to vegetables.  Trees are a very important part of the hydrologic cycle. 

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, 180 million Americans depend on forest watersheds for their drinking water. The natural water filtration trees provide can lower costs associated with drinking water treatment.  

The U.S. Forest Service states that trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and can save 20-50% in energy used for heating.  On a larger scale in Cincinnati community trees save the average household $56 annually in cooling costs by reducing electricity use. 

Overall, the U.S. Forest Service states “every dollar spent on planting and caring for a community tree yields benefits that are two to five times that investment. Why? Trees clean our air, lower energy costs, improve water quality and storm water control and increase property values”.  

If you are not sure of what trees to plant and where, then test the soil and find trees that do well in the soil in your landscape.  Be sure to place them with enough space for them to grow. If you need planting instructions here is a link: https://static.colostate.edu/client-files/csfs/pdfs/TreePlanting_636.pdf

If you need tree suggestions here is a link to Plant Select which has all types of plants that after being trialed are selected as some of the best plants for Colorado: https://plantselect.org/

If you need suggestions for Small Deciduous trees, here is a CSU Fact Sheet: https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/small-deciduous-trees-7-418/

If you need suggestions for Large Deciduous trees, here is a CSU Fact Sheet: https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/large-deciduous-trees-7-419/

If you still have questions after reviewing the fact sheets and other materials, please contact your local Extension Office. We can help better inform you towards making the right choice.  I hope if you have the space that you decide to plant a tree.