Urban Garden Denver Blog



Favorite Fall Trees

Hopefully you took a walk around your neighborhood last weekend to check out your favorite trees because the strong wind today has blown off a lot of leaves. My favorite tree in Colorado for fall color is the Autumn Purple Ash. The leaves turn a distinctive maroon/purple color (hence the name) and are stunning in contrast to most of the yellows that we see in Colorado. I don’t happen to have any of this variety in my yard — I have the plain Ash tree which turns yellow. But around the neighborhood there are lots of nice specimens. I snapped some pictures of the Autumn Purple Ash last week. When they start turning, the top is purple, the middle has yellow and there is still a little green lower on the tree.

Autumn Purple Ash in mid-October

The variety of colors we are seeing on our trees right now points to the diversity of trees we have in Denver. Diversity of vegetation is important so that one single disease doesn’t wipe out all the trees (or any vegetation). Dutch Elm disease wiped out the tree canopy of many eastern and midwestern neighborhoods in the 1950s through 1970s. Our Ash trees are now vulnerable to an Ash borer that is moving west. So far it seems to not have reached Colorado, but if you have an Ash tree, I would suggest talking to a tree professional about treatment options.

The trees in Denver are what set us apart from a barren city on the prairie. One organization that is all about sustaining the Denver tree canopy and encouraging people to plant new trees is The Park People.  They have tree sales twice a year and have a variety of trees that are suitable for the Denver climate.

So what’s your favorite fall tree? Most likely it is different from your favorite spring tree. Which is why lots of trees are an asset to our city.

Autumn Purple Ash before it is all purple

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