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A Guide to Selecting Plants & Trees for Northern Colorado’s Climate


Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Northern Colorado, Fort Collins, Windsor, and Loveland boast a unique climate that demands careful consideration when selecting plants and trees for your outdoor spaces. Backes Landscaping, a trusted landscaping partner in the region, understands the nuances of this climate and can help you create a thriving garden that withstands the challenges of the area. In this article, we delve into the best types of plants and trees to flourish in Northern Colorado, ensuring a vibrant and sustainable outdoor oasis that embraces the local environment.

Understanding Northern Colorado’s Climate

The climate in Northern Colorado is characterized by its semi-arid conditions, with relatively low precipitation and temperature fluctuations throughout the year. Cold winters and hot, dry summers are typical, making it essential to choose plant varieties that can withstand these extremes. Additionally, the region’s elevation contributes to its unique climate, as the thin air can lead to rapid temperature changes.

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Best Plants for Northern Colorado

Native Plants: Opting for native plants is a smart choice. They are adapted to the local environment, requiring minimal water once established. Some excellent choices include Indian paintbrush (Castilleja spp.), Colorado blue columbine (Aquilegia caerulea), and Rocky Mountain penstemon (Penstemon strictus).

Xeriscaping Plants: Xeriscaping involves selecting plants that are drought-tolerant and well-suited to arid conditions. Consider planting succulents like sedum (Sedum spp.), agave (Agave spp.), and yucca (Yucca spp.) for a low-maintenance and water-efficient landscape.

Perennials: Perennials are hardy plants that return year after year. Try varieties such as black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), and coneflower (Echinacea spp.).

Grasses: Ornamental grasses add texture and movement to your landscape. Blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis) and feather reed grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora) are popular choices for the area.

Best Trees for Northern Colorado

Aspen Trees: These iconic trees thrive in the high elevations of Northern Colorado. Their shimmering leaves create a mesmerizing effect in the fall. Look for quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) varieties.

Ponderosa Pine: This majestic tree is well-suited to the region’s climate. Its tall stature and distinctive bark make it a popular choice for both aesthetics and shade.

Colorado Blue Spruce: Known for its silvery-blue foliage, this tree adds a touch of elegance to your landscape. It’s hardy and can endure the winters of Northern Colorado.

Honeylocust: With delicate leaves and dappled shade, honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) is a great option for creating a comfortable outdoor space.

Serviceberry: Also known as Juneberry or Amelanchier, this tree offers springtime blooms, edible berries, and vibrant fall colors.


Factors to Consider

When choosing plants and trees for your Northern Colorado landscape, it’s important to consider factors such as soil type, sun exposure, and water availability. Conduct a soil test to understand your soil’s composition and pH, which can impact plant health. Select plants that match your garden’s sun exposure; some might thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial shade. Additionally, choose plants that are appropriate for your watering habits and local water restrictions.

Partnering with Backes Landscaping

Navigating the intricacies of Northern Colorado’s climate and finding the right plants and trees can be a daunting task. Backes Landscaping is your local expert in crafting sustainable, visually appealing landscapes that thrive in the region’s unique environment. Their team can guide you through the selection process, ensuring your outdoor space becomes a sanctuary of beauty and resilience. From native plants to drought-tolerant selections, Backes Landscaping has the knowledge and experience to transform your landscape into a flourishing haven.

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As you embark on your landscaping journey in Northern Colorado, remember that nature’s resilience and beauty can be harmoniously woven into your outdoor spaces. With careful consideration of the local climate and the expert guidance of Backes Landscaping, your garden can thrive, becoming a testament to the unique charm of this remarkable region.

If you need Commercial or Residential Landscaping call Backes

Backes Landscaping is a full-service landscaper in Fort Collins offering landscape design services. Please give us a call for your landscaping needs at (970) 222-1730. Our professional landscapers install water features, retaining walls, xeriscaping, hardscaping, firepits, and sprinklers. We also offer commercial landscaping services.

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