Trees in the Garden

As you explore the Garden of the Gods, you'll see a wide variety of trees and shrubs.  Here are just a few of them.

Trees

Douglas Fir - Pseudotsuga menziesii

Douglas Fir - Pseudotsuga menziesii - Colorado TreesDouglas Fir
Douglas Fir - Pseudotsuga menziesii - Colorado TreesDouglas Fir Cone
Douglas Fir Needles

Size:  180 feet - 5 feet in diameter

Their bark has irregular vertical crevices with orange coloring inside.

1 - 1.5 inch needles are flat, shiny, and fragrant. 

Gambel Oak - Quercus gambelii

Gambel Oak - Quercus gambelii - Colorado TreesGambel Oak
Gambel Oak - Quercus gambelii - Colorado TreesGambel Oak leaves and acorns

Gambel Oak - Quercus gambelii

Size: 10 to 30 feet

Is it a shrub or a tree?  I suppose it doesn't matter but it is here on the Trees of the Garden page.  It inhabits the foothills mostly and is often called scrub oak by mistake. 

The leaves and acorns are the easiest way of identifying this tree.  Oh, and by the way, this tree propogates both by acorns and by the underground root sprouts.  I'm told that you can tell which trees are connected in that way when they turn in the autumn.  The connections are evident by similar colors.   

Narrow-leaf Cottonwood - Populus angustifolia

Narrow-leaf Cottonwood - Populus angustifolia - Colorado TreesNarrow-leaf Cottonwood leaves
Narrow-leaf Cottonwood - Populus angustifolia - Colorado TreesNarrow-leaf Cottonwood
Narrow-leaf Cottonwood - Populus angustifolia - Colorado TreesCottonwood Catkins
Narrow-leaf Cottonwood - Populus angustifolia - Colorado TreesNarrow-leaf Cottonwood seeds ready to take flight

Narrow-leaf Cottonwood - Populus angustifolia

Size:  40 to 60 feet

Its leaves are yellow-green, slim and scalloped.  In spring it produces catkins (shown above).  The "fruit" is "cottony" white.  Cottonwoods like to have their roots wet.

One-seed Juniper - Juniperus monosperma

One-seed Juniper - Juniperus monosperma - Colorado TreesOne-seed Juniper
One-seed Juniper - Juniperus monosperma - Colorado TreesOne-seed Juniper looking down on the Central Garden
One-seed Juniper - Juniperus monosperma - Colorado TreesOne-seed Juniper leaves and fruit (cones)

One-seed Juniper - Juniperus monosperma

Size:  6 to 15 feet

Again, large shrub or small tree, this juniper is gnarled and irregular in shape.  The female trees bear small blue/black fruit (cones). 

Piñon Pine - Pinus cembroides

Piñon Pine - Pinus cembroides

Size:  15 to 30 feet tall - shorter at higher elevations

The pinyon or piñon pine yields edible nuts that are still used in Mexican food and were a source of food for the Native Americans.  This nut is high in calories, high in fats. 

Piñon Pine - Pinus cembroides - Colorado TreesPiñon Pine
Piñon Pine - Pinus cembroides - Colorado TreesPiñon Pine
Piñon Pine - Pinus cembroides - Colorado TreesPiñon Pine Nuts

Plains Cottonwood - Populus deltoides

Plains Cottonwood - Populus deltoides - Colorado TreesPlains Cottonwood leaves
Plains Cottonwood - Populus deltoides - Colorado TreesPlains Cottonwood
Plains Cottonwood - Populus deltoides - Colorado TreesMature Plains Cottonwood Bark
Plains Cottonwood - Populus deltoides - Colorado TreesPlains Cottonwood "Cotton" Seed

Plains Cottonwood - Populus deltoides

Size: 65 to 130 feet

The bark is smooth and white when the tree is young.  As it ages, the bark becomes rough.  The leaves are triangular saw-toothed and "quake" in the breeze like an aspen leaf.  Cottony seeds float through the air in early summer. 

Ponderosa Pine - Pinus ponderosa

Ponderosa Pine - Pinus ponderosa - Colorado TreesPonderosa Pine
Ponderosa Pine - Pinus ponderosa - Colorado TreesPonderosa Pine Needles and Cones
Ponderosa Pine - Pinus ponderosa - Colorado TreesMature Ponderosa Pine Bark

Ponderosa Pine - Pinus ponderosa

Size:  200 to 300 feet

The bark is black-brown which is why loggers called this tree "blackjacks."  In the mature tree, the bark is yellow to rust colored with deep black crevices.

Rocky Mountain Juniper - Juniperus scopulorum

Rocky Mountain Juniper - Juniperus scopulorum - Colorado TreesRocky Mountain Juniper
Rocky Mountain Juniper - Juniperus scopulorum - Colorado TreesRocky Mountain Juniper berries

Rocky Mountain Juniper - Juniperus scopulorum

Size - 30 to 60 feet

This tree is not native to the Garden area but was brought in and planted in the Central Garden by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's and 1940's.  You'll be able to pick it out by it's conical shape and it's blue/green color.  And, like it's cousin one-seed juniper, the females produce the blue-black fruit.

Quiz:  what do they make from those "berries"?

Answer:  Gin

Return to Flora and Fauna of the Garden

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