Overlooked trees that do well in Colorado Email
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 03:00 AM

Fagus sylvatica ‘Fastigiata’ (Dawyck), Upright European BeechIn each issue of Colorado Green magazine, Dr. James Klett at Colorado State University (CSU) recommends plants and trees that have been proven successful in Colorado’s conditions. In the July/August issue of the magazine, Klett repeated some recommendations for trees. When asked why he was repeating the recommendation, he noted that despite the recommendations, the plants’ success in CSU’s woody plant evaluations, and availability at local nurseries, landscape companies seem slow to use these trees.

These seven columnar and fastigiate trees provide more options to enjoy the beauty and environmental benefits of trees that fit into smaller landscapes. Generally, these trees have widths that are, at most, one half their mature height.

One such tree is Fagus sylvatica ‘Fastigiata’ (Dawyck), Upright European Beech, pictured here. This beech clone has a narrow columnar or fastigiate shape maturing to about 40 feet in height and 12-15 feet in width. Its summer foliage is dark green turning to a golden-brown color in fall. The deep green foliage and the tightness of its fastigiate form make this one of the more striking columnar trees.

Importantly, these trees also provide the increased diversity recommended to maintain sustainable landscapes and avoid high death tolls of mature trees to disease and insect infestations, such as what we have seen with the Emerald Ash Borer. Experts say that no single species should comprise more than 10% of the planted trees growing in an urban or community setting.

See all seven trees and learn more about them in the July/August 2020 issue of Colorado Green.

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