HIGH ALTITUDE TREES - Knowledgebase Question

dIVIDE, co
September 27, 2005
We have bought a place in Divide, CO approx 8500 feet high. I want to plant some shrubs to block the view from the road to the front of the house. I need something fast growing and thick to reach at least 4 feet tall. I seem to remember seeing some beautiful shrubs that turn a blazing red in the fall.
We also hav 35 acres at 10,000 feet. It has not a tree or bush on it. I want to plant some fast growing trees.
Any suggestions?

Answer from NGA
September 27, 2005
I'd recommend growing native plants. These are well adapted to the growing conditions in what we call the montane zone. The Montane zone consists of ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, and aspen woodlands at elevations of 8,000 to 9,500 feet. You can also grow Picea engelmannii (Engelmann spruce), Pinus flexilis
(limber pine), Populus angustifolia (narrowleaf cottonwood) which is probably the fastest growing of all.

A shrub with excellent fall color is Quercus gambelii (Gambel oak, scrub oak) a small tree to large shrub, which grows best on well-drained soils and is often thicket-forming; produces shades of red, orange, yellow and brown in fall; acorns provide excellent wildlife food.

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