Planting Colorado Blue Spruce and planting trees in general - Knowledgebase Question

Conifer, CO
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Question by strast
August 23, 2006
I guess we live in a hardiness zone of 5-6. According to most zone determining software and websites. We are @8200' elevation. The property is on a mountain with a general southern face. We get A LOT of sun.
We bought some spruce trees a few days ago. Can we plant them now?
A lot of the hardiness zone 5-6 trees are supposed to be able to deal with the cold, but some things have a harder time with the elevation, lack of humidity, rocky soil and very bright sun. Could you recommend some trees/shrubs that would do okay up here?


Answer from NGA
August 23, 2006
Now is the time to get your Blue Spruces into the ground. If you wait too long, they won't be established before winter weather sets in.

Here are a few suggestions for additional trees and shrubs (all performed well in tests at the W.D. Holley Plant Environmental Research Center (PERC) gardens at Colorado State University.

Among recommended deciduous trees are:
Pyrus ussuriensis - Ussurian pear - This plant can be grown as a small to medium-sized tree or a large shrub. It flowers white in early spring, and its glossy, dark-green leaves turn yellow to orange in the fall. Once established, it tolerates cold temperatures, wind and dry growing conditions.

Sorbus aria - Whitebeam mountain ash - This overall smaller plant develops an open, rounded growth habit. It blooms white cluster flowers, followed by orange-red fruit. Its simple, lobed dark-green leaves feature white hairs on their undersides.

Syringa pekinensis - Pekin lilac - This upright arching loose tree with a more open growth habit blooms yellowish white flowers. It has brown exfoliating bark. Pekin lilac can be grown as a large shrub or small tree.

Among recommended deciduous shrubs are:
Berberis koreanna - Korean barberry - This plant with a multi-stemmed growth habit is a clump former. Its yellow flowers are followed by red berry fruit. This adaptable plant makes a good barrier plant.

Lonicera x xylosteiodes `Miniglobe' Miniglobe honeysuckle - Introduced by the Morden Research Station , it has slow growth and dense, rounded form. When mature, its leaves feature a bluish tinge. The plant prefers moist, sunny conditions in a well-drained site.

Prinsepia sinesis - Cherry prinsepia - This is one of the season's first shrubs to leaf out. Its light-yellow flowers are highly fragrant. Its dark green foliage and small spines make it an effective barrier plant. This plant has a dense growth habit and appears to have no major problems.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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