Tree Types

Learning Center: Michigan and Colorado Tree Species

Go Native

The planet’s tree species are essential for life: They give us oxygen, stabilize the soil and are the home to wildlife of all shapes and sizes. An increasingly popular tree trend is to plant native tree species in Colorado and Michigan environments. By learning about the native trees in your region, you can take advantage of the natural beauty, the reduced maintenance and the advantages that these types of trees provide.

It is essential that we care for our trees so that they can take care of us for many years to come. Fit Turf offers professional services for your trees and shrubs. Contact our team today for an evaluation: Our decades of experience in both the Detroit-Metro area and the Denver-Metro area makes us an ideal choice for your lawn, shrub and tree care needs.


White Oak (Quercus Alba): This long-lived oak has been documented to live to ages over 450 years old. Although it is called a “white oak,” the bark’s usual color is a light gray. The white oak tree can reach heights between 80 to 100 feet and features a massive canopy. The glossy green leaves are generally 5 to 8.5 inches long, and they turn red or brown in the fall.

Bur Oak (Quercus Macrocarpa): This drought-hardy tree can handle tough conditions. It is a member of the white oak group and has deeply lobed leaves. This large, deciduous tree is one of the slowest-growing types of oak trees. At maturity, it reaches heights up to 100 feet, but rarely exceeds 130 feet. The bur oak commonly lives to 200 to 300 years; it may live up to 400 years.

Red Maple (Acer Rubrum): Also known as the swamp, water or soft maple, the red maple is known for its attractive fall foliage. It is often used as a shade tree for landscapes and is used on a small-scale for maple syrup production. This easy-to-grow landscape tree is tolerant of wet and acidic soils. It is one of the most widespread hardwood trees and in some parts of the country (mainly the eastern U.S.). The red maple reaches 60 to 90 feet, and the leaves are 2 to 4 inches long with three to five palmate lobes with a serrated margin.

Wild Black Cherry (Prunus Serotina): This deciduous, woody plant species is a medium sized, fast-growing tree that grows from 50 to 85 feet high. The leaves are 2 to 5 inches in length and are ovate in shape with fine-toothed margins. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow to red. The small, white flowers produce reddish black berries. The wild black cherry is often used to make pies, jams and is a favorite to flavor ice cream and sodas.

Striped Maple (Acer Pennsylvanicum): The striped maple is a small, fruit-bearing deciduous tree that grows from 16 to 33 feet tall and has broad, soft leaves that are about 3 to 6 inches long. The fruit of the striped maple is called the samara, and the young bark is striped with green and white. The striped maple likes cool, moist forests and slopes. This shade-tolerant tree produces abundant flowers and fruits. It is also called “moosewood” or “moose maple.”

Redbud, Judas Tree (Cercis Canadensis): The redbud tree adds much-needed color to landscapes and gardens in the springtime and early summer. This small tree has a twisted trunk and spreading branches and grows from 20 to 30 feet tall. The redbud’s leaves are heart-shaped, and the magenta flowers are showy and pop in late April and May.  


White Fir (Abies Concolor): The white fir grows in altitudes from 4,000 to 10,000, and is popular as an ornamental landscaping tree and as a Christmas tree. The typical size of a white fir ranges from 80 to 195 feet tall, although Rocky Mountain white fir rarely exceed 125 feet. This symmetrical, pyramidal shape evergreen coniferous tree has soft, blue-green needles.

Boxelder (Acer Negundo): This species of maple is a rapid grower, yet has a relatively short life span. It grows to heights between 35 and 80 feet tall and has a trunk diameter of 12 to 20 inches. Unlike other maple trees that have a simple, palmately lobed leaf, the boxelder maple has compound leaves that usually have three to seven leaflets and have a translucent, light green color that turns yellow in the fall.  

Colorado Spruce (Picea Pungens): The Colorado Spruce is the state tree of Colorado. It has sharp, stiff needles that range from green to silvery blue. In parks and gardens, the Colorado spruce seldom exceeds 49 feet tall; however, in the wild it can grow up to 75 feet tall. It is often grown as an ornamental trees in gardens and parks and is a popular choice for the Christmas tree industry.  

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii): This fast-growing evergreen conifer species is native to Colorado. It is known for its soft, medium to dark green needles and unique cones. It is a medium to large specimen and can range from 70 to 330 feet tall. The needs are flat and linear. It is used extensively as timber and has an ornamental value in large parks and gardens.

Utah Juniper (Juniperus Osteosperma): The Utah Juniper grows at altitudes of 5,000 to 9,000 feet. It is a shrub or a small tree that reaches between 9 and 16 feet tall. It is a spreading and multi-stemmed with small, scale-like leaves. Large, grayish blue berry-like fruits are food for birds and mammals. The leaves are arranged in whorls of three, and the adult leaves are scale-like.

Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus Scopulorum): The Rocky Mountain Juniper is a medium-sized tree that reaches 32 to over 65 feet tall. Its seed cones are berry-like and are dark blue with a pale, blue-white waxy bloom. This long-lived tree has a species in Utah that is thought to be over 1500 years old. This upright, columnar tree is found on dry mountain slopes and mesas. Its fruit is important for small mammals and birds.