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Posted on: April 8, 2021

Wheat Ridge Tree Challenge!


In celebration of Arbor Day and Earth Day, we're challenging you to get out and check out some of our most TREEmendous trees in Wheat Ridge! We've compiled a list of 17 spectacular trees, and provided the names, locations, and details about each. More trees will be added soon, so check back for more information! 

Win A Tree!

As you make your way around to each tree, be sure to check them off the list! Then, complete our Tree Challenge Prize Entry Form for your chance to win a FREE tree! (your choice of an outdoor tree to plant in your yard or an indoor, houseplant tree) We'll be doing two separate drawings, one for kids, one for adults. So be sure to complete an entry form for each person!

Each tree on the list will be clearly marked on-site so you'll know you've found the right one!

Print out the list of trees to bring with you on your journey- Tree Challenge Tree List (PDF)

City-owned trees in parks and right-of-ways:

1. Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)

corner of W 41st Ave & Eaton St. (Mountain View side)

  • Deciduous tree growing 40-60 ft. tall with a spread of 20-40 ft.
  • Massive heart-shaped leaves with showy white flowers
  • Extremely durable wood that is rot-resistant
  • Has been know to be referred to as the cigar tree by its long hanging pods that hang on to the branches after their leaves fall

2. Upright European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata')

3021 Chase St.

  • Dense deciduous tree growing to a mature height of 30 ft. with a 15 ft. spread
  • Grows best in partial to full shade
  • Highly tolerant of urban pollution and thrives in inner city environments
  • Fruits attract birds without being a litter problem

3. English Elm (Ulmus procera) - The Mayor's Tree

3019 Eaton St.

  • Large deciduous tree growing up to 80 ft. tall with dense, broad rounded crown spreading almost upright branches.
  • Many birds and small mammals eat the seeds and the leaves provide food for carerpillars
  • Dominated the landscape of England before Dutch elm disease wiped out most mature trees in the 1970's

4. The Tricolor Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Roseomarginata')

Richards-Hart Estate W. 28th Ave. & Benton St.

  • Dense deciduous tree with sharply oval form
  • Grows to approximately 30 ft. tall with a spread of 20 ft.
  • Incredible green, white and pink-variegated foliage
  • Benefits from being planted in relatively sheltered locations with good moisture

5. The Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

Richards-Hart Estate W. 28th Ave. & Benton St.

  • Planted in 1934 by Kevin Hart, a member of the Hart family who lived at this estate from 1926-1977
  • Coniferous evergreen tree growing to mature size of 40-60 ft. tall and a spread of 15-20 ft. in parks as opposed to growing up to 75 ft. tall in the wild
  • Native to the Rocky Mountains and can easily be spotted by its silver-blue-green needles

6. The American Linden (Tilia americana)

Richards-Hart Estate W. 29th Ave. & Benton St.

  • Also referred to as a basswood or bee tree
  • Grows to a mature height of 60-80 ft.
  • Honey derived from flowers is regarded as the best in the world
  • Known for various medicinal purposes

7. Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

4490 Teller St. (on W. 45th Ave.)

  • Relatively low maintenance tree, great candidate for a street tree
  • Gall common on leaves caused by psyllid insects
  • Unique grey "warty" bark
  • Mature height up to 60 ft. with spread up to 50 ft.

8. White Poplars (Populas alba)

2850 Quay St.

  • Mature height and spread approximately 50-70 ft.
  • Although beautiful, not recommended to plant due to its aggressive nature to spread
  • Distinctive dark green leaves with white undersurface
  • Smooth white bark featuring dark, diamond shaped markings

9. The RC Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Wheat Ridge Rec Center 4005 Kipling St.

  • Grows to a mature height of 70-100 ft. and a spread of 25 ft.
  • Deciduous conifer once known to live among dinosaurs
  • Full sun is ideal for growth
  • Great winter cover for small birds

Trees located on private property:

10. Golden Rain Tree (koelreuteria paniculata)

4125 Pierce St

  • Deciduous tree that grows 30-40 ft. tall with a broad vase or globe shape
  • Considered a city tolerant tree due to its ability to withstand air pollution, drought, heat and alkaline soils
  • Yellow flowering tree with vivid fall color
  • Good street or parking lot tree

11. Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

3530 Chase St

  • Deciduous tree that grows to a height of 60-75 ft. and a spread of 45 ft. at maturity
  • Grows more than 2 ft. per year for 10 years
  • Tolerates pollution and compacted soil
  • State Champion Tree (4th largest in the state)

12. American Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus)

2922 Benton St

  • State Champion Tree (#1 in the state)
  • Small deciduoud tree with a max height of 20-30 ft.
  • Prefers a sunny well drained site
  • Flower clusters cloom in May-June with smoky pink to purplish pink color covering the tree with fluffy, hazy, smokie like puffs

13. Tulip Poplar Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

3545 Miller St

  • Fast growing decidious tree growing to a height of 70-90 ft. and a spread of 40 ft.
  • Very site sensative, needing plenty of room to grow and favorably full sun
  • Blooms in May-June producing tulip shaped flowers that often resemble magnolia flowers
  • Early pioneers would use their straight trunks to dig out canoes

14. American Elm (Ulmus americana)

6869 W. 32nd Ave

  • Tall growing decidious tree reaching upwards of 100 ft. and a spread of 70 ft.
  • Branches grow off trunk of tree in tall arches to form a vase like crown
  • Dutch Elm Disesase, a fungus spread by elm bark beetles, has destriyed many American Elms in the mid to late 1900's and is no longer a desirable landscape tree

15. Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)

4395 Dover St

  • Deciduous tree growing to a height of 60-75 ft. and a spread of 40-50 ft.
  • Considered both a shade and an ornamental tree for its spreading canopy and its visual interest
  • Unique large and woody pods that fall to the ground in early winter unopened

16. Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)

4325 Carr St

  • Mature tree grows up to a height of 70 ft with a spread up to 50 ft
  • Chlorosis can be a series issue for this tree if growing in alkaline soils
  • Russet to red fall coloring

17. Shamel/Evergreen Ash (Fraxinus uhdel)

3370 Wright St

  • Although most ash are considered deciduoud, the Shamel Ash is an evergreen with its only leaf loss coming from either disease or frost damage
  • Can reach heights of up to 80 ft. and a spread of 60 ft
  • Notable for its large glossy evergreen leaves
  • Native to Northern Moxico and Southern California

Tree City USA logo

Wheat Ridge has been a Tree City USA for more than 40 years!

What is Tree City USA?

The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.

A city achieves Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

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