New trees arriving daily!

Including large caliper and hard to find varieties!

By Chris Leinster - March 31, 2021

Spring is a time of tremendous transformation. As the soil warms up plants begin pushing out flower and leaf buds and plunging their roots deeply into the soil. Grass blades and Dandelions sprout from the ground and millions of tiny insects awaken to start crawling all over the garden and buzzing about in the air.

It’s a time of amazing transformation in nurseries and garden centers up and down the Front Range as well, as convoys of tractor trailers begin delivering truckloads of trees and shrubs filling up display beds and storage lots. It’s a flurry of activity that’s dizzying to watch, as tractors rumble about unloading thousands of trees and organizing them neatly into assigned rows. Contractors begin piling into the nurseries as well, plucking newly arrived trees off the lots nearly as soon as they get off-loaded.

The great news for the consumer is that inventories are filling up and we have a great selection of trees from which to choose. This includes large caliper 3-4” trees that will be difficult to source as time goes by. Many outlier varieties are stocking up as well. While most standard or popular trees are being dug in mass and stored for shipment later in the season, lesser known or rarely used trees will sell out and may not be available until next spring.

Fruit trees, for example, are spring dug and delivered and stocks will typically not be replenished through the summer. As a result, if you’re considering planting large caliper fruit trees now is the time to act! I currently have 2 to 2-1/2” caliper Plum, Peach, Apple, Pear, and Cherry in several assorted varieties, and some limited 3” as well. These should be considered for their ornamental flowering and leaf attributes as well as for their delicious fruits! I even have grafted 4-varieties-on-one-tree available in espalier form in both Apple and Pear! They are a bit of a hobby requiring pest management and of course, harvesting, but well worth the effort and you will be rewarded. Once they’re gone, they’re gone till next season, so plant yourself a fruit tree and enjoy the benefits of harvesting your own orchard.

I have a bumper crop of Oak, Maple, Ornamental Pear, Linden, Honeylocust, and Catalpa in larger sizes up to 3-4”! These monsters will provide instant privacy and shade, and many can easily reach your roof line upon planting. We need open access and sometimes tractor access to get these planted, but if you have the space and the budget we can add these titans to your landscape. Large caliper shade and ornamental trees are in short supply later in the season, so if you need monster trees don’t delay and call Happy Trees today!

Under-utilized and lesser-known trees are now arriving as well. We’ll see shipments of common trees throughout the summer, but the boutique trees can be hard to find once the spring rush is over. Make your yard stand out from the neighbors’ Oak, Maple, and other ubiquitous trees with the addition of an exotic Yellowwood or Pagoda Tree! Sweetgum, Tulip Tree, European Mountain Ash, Horsechestnut, and Kentucky Coffeetree can all find space in our suburban landscapes but somehow get passed over for traditional tried and true standards. If you’re one who prides herself on her yard, transform your home into your own private botanical garden with the addition of one or more of these exceptional specimen trees.

Regular Pine and Spruce will be plentiful throughout the summer, but the hybridized versions may disappear as the weeks go by. Got a narrow space between houses that needs screening? Fastigiate Spruce or Arnold Sentinel Pine might be just the tree you need. Want the ultra-symetrical and electric blue ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ Spruce? There are currently plenty of perfect trees in stock, but better hurry before they sell out.

Planting at this time has additional advantages. Trees that are transported and planted while still dormant will “wake up” in your yard. This avoids the transplant shock that can sometimes (but rarely) affect trees planted during the heat stress of summer. You’ll instantly enjoy the display on spring flowering trees and they will achieve a full season’s root establishment. Happy Trees delivers and plants trees throughout the summer and even through October, but if you have tree planting in your future why not do it today? Give Happy Trees a call and have a great day!

12 Tips to get your yard ready for Spring

It's that time of year again!

By Chris Leinster - March 24, 2021

As the seasons turn from winter to spring you may have some home maintenance tasks to accomplish. If you live somewhere like Wisconsin where the winters can be long and frigid, getting your yard clean and ready may be at the top of your list. It’s finally time to pull those weeds, plant new flowers, prune your shrubs and trees, and get your home looking its very best for the sunny months ahead. If you are ready to start on your outdoor to-do list but don’t know where to start you came to the right place. We gathered tips from experts to help you prepare your yard for spring. 
1. Don’t forget to water your trees, plants, and lawn 
Did you know that trees, shrubs, and grasses start stretching their roots into the soil before any evidence of growth appears above ground? For this reason, be sure to drag out the hoses and water trees, garden plants, and even your lawn if precipitation is light and the ground is dry. Winter watering will help kick your landscape off to a healthy start. -Happy Trees 
2. Add outdoor planters to your front porch 
Welcome the arrival of spring with container gardens planted with beautiful spring flowers. Adding outdoor planters to your front porch will dramatically increase your curb appeal. This attention to detail is an inexpensive way to create a fabulous and lasting first impression. -Adorn Planters
3. Think about the pollinators
Remember that flowering weeds like dandelions are an important early food source for honeybees and that some "wild" areas in your landscape can provide season-long support for a variety of native pollinators. -Masterson's Garden Center
4. Make a plan for planting, soil prep, and cleaning  
Planning, soil prep, and cleaning are the keys to an upcoming gardening season. Have a good plan. Visit your local gardening experts for advice and recommendations on which plants/flowers perform best in your area, region, and hardy zones. It is best to shop locally. Clean and sharpen your garden tools and equipment for maximum performance and safety. Also, clean out your beds of weeds, old plants, and debris. -Brian J. Wheat, Owner, Lafayette Florist Gift Shop and Garden Center 
5. Increase your curb appeal with shrubs  
One easy way to increase curb appeal is to use medium-sized shrubs with shallow root systems to plant in front of your home’s foundation. Known as “house huggers.” These shrubs hide unsightly cement, give your home the appearance of being “grounded” in the landscape, and act as a great backdrop for smaller flowering perennials. This creates layers of visual interest and charm that frame your home’s best qualities. We recommend Boxwood, Inkberry, Deutzia, Weigela, Viburnum, Juniper, or Spruce for the job. -Rolling Green Nursery 
6. Use your garden to support local wildlife 
If you want your lawn and garden to support local wildlife such as birds, butterflies, and pollinators, consider planting native plants that encourage these beautiful visitors. Expanding your gardens to include more native plant varieties and increasing your garden's footprint can results in less lawn, meaning, less lawn maintenance. -American Native Plants
7. Turn your yard into a flowering bee lawn  
Pollinator populations are plummeting worldwide due to habitat loss, declining food sources, and pesticide use. The good news is that planting native flowers helps local bees, butterflies, and moths, and turning your entire yard into a flowering bee lawn really helps. You can mow and walk on a bee lawn just like turfgrass, and you’ll be serving up a buffet of nectar and pollen for foraging wild and honey bees. -Minnesota State Horticulture Society 
8. When pruning your trees, follow these rules:
  • The leaf is the tree’s food factory, so try not to remove more than 25% of leaves in any given pruning.
  • How and where you make the pruning cut is much more important than when—winter, spring, summer, fall.
  • Make smaller diameter cuts if possible. Trees seal over wounds (pruning cuts) by adding new growth, so smaller cuts close faster.
When in doubt, hire an arborist to inspect your trees and advise you on how to best care for your trees. -Cherokee Tree Care
9. Select plants that flourish in your climate
Maximize your yard’s potential by selecting plants that will flourish in your climate. Research your USDA growing zone before you shop.  This will help you design a drought-tolerant, water-wise, or low-maintenance landscape ideal for your zone. - Alder & Oak plants Simple l Good l Plants
10. Cut back native perennials 
What is the best spring care for the native perennials in your yard and garden?  Woody perennials do best if they are cut back in late spring, leaving a good amount of stem intact, since that’s where the new growth will form.  Most other native perennial wildflowers can be cut back to ground level soon after the snow melts. These dead stems and leaves have served their purpose over the winter months in providing cover and catching snow, which protects the roots from frost damage.  Clearing out most of this dead matter in the spring will help the ground warm sooner, and make your garden look tidier. -Steve Sykora, Everwilde Farms
11. Keep a gardening journal 
One of my favorite tips to get the garden ready for spring is to begin by reviewing your gardening journal from last year. This is a helpful way to plan for the coming season that enables you to review past weather patterns, frost dates, watering schedules, plot arrangements, and more. So you can get a jump on the coming season with a fine-tuned plan that reflects the unique ins and outs of your own gardening space. And if you don't keep a gardening journal already, now's a great time to start! -Gardener’s Path 
12. Let the professionals help out 
Prepare your outdoor space for dinner parties and good times and leave the nutrient-dense edible gardening to us! Soil is the soul of the food you grow, but a raised bed can be a real bummer. Planted Places did the work and now you don't have to sacrifice soil. Come for the nutrients, stay for the yoga! Get Planted! -Planted Places
Originally Published on Redfin

Cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast!

Fall is for Planting!

By Chris Leinster - August 28, 2020

Halloween decorations are filling the shelves of the big box stores and pumpkin spice lattes are back on the menu of your favorite coffee shop. Fall is for harvesting, but fall is also great for planting! If you’ve been waiting for Fall to plant the trees on your wish list, now is the time to take action.

A late summer cold front is descending upon us and cooler temperatures and rain is in the forecast. This is such a welcome blessing after the blistering heat of summer. August alone saw 15 days above 95 degrees! While Happy Trees plants daily all summer long with great success, trees appreciate fall’s cooler temperatures and increased precipitation that help reduce the stress of transport and planting. Now is a great time to plant trees!

Truth be told, there’s never really a great time to plant in Colorado. Most of the trees we enjoy in our yards could never exist here without human assistance and care. The ground is frozen for most of winter making planting impossible. Spring brings late frosts, snow squalls, and hail. Summer’s heat is stressful for newly planted trees. Fall can see early cold snaps, but for the next few weeks we have a window of opportunity where the weather cooperates to benefit the planting of trees.

Cooler temperatures and diminished daylight trigger trees to plunge their roots deeply into the soil in anticipation of winter’s wrath. We still have several weeks for trees to hunker down, in fact, now is a great time to fertilize established deciduous trees as they soak up nutrients to support root growth and other metabolic processes. The exception would be evergreen trees like Pine and Spruce. Don’t fertilize evergreens in the fall as it could trigger new top growth that would be too tender to withstand winter’s freezing temperatures.

As long as we’re on the topic of fertilization, now is the right time to fertilize your lawn. Bluegrass lawns are also triggered by shorter days and cooler temperatures. They stretch their roots deeply into the ground during this time of year. They need nutrients to do this, and nutrients are often in short supply after the stress of summer. Back east, the acronym for fertilizing is SOD, shorthand for September, October, and December, which are the ideal months for fall fertilizer application. In Colorado, bump that up a few weeks, starting in late August and finishing in November before the ground freezes for good. More on that topic can be found here…

This time of year some varieties of trees are in short supply, and those that remain may be showing signs of stress such as leaf scorch. Because Happy Trees shops wholesalers up and down the Front Range, we can locate and select only the healthiest and happiest trees remaining on the lots. I personally pick the trees you’ve requested, and I would never deliver a tree that I wouldn’t be proud to display in my own yard.

Pay attention to the weather in the coming weeks and be sure to adjust your irrigation system as needed. Your lawn and plants, particularly newly planted trees may not need as much water as you were pumping out over the summer, so check your soil moisture and water only when necessary. Having said that, make sure your plants have adequate moisture in the soil as winter approaches, even after you shut down your irrigation system. More on winter watering can be found here…

2020 has been a wild, whacky year. Many of us are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the images and rhetoric flashing across our news feeds and social media. I am never more at peace than when walking through a shaded forest. Happy Trees can bring some of that calming sensation into your yard by planting trees that screen unsightly views, provide cooling shade, and give you something beautiful to admire in your landscape. Or maybe you’re stuck at home and sick of looking at your neighbor. Whatever you desire, Happy Trees can help you select the best trees for your needs, and fall is an excellent time to plant the trees of your dreams!

Chris Leinster
(720) 343-7263

Summer Flowering Trees

Bring a little color to your summer landscape!

By Chris Leinster - July 27, 2020

We generally don’t think of summer as the best season for flowering trees, and with good reason. Most flowering trees release their cacophony of color just as the snow melts in early spring. These include all flowering fruit trees such as Pear, Cherry, and Crabapple, as well as Kentucky Coffeetree and Redbud.

There are a few late bloomers however that when added to your yard can extend the season of bloom in your overhead tree canopy through summer and even into fall. Consider adding one or a few of these specimens to keep your neighbors talking about your garden all summer long!

Japanese Tree Lilac, Hawthorn, and Catalpa begin blooming just as the petals of the aforementioned ornamental fruit trees drop. That is to say late May and extending through June.

As the name suggests, Japanese Tree Lilac is a tree form of the Lilac or Syringa family, and is often displayed as a multiple stemmed tree with 3-5 main trunks branching up from the ground. The White flowers are typical of the Lilac you’re familiar with. The cinnamon bark adds winter interest. They are a smaller tree reaching 25’ with an upright habit of 10-15’ wide.

There are many trees in the Hawthorn family with similar outstanding attributes. They are covered with white flowers in late spring/ early summer. They have glossy green leaves that turn a red-orange-yellow in the fall. The trunks and bark of most Hawthorn trees often becomes gnarled and twisted as they mature, giving the trees an enchanted feel. The brightly colored berries can be messy but put out a bright display of orange or red mid-summer interest.

The mighty Catalpa have large, tropical leaves that invoke scenes from Hawaii rather than Colorado, but they are quite hardy here. The pitcher shaped flowers are tropical looking as well, appearing white from a distance but the throats reveal delightful purple-speckled coloring when admired up close. Bring them inside for table ornaments! These flower in June as well. The downside are the large, bean like pods that drop in the fall, but they are no more troublesome than raking up leaves and they can be left in the garden for a decorative organic mulch.

Linden trees generally aren’t considered flowering trees but they do in fact bloom in late June and into July. The flowers are a lime-green and aren’t particularly showy, but they produce a two-toned light green against a deep green leaf, and the blossoms are quite fragrant.

Tulip trees have among the most splendid and showy orange-yellow flowers appearing in June into July. They are in the Poplar family along with Cottonwood and Aspen, so they grow here but do best in protected areas like downtown Denver. The flowers sit atop the branches in an upright fashion, so they are best viewed from a second story deck or window.

Purple Smoketree and Rose of Sharon straddle the line between large shrubs or small trees. Both can be purchased as small five gallon shrubs and allowed to mature, but larger specimens and even single-trunked tree form plants are commonly available. Purple Smoketree have burgundy leaves and get up to 15’ tall. The wispy flowers hover above the foliage and resembles smoke wafting over the plants, hence the name. Rose of Sharon are in the Hibiscus family and sport amazing tropical looking flowers from July through frost. They are available in a wide variety of colors and can be either disc shaped or star clusters that will bloom until frost! They make an excellent patio tree or focal point.

Japanese Pagoda Trees have panicles of creamy white flowers that don’t bloom until late summer and into September. The green bark, fern-like leaves, and pea-like flowers evoke a Japanese garden in a far-off land. They do well here, but they are akin to Willow trees with shallow roots and messy habit. They are continuously shedding seeds and branches so they are perhaps best planted in your neighbor’s yard.

A very under-used and little known small tree is Hepticodium or Seven Son Flower. The white flowers are just beginning to appear as I write this in late July. The flowers give way to bright red calyces for an additional burst of interest before winter reclaims the land. You can read more about Seven Son Flower on my blog…

My personal favorite for summer color is the fabled Golden Raintree. Showers of bright yellow flowers sprinkle over the foliage in mid-summer giving the tree its name. It too has a tropical looking feel with a coarse appearance in winter. The flowers are followed by air-filled seed pods that resemble Chinese lanterns that decorate the tree into fall. Yellow is such an unusual color for a flowering tree. Plant one in your yard for your whole neighborhood to enjoy!

Most flowering trees deliver their payload in early spring, but with thoughtful selection flowering trees can spice up your landscape well into summer and beyond. From tiny patio trees like Rose of Sharon to massive shade trees like Japanese Pagoda Tree, there’s a summer-flowering tree for every yard!

Too hot to go outside?

The Best Shade Trees for Colorado!

By Chris Leinster - July 21, 2020

We’re midway into summer and the sun’s scorching heat has us mostly huddled up inside. Fortunately, Colorado’s dry air cools off nicely in the evenings, inviting us to relax or even dine outside. If your outdoor patio is seared by the sun during the day or evening, you probably need a tree to provide shade for your outdoor living spaces.

Trees with high canopies soak up the sun’s energy and provide cooling shade for your patio and even your home. Strategically placed trees can make it bearable to be outside even on the hottest days. Granted, it may take some time before you truly feel the effects from a newly planted tree, but if you’re in your home for the long haul, trees planted today will pay off within just a few short years. If you drive through a neighborhood that was built out during the middle of the past decade, you’ll likely be surprised at the maturity of the trees and the shade and privacy they are already offering. Check out the following list of some of our best shade trees for Colorado.

Maple Trees are prized for their fast growth rate, durability and disease resistance, and their explosive Fall color, generally red, orange, yellow, or a combination of the three. They are generally classified into categories of Red, Norway, or Sugar, among others, but for most purposes they are relatively interchangeable and mostly do well under most conditions. Silver Maples should be avoided due to their weak wood and rot susceptibility, but hybridized variants such as ‘Autumn Blaze’ are outstanding for our climate and are even seed-less! For smaller yards or tight spaces, Ginnala or Tartarian Maple offer diminutive variants of their colossal cousins.

Oak Trees are valued for their fast growth and hardiness. When you picture a tire swing hanging from a majestic tree by Grandma’s farm house, you are likely thinking of an Oak. Northern Red, Texas Red, or Scarlet Oak probably have the most refined branching habit and best fall color. Bur and Swamp White have a rather coarse appearance in winter, however they are rugged and adaptable to a wide variety of growing conditions. There are many varieties of Columnar Oak that are among our most slender trees for narrow spaces. All Oak have acorns, although it may take many years before trees produce them. Even then, not all Oak produce acorns every year. Still, it may be best to avoid planting over a patio or where cars park, as the nuts can pack a punch when dropped from 30’!

Linden Trees have become increasingly popular as common species such as Elm and Ash have succumbed to disease and insects. Linden are fairly clean trees with a graceful appearance. There are several varieties that are basically interchangeable and even experienced arborists have difficulty distinguishing among them at maturity. The flowers are a light green which aren’t particularly showy but they do produce an interesting two-toned effect over the canopy, as well as a pleasant honeysuckle scent.

Honeylocust Trees are among Colorado’s cleanest and fastest growing trees. The tiny leaves allow plenty of sunlight to reach the ground, keeping the area bright while providing cooling shade. The leaves also shrivel up and blow away in the fall, so there’s not much to rake up! Light penetrates upward too, so up-lighting your Honeylocust produces a glow high up into the canopy that reflects back down around the yard. These aren’t your grandparents Honeylocust that produced thorns and seed pods. Today’s hybridized versions are graceful and elegant, without either unwanted attribute. As with all newly planted trees, winter wrap the trunks to prevent sunscald.

Catalpa Trees are massive and tropical looking. They hardly look like they belong in Colorado with their lush, large leaves and prolific orchid-like flowers. Yet, they do quite well here, often recovering from drought and hail with renewed vigor. In early summer, clusters of white flowers cover the tree. Up close, the pitcher shaped bells have delightful purple-speckled throats that make splendid table ornaments. The down side are the large, long seed pods that resemble giant string beans and that clutter up the ground. This is no more of a nuisance than raking up leaves though, so don’t let that deter you if you appreciate the finer attributes that are only found on these striking specimens. The bean pods can be raked into the garden to be left as an attractive garden mulch, so don’t be afraid to add these splendid Catalpa to your landscape!

This is not an exhaustive list and many more shade and flowering trees can be found at For more details or information visit our website or call Happy Trees at (303) 903-3341 today!