A great way to get out and see Boulder is with a tree scavenger hunt. There are dozens of famous trees around town that the city of boulder has marked as notable because of their rarity or cultural significance.
For a tree to be deemed notable it must meet one of the following criteria:
- Related to a famous historical person, place, or event
- One of the largest of its species
- A rare or unique tree
- Contributes to the community in some way
Swamp White Oak
Location: Green Mountain Memorial Park
GPS: 39.994880, -105.267917
This swamp white oak tree was planted in 1905 when the Green Mountain Cemetery was first founded. It has now grown into the biggest of its species in all of Colorado, making it worth a trip to see.
Swamp white oaks are distinguished by their beautiful bark that peels back in long segments. The leaves are a pear shape turn a lovely orange-gold in fall.
If you decide to find this tree keep an eye out for famous people buried in the cemetery:
- Anne Ophelia – Artist and writer, one of america’s leading botanical artists. She was known for her high-detail drawings of Colorado’s flower species.
- Wiley Blount Rutledge – United States supreme court justice from 1943 to 1949. He went to the University of Colorado Law School and had a practice in Boulder.
- Robert Graham Demmon – Musician born in Boulder who played as guitarist in the band “The Astronauts”. Check out his hit single from the sixties called ‘Baja’.
Colorado’s Largest Chestnut Oak
Location: Chautauqua Park
GPS: 39.999634, -105.281423
The quercus prinus or chestnut oak is a tree native to the east side of the United States. It was introduced into Colorado in the early 1900s and one of the first was this tree planted in boulder’s Chautauqua park.
100 years later it is not the largest of its kind in Colorado. Our Boulder tree service team measured it recently and found an incredible diameter of 36 inches.
Decker Tyler House Eastern Redbud
Location: 20th St and Evergreen Avenue
GPS: 40.029671, -105.271447
The Decker Tyler house was one of the first properties in boulder, dating all the way back to 1876. The original owner, Clinton Tyler, arrived in Colorado in 1860 and was one of its first pioneers. He served many important roles in the early frontier military and legislation.
On this property is one of Colorado’s largest Eastern Redbuds. These elegant trees are known as the ‘harbinger of spring’ and have lovely blossoms in April and March. Makes for a great tree for adding beauty to any yard.
Baldcypress At North Boulder Park
Locaiton: North Boulder Park
GPS: 40.029097, -105.285673
Keep an eye out for a few baldcypress trees the next time you are passing by north boulder park. These trees really thrive in the southern swamps of SE USA, however they are tough trees and can manage through the CO winter. One interesting thing about them is their roots which jut out of the dirt at sharp angles. Scientists believe this is to help them gain extra oxygen.
Mapleton Avenue Silver Maples
Location: Mapleton Avenue By 4th Street
GPS: 40.020535, -105.291406
In 1890 Boulder was very barren compared to today, as a first step the city decided to plant over 200 silver maples along Mapleton Avenue. Many of the original trees are still there today; along with newcomers red, sugar, and norway maples.
Silver is a great word to describe these trees. The underside of the leaves as well as the bark have a silvery color. Especially in a wind this can create a pretty shimmering effect.
For landscaping these trees are great picks because of how fast they grow. At a rate of about 2 feet per year they can quickly add shade to a yard.