Tagawa Gardens Blog

Five trees and shrubs you should know about!

Late summer is a great time to plant trees and shrubs.

I spoke with some of the folks on our Nursery Staff to get their ideas about trees and shrubs with special features that would make great additions to our Front Range landscapes.  Maybe one or two of their suggestions would be purr-fect in your yard!

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

If you want great fall color in a fairly small package, Autumn Brilliance is the plant for you!  The picture at the top of this blog shows the stunning red foliage that Autumn Brilliance treats us to in autumns… thus the name.  Before the red leaves come the white flowers… loads of pure white blossoms in mid- to late-spring.

Autumn brilliance can be trained as either a tree (25′ tall x 20 feet wide) or as a large, multi-stemmed shrub (15′ tall and x 20′ wide).  Both forms produce blue berries that make delicious pies or jams…. or you can let the birds harvest them instead.

Autumn Brilliance prefers sun or part shade and moderate moisture.  It should never be allowed to dry out completely.

Bur Oak

This is one magnificent tree!  It’s called the “dreadnought of the forest” for good reason.   As shown above, the leaves take on golden tones in the fall.

Bur Oaks are big trees.  Really big trees.  They can grow to be 60′ tall and wide, so siting them correctly when they’re planted is critical.  Obstacles like overhead power lines, walls or fences and property lines have to be taken into account.

Bur Oaks get their name from their beautiful, knobby bark, which adds a lot of “winter interest” when all of the leaves have fallen.

Bur oaks are extremely cold tolerant and can take just about anything our Colorado weather can dish out.  As long as they have enough room to grow, they’re a stunning addition to a landscape.

Ivory Halo Dogwood

The eye-catching foliage of Ivory Halo Dogwood is sure to turn heads.  This compact, hardy shrub grows to be 5′ tall and wide.

As the leaves drop in the fall, Ivory Halo’s brilliant red stems are exposed for winter.  Beautiful against a backdrop of fresh snow!

This dogwood prefers full sun or part shade.  It’s moisture requirements are quite flexible, ranging from fairly dry to moist.

Ivory Halo does require some on-going pruning to be its best, but the results are so worth it!

Bigtooth Maple

Many of the folks in Tagawa’s Nursery Department are big fans of Bigtooth Maple.  And for good reason!  Bigtooth Maples offer some of the best fall color you could hope for… stunning shades of deep red and orange

Bigtooth grows to 25′ tall and wide, an excellent size for most yards.  It should never be planted underneath overhead power lines.

Bogtooth prefers full sun, but part shade is acceptable.  It’s extremely hardy once it’s “established,” meaning after it has two to three seasons of good growth.  It’s best in average to moist soils and should never be allowed to dry out.

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon is a type of perennial hibiscus.  Different varieties have different flower colors and forms… some single blossoms and some double. The blossoms appear from late spring through summer.  They’re always showy, large and wonderfully tropical in appearance.

This multi-stemmed shrub grows to be 8′ tall x 7′ wide.  It prefers full sun to part shade and average to moist soil.  If you’re hankering for a wonderful flowering shrub in your yard, Rose of Sharon may be just what you need!

There are dozens more excellent choices of trees and shrubs now on sale in Tagawa’s Nursery Department.  Bring pictures of your yard on your smart phone to help our wonderful staff help you make just the right choice.

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Luan Akin
Luan Akin
Tagawa Gardens Outreach Ambassador

After 30 years as a news reporter for KCNC TV in Denver, Luan Akin was ready for a change. In 2008, she came to Tagawa Gardens and offered to create a brand new position: Garden Outreach Ambassador.

Luan had trained and volunteered as a Douglas County Master Gardener for ten years. In addition to her duties as a news reporter, working primarily out of the Channel 4 News helicopter, Luan also produced and presented a long-running series of stories called “Gardening Together.”

All these years later, Luan now works year ‘round, presenting a variety of gardening and nature-related topics to hundreds of children, HOA’s, gardening clubs, church groups, small businesses and other organizations.

She is an avid gardener, a beekeeper and a proud mom to four dogs who have trained her well.


  1. JosephineTomato

    September 3, 2019 - 6:41 pm

    I love the color and ease of my Rose of Sharon but sadly, so do the Japanese beetles. We battle each morning to see which will win the day! Would love a suggestion on my Bradford Pear tree replacements. Sadly fire blight may have gotten the best of them this summer.

    • Luan Akin

      Luan Akin

      September 9, 2019 - 5:04 pm

      Dear Josephine Tomato (love it!),

      Tagawa’s Garden Advisor’s at Dick’s Corner try hard to stay on top of the Japanese Beetles scourge. This summer we brought in a new produce called “beetleGONE!” (Their spelling….) It’s a biological control that works only on scarab beetles and their grubs. It’s not cheap, but I’m hearing good things about it. You might want to check into that.

      I’ve never grown a Rose of Sharon, but it’s on my list!

      Thanks so much for getting in touch.

      My best,

      Luan Akin

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