Rocky Mountains: Fruit Producing Trees

Photo © Andrew E. Russell

Native fruit-producing trees and shrubs are essential components of diverse habitats. With a little space, these regionally-appropriate plants make excellent additions to most sites. Even better, wildlife visitors–from the smallest pollinators to mammals–will use these trees for food and shelter.

Rocky Mountain Juniper

Photo © Tony Frates

Above: Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)
Description: These thick trunked trees can reach 30-40 ft tall with reddish, stringy bark.
Bloom: Fruit is a waxy whitish-blue and is available to wildlife in late summer and fall.
Wildlife: Small mammals, Olive Butterfly, Cedar Waxwing, Purple Finch, American Robin, Evening Grosbeak, Yellow-rumped Warbler, flickers, Northern Mockingbird, bluebirds, Swainson’s Thrush, Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallows, Eastern Kingbird, Bobwhites, jays, and Wild Turkeys.

Narrow-leafed Cottonwood

Photo © Matt Lavin

Above: Narrow-leaf Cottonwood (Populus angustifolia)
Description: This tree reaches about 45-60 feet tall with a narrow crown to accompany its narrow leaves. In fall the leaves turn a brilliant yellow.
Bloom: Flowers: White flowers emerge in May with fruits that soon follow and ripen by summer.
Wildlife: Deer, beaver, squirrels, bears, seed-eating songbirds, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bald Eagle.

Populus tremuloides

Photo © Matt Lavin

Above: Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
Description: These slender trees reach 30-35 feet with distinctive leaves that flutter in the wind. In the fall they turn a bright yellow/orange color.
Bloom: Yellow or light green bloom in the spring followed by catkins fruit 4–6 centimeters with small seeds.
Wildlife: Great Ash Sphinx, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Viceroy Butterfly, deer, elk, and moose, beavers, rabbits, small mammals, Redpolls, grouse, quail, and songbirds.

Add it to your map


Placing and IDing your trees and shrubs.
First, add your trees and shrubs as objects to your map by selecting the Toolshed and Second.

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Photo ©

Then, make sure to complete the characteristics by clicking on the green Info window. First identify your plant under Basic Information. If you enter the common or scientific name in the second bar, this will connect to the USDA plant database. Select the name that correlates to your plant.

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Photo ©

Then, complete the characteristics by telling us about the features of this specific tree or shrub.

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Photo ©

Other regional fruit tree recommendations:
Southeast
Pacific Mixed Forest
Desert
Northeast and Midwest
California Chaparral

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