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2017 4th Annual Tree Diversity Conference - DESIGN WITH MORE. TREE. TYPES.

For a fourth consecutive year four noted speakers will share more ideas for diversifying the Colorado Front Range tree species palette and how to make them feel welcome and prosper in our difficult high plains conditions.

Our focus this year will also be on the way tree species diversity can enable and enhance innovative landscape design whether for water conservation or esthetic objectives.

Increased species diversity is not just about tree census numbers but also about improving our approach to landscape design. Our fourth tree diversity conference will focus on how greater tree variety can enhance landscape esthetics and conversely, how innovative landscape design can accommodate a broader range of tree species.


$75, includes all programming and lunch




Jeff Iles | "The Iowa Experience"

Jeff, with his many years as a key figure in the widely-attended Iowa Shade Tree Short Course--now in its 61st year!--will draw on his experience to give us his best ideas for underutilized tree species for planting in our region. He will also devote a major portion of his talk to recommending pruning practices for maximizing the longevity of all those new trees we've been planting and will keep planting in the future.

Jeff serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University (Ames, IA). He teaches, conducts applied research, and provides Extension programming in the areas of landscape plant establishment and maintenance, woody plant evaluation, and nursery and garden center management. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in horticulture from Michigan State, Penn State, and Iowa State, respectively. Between degrees, Jeff worked in the retail garden center segment of the green industry, first in suburban Detroit, Michigan, and later in Littleton, Colorado.

Jeff is a member of the Rotary Club of Ames and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ames Foundation, Iowa Arboretum, Brenton Arboretum, and in his spare time is an ice hockey referee and an avid cyclist.


Justin Evertson | “Trees For the Central Great Plains”

The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum has been working to expand the diversity and resiliency of community forests and planted landscapes across the state for nearly 40 years. This program will highlight some of the unique efforts of NSA including the network of over 100 affiliate sites scattered across the state, as well as the Environmentally Adapted Trees Initiative (EAT) developed to identify and propagate superior and environmentally-adapted trees from across the central Great Plains region.

 Justin Evertson has been involved with the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum and the Nebraska Forest Service since 1990. Since 2010 he has been Green Infrastructure Coordinator for the Community Forestry and Sustainable Landscapes unit of NFS/NSA. Justin oversees programs that provide funding, technical assistance and educational outreach for sustainable landscape enhancements in communities across the state. Justin has authored several publications over the years with an emphasis on woody plant selection. He earned his architecture and community and regional planning degrees from UNL (1988/92). Justin grew up on a farm in western Nebraska (Kimball County) where he learned an appreciation for shortgrass prairie and Nebraska’s wide-open spaces. Justin is passionate about trees, the native landscape, biodiversity and sustainable landscape development. He lives in Waverly (near Lincoln) where he plants many trees and works to enhance landscapes throughout the community.


Ben Rickenbacker | "A Close Look at Denver's Urban Forest Diversity"

Ben will discuss the city-wide inventory project which was done in part to prepare for the pending arrival of the emerald ash borer. Featured discussion points will include an update on the species composition of Denver's urban forest along with the discovery of some notable trees, some of which are new state champions.

Ben Rickenbacker is a Forestry Operations Supervisor for the City and County of Denver. Ben was initially hired to lead the city-wide street tree inventory project, where he and his team documented roughly 230,000 public right-of-way trees. Ben is an ISA Certified Arborist/Municipal Specialist. Ben holds a B.S. in Horticulture from Western Kentucky University. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the arboriculture industry.


Front Range Beginning Farmers Conference


The average age of U.S. farmers today is 58. Two acres of farmland are lost every minute. Many people dream of starting a farm, but lack access to land, capital, education, and training.

Join us for the Front Range Beginning Farmer’s Conference, featuring instructional workshops from regional experts, targeted towards small scale, sustainable farming. Come share your ideas, knowledge and questions and enjoy lunch and a post-conference social hour with local experts and aspiring farmers.

The conference is targeted to those who are considering starting an urban, suburban, or rural farm, those who have already been growing for a couple of years, and those who want to learn more and support the burgeoning small farm movement on the Front Range. All levels of experience and interest are welcome!

Pre-registration is highly encouraged.

$52 general public, cost of lunch and social hour is included


*Please send any dietary restriction information to sami.lester@botanicgardens.org by Saturday, Feb. 18th and we will do what we can to accommodate special needs.


Location: Chatfield Farms, 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, CO 80128


*More information regarding specific session topics, presenters, and partners coming soon!


Photo credit: J Reeder


New Gardener Boot Camp

Are you a blank slate when it comes to starting your very own garden? Worried about ending the growing season with a pile of dead plants and sad vegetables? Join us at Denver Botanic Gardens for a full day event, packed with answers to all those looming and mysterious gardening questions. Get started on the right foot this year with all of our best beginner’s classes, carefully designed to equip you with all the tools you’ll need to master that garden once and for all!


Classes include:


Garden Planning 101… where do I start?

This beginner’s class will take you step by step through the process of laying out a plan of attack for your garden! Whether you are starting with a blank slate garden or working with an old outdated garden this class will give you the basics on where to start. It will discuss needs and planning tools for raised beds, container gardens and in-ground vegetable gardens. We will discuss the basics of garden locations, sun requirements, water needs, starting from seed, transplanting and the basics of planning the organization of perennials and annuals, trees and shrubs. This class is the perfect fit for anyone needing to understand how the garden works together as a whole.

Soils 101

Soils will always be the first place to start when building a beautiful garden. This class will cover the best management practices for building your soil for in-ground beds, containers and raised beds. It will discuss the basics of composting as well as demonstrate the value of soil testing.


Beginning Vegetable Gardening

If you have never planted edible plants or had little success at growing your own vegetables, Brien will walk you through the ABCs from planning, soil preparation, crop selection, watering, fertilizing, pest protection, and harvesting your first vegetable garden. Brien will cover tips on the most popular vegetables to grow, including leafy salad greens, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and more. You'll leave with a comprehensive understanding of how to successfully do each gardening task, and take home a planting guide that will help you through the entire growing season.


Annuals and Perennials for Color in the Garden

Plants provide the backbone of the garden with vibrant colors, textures, and forms that weave together to create your own personal oasis. Learn the basics of perennials, annuals and biennials, how to make the best selections for your garden and how to best maintain your plants throughout the season. From the traditional to the unusual we will explore the limitless varieties of plants and send you into the growing season prepared.


These classes combined usually cost more then $200 but with New Gardener Boot Camp event will be $60 members, $80 non-members. Register Early as space is limited.

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