Experts in container rentals, sales & customization
Let us help you today! 800.686.9114

CONTACT US TODAY

WHY CHOOSE US FOR YOUR
SHIPPING CONTAINERS IN Highlands Ranch CO

Southwest Mobile Storage is a family-owned shipping container business founded in 1995. Our strength for more than 25 years comes from the specialized knowledge and passion of our people, along with serving over 24,000 commercial, construction and residential customers. Our 90,000 sq. ft. facility and expertise in maintaining, manufacturing, and delivering corrugated steel containers are unrivaled in the industry.

While the rental side of our business is regional, with branches throughout the Southwest, our container sales and modification operations are nationwide and becoming global. Highlands Ranch, CO, offers a wide selection of portable offices and mobile storage containers you can rent, buy or modify.

Our experts in container rental, sales and customization are committed to providing you with the highest quality and best experience from service to delivery - our reputation depends on it.

Whether you need shipping containers for storage, office, moving, multi-purpose or custom use, we've got your back.

LEARN MORE

WHERE WE'RE LOCATED

What Clients Say About US

STORAGE CONTAINERS AVAILABLE IN Highlands Ranch CO

When you choose mobile storage containers over traditional storage facilities, you get more space for less, plus the convenience of onsite, 24/7 access to your valuables. And if you can't keep a container at your location, we offer you the flexibility to store it at our place instead. Rest assured, our high-quality storage containers will keep your items safe from weather, pests and break-ins. When you need to rent, buy or modify mobile storage containers in Highlands Ranch, CO, look no further than Southwest Mobile Storage.

Our certified experts modify containers to fit any of your business needs or events.

Our shipping container modifications can help improve or expand your business. We can customize containers to any size you need, so you can rest easy knowing you have enough space for your inventory, documents, equipment or services.

Here's why you should choose us for your container modifications:

  • We offer the highest quality modifications on the market.
  • Our certified fabricators have years of combined experience in container modifications. No other company in the industry matches our expertise.
  • We have modified thousands of containers over the past 25 years for foreign and domestic clients.
  • Our certified weld and quality control inspectors ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications through every step of the process.
  • We can build multiple projects simultaneously in our 90,000 sq ft fabrication facility with consistent quality and a fast turnaround.
  • Most of our competition outsources their modifications, so you don’t know who is doing the work or how much markup is involved.
  • Even after your custom container has been delivered, we still have your back. Our full-service staff can provide maintenance and quick modifications at your location.
Storage Containers Highlands Ranch, CO
Southwest Mobile Storage

CONTAINERS SOLUTIONS IN Highlands Ranch CO

 Rent Storage Containers Highlands Ranch, CO

COMMERCIAL MOBILE
STORAGE & OFFICES

When you own a business or manage one, it's crucial to have efficient, affordable ways to store inventory and supplies, whether it's to grow your business or adapt to changes in the market. Renting or buying storage containers to keep at your business eliminates the cost and hassles of sending your staff to offsite storage facilities. If you're in need of a custom solution, we'll modify shipping containers into whatever you need to grow your business. Whether it's new paint with your branding, a durable container laboratory for scientific research, or mobile wastewater treatment units,our unrivaled fabrication facility and modification expertshave you covered.

REQUEST A QUOTE

CONSTRUCTION
STORAGE & OFFICES

We know how important it is for your construction company to have reliable, secure storage and comfortable office space at your jobsite. All our storage containers for rent in Highlands Ranch, CO, come standard with first-rate multi-point locking systems, so you can rest assured your tools, equipment and materials are safe and secure. We also understand that construction can run long or finish early. We'll accommodate your schedule, even on short notice, and will prorate your rent after your first 28 days, so you don't have to pay for more than you actually need. With us, you also won't have to deal with the hassle of a large call center. Instead, you'll have dedicated sales representatives who will work with you for the entirety of your business with us.

REQUEST A QUOTE
 Storage Containers For Rent Highlands Ranch, CO
 Mobile Storage Containers Highlands Ranch, CO

RESIDENTIAL
STORAGE CONTAINERS

Get 24/7 access to your personal belongings without ever leaving your property. Whether you need short-term storage during home renovations or to permanently expand your home's storage space, our shipping containers for rental, sale and modification in Highlands Ranch, CO, are the most convenient, secure solution. With our first-rate security features, using a storage container for your holiday decorations, lawn equipment, furniture, and other items will keep your contents safer than if you used a shed. Don't have room on your property? We also offer the option to keep your container at our secure facility. Our experienced team is here to help you find the perfect solution for your needs.

REQUEST A QUOTE

MOBILE OFFICE CONTAINERS AVAILABLE IN Highlands Ranch CO

Our ground-mounted mobile offices provide comfortable, temperature-controlled workspace without the extra expenses associated with portable office trailers, like stairs, metal skirting or setup and removal fees. Whether you only need one workspace, storage to go with it, or separate rooms in one container, we've got you covered. With our 500 years of combined container fabrication experience, rest easy knowing your mobile office is of the highest quality craftsmanship when you choose Southwest Mobile Storage.

CONTAINER SIZES AND TYPES

Standard Storage Containers for Rent

SMS-Single-Bay-Doors
10' Single Door Container
15' Single Door Container
20' Single Door Container
24' Single Door Container
30' Single Door Container
40' Single Door Container
45' Single Door Container
SMS-Dual-Bay-Doors
24' Double Door Container
30' Double Door Container
40' Double Door Container

Standard Storage Containers for Rent

SMS-Office-Dual-window
10' Open Bay Offices
20' Open Bay Offices
40' Open Bay Offices
40' Office with Split Rooms
SMS-Office-Single-window-storage
20' Office/Storage Combo
24' Office/Storage Combo
40' Office/Storage Combo

HOW IT WORKS

Shipping Rentals Container Type

Choose Your Container Type
Whether you need storage, office or combo space, determine how many containers, what sizes and door types your business needs.

Shipping container Arrow
Shipping container rentals Options

Choose What Options You Need
Select what add-ons, accessories and utilities you'd like.

Shipping container Arrow
Shipping container Determine Security

Determine Security Needs
All of our storage containers come standard with dual-lock vault-like security.

Shipping container Timeframe

What's Your Timeframe
Standard delivery is within 3-5 days of order. If you need it sooner, we'll do our best to accommodate.

Shipping container arrow
Shipping container Delivery

Delivery
Are we taking your packed container directly to your new location? Or do you need to store it at our location until you're ready?

Southwest Mobile Storage
Southwest Mobile Storage

FIRST-RATE SECURITY
SETTING THE STANDARD IN CONTAINER STORAGE SAFETY & SECURITY

Shipping container rentals

Up to six points for adding locks to your shipping container, including a high-security slide bolt for puck locks.

Extra-long lockbox to ensure you always have at least one lock keeping your mobile storage container safe from break-ins.

Shipping container Security
Southwest Shipping container rentals

No holes to ensure your rental shipping container is wind and watertight.

Our 14-gauge corrugated steel containers are stronger than other storage solutions like pods.

Shipping container 4 Guage steel
Southwest Shipping container

HAS YOUR BACK EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

 Rent Shipping Containers Highlands Ranch, CO
HIGHEST QUALITY, BEST VALUE

Shop and compare. When it comes to quality, delivery, security and service, you won't find a better value.

Shipping container highest quality
 Portable Storage Containers For Rent Highlands Ranch, CO
FIRST-RATE SECURITY

High security, multi-point locking systems come standard on all our rental containers at no additional cost.

Shipping container First-Rate-Security
 Storage Container Rental Highlands Ranch, CO
UNRIVALED FACILITY & EXPERTISE

90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication center and certified experts with more than 500 years combined experience in customized container modification.

Shipping container unrivaled expertise
 Shipping Containers For Rent Highlands Ranch, CO
SUPERIOR SERVICE

One reliable point of contact, seamless delivery and dependable service you can trust every step of the way.

Shipping container rating

CONTACT US TODAY TO GET A FREE QUOTE!

In a few short minutes, our helpful staff can answer all your questions.

CALL 866.525.7349
REQUEST A QUOTE
 Shipping Containers For Mobile Office Highlands Ranch, CO

Latest News in Highlands Ranch, CO

Highlands Ranch family brings Star Wars to life with holiday light display

In the spirit of the holidays, one family in Highlands Ranch has transformed their house into an epic Star Wars themed holiday lighting display, complete with inflatables, over 20,000 lights, costume characters and refreshments.Dubbed “Star Wars: The Battle for the North Pole”, the DePoty family makes holidays bright for neighbors and visitors with their annual Christmas light display at 9973 Blackbird Place in Highlands Ranch. The lights stay on nightly from 5-10 p.m. from Black Friday through Jan. 2.On weekends, t...

In the spirit of the holidays, one family in Highlands Ranch has transformed their house into an epic Star Wars themed holiday lighting display, complete with inflatables, over 20,000 lights, costume characters and refreshments.

Dubbed “Star Wars: The Battle for the North Pole”, the DePoty family makes holidays bright for neighbors and visitors with their annual Christmas light display at 9973 Blackbird Place in Highlands Ranch. The lights stay on nightly from 5-10 p.m. from Black Friday through Jan. 2.

On weekends, the DePoty children set up a hot chocolate and warm apple cider stand for spectators. The light display has become so popular over the years that it now has its own dedicated Facebook page.

The spectators come in droves. Most arrive by car, but hardcore aficionados of holiday spirit go as far as renting limos and party buses.

“Luckily we have some very understanding neighbors who deal with a lot of craziness over the holiday season,” said Ron DePoty, who spearheads the display along with wife, Megan, and their three children Joel,13, Xander,11, and Mackenzie,7.

DePoty has held a passion for holiday decoration for nearly four decades. He recalls days from his youth when he would assist his mother and stepfather with stringing up lights back in the 1980s.

“On Thanksgiving Day while everyone else was watching the football games, we’d be out putting up the lights in an effort to have them done that evening,” he said.

The passion for holiday decorating hasn’t waned, outlasting multiple apartments, houses and Ron and Megan’s transition from dating to marriage. Eventually, it settled in Highlands Ranch in 2007 with a “Santa’s Zoo” theme. Ten years ago, the DePotys moved to their current location and have run with the Star Wars theme ever since.

In addition to the 20,000 lights, the display features over 40 inflatable decorations highlighting characters from the original Star Wars trilogy, the prequels and the recent Disney films and mini-series.

The DePotys have adopted solar panels to aid with energy costs over the years but estimate that their energy bills double during the winter while running the display. The tornado which hit the Highlands Ranch area this past summer damaged their solar set-up, setting the stage for a hefty expense this December.

“We'll be biting our lips when we get the bill this year,” DePoty said.

In addition to energy costs, DePoty says he sets aside around $500 each year for expansion and maintenance of the display. This year, that meant five new inflatables were added.

The DePotys do make some extra holiday cash from the children’s warm holiday drinks stand, but the proceeds have been used to assist with his father, John Spiegel’s fight with prostate cancer following a diagnosis in 2021. Last year, the DePoty children raised $4,000 toward their grandfather’s medical expenses.

With all the hype and activity surrounding the DePotys’ Christmas display, it might be enough to perturb a grinch or two in the neighborhood. But that isn’t the case, at least according to Ron.

“In 2022, we posed a challenge to our entire neighborhood to decorate with the plan for everyone to walk the Blackbird neighborhood on Dec. 23, then email me the number of the house that they believe is the best decorated, excluding ours," DePoty said. "We then will be giving the house with the most votes a $100 amazon gift card on Christmas Eve.”

Eventually, Ron and his family hope to one day be selected for ABC’s Christmas television series, “The Great Christmas Light Fight”. They’ve received visits from the producers of the series, but have yet to gain that elusive selection.

With "the force" behind them, their annual mission to spread holiday cheer throughout the galaxy continues.

Highlands Ranch gingerbread house gets national attention

It was a dream come true for Walter Hazard when he got his chance to compete on the national television show, “The Great Christmas Light Fight.”However, putting up his red and green lights every year holds a stronger meaning to him as the display is inspired by the people around him.Although the Hazard’s Gingerbread House has been a fan favorite for the community over the years, their lights have recently gotten a lo...

It was a dream come true for Walter Hazard when he got his chance to compete on the national television show, “The Great Christmas Light Fight.”

However, putting up his red and green lights every year holds a stronger meaning to him as the display is inspired by the people around him.

Although the Hazard’s Gingerbread House has been a fan favorite for the community over the years, their lights have recently gotten a lot of social media attention for its precision.

“This little house in Highlands Ranch that people have grown up with has been seen by millions of people now,” said Hazard.

For over 20 years, Hazard has slowly added more lights to his house.

The evolution

He first started by lining the edges of his roofline with lights when one day, a young girl in the neighborhood told him his house looked like a gingerbread house.

“I didn’t know what I was doing and that’s when it kind of clicked,” said Hazard. “I said, ‘you know what, I’m going to embrace this’.”

In fact, Hazard learned that the technique of outlining the roofline is called gingerbreading.

About seven years ago, another person in the neighborhood suggested that Hazard make giant candy canes for his yard. Hazard said he didn’t know how to make that happen, but the idea came to him in the middle of the night.

Using white PVC pipes, Hazard spray painted red onto them to make them look like a classic candy cane. He then added lights around the candy cans to make them visible, but at the same time made them blend into the candy cane by spray painting them white and red.

Want more stories like this? Consider a one-time or monthly recurring gift!

Yes! I’ll support more local journalism in my community.

Hazard ended up making 20 candy canes, which line up along either side of his driveway and point towards the house.

“That kind of ratcheted things up,” said Hazard.

In the following years, Hazard decided to make Colorado inspired lollipops. He mirrored the stripes of the candy canes with blue and white stripes and the Colorado sun as the lollipop.

At that time, Hazard had been using wire fencing to put the snowflakes on his roof when he discovered that he could take the wire fencing and make a frame out of it and wire the lights one by one to ensure each light is at the perfect angle.

Painted in red, green and white lights, the colors on the house make Hazard reflect and think of everlasting life.

Five years ago, in the midst of telling his friends and family that it was his goal to be on the only televised Christmas light competition, he made a change to LED lights.

“I use less plugs and electricity and I have 10 times more lights,” said Hazard.

Hazard always had help from his two kids, but as they grew up and moved out, kids from around the neighborhood, like Ryan and Dylan, have helped Hazard for years.

“They brighten my world,” said Hazard.

Despite not being chosen the first time he applied to the show five years ago and the pandemic, Hazard said it was a blessing in disguise because it gave him more time to put more lights on the house and in his yard.

Inspired by his memories of watching the scene from “A Charlie Brown’s Christmas” when Charlie and Linus go to the tree farm, Hazard began building Christmas trees. Like the frames on his house, each strand of light is wired to the perfect angle.

He thought he was only going to make a few trees, but ended up making over 30, adding purple into the mix for his wife.

Not only did he honor his wife in the display, Hazard wanted to pay homage to his friends’ cultural backgrounds, so he made a sign that says “Merry Christmas” in different languages.

Filming “The Great Christmas Light Fight”

In August 2022, Hazard got the call he had been waiting for. He made it onto the show.

On ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” families from across the country compete to win $50,000 and a large light trophy.

With plans to film in early November, Hazard had to get approval from the Highlands Ranch Community Association to put his lights up early. He said the association and his neighbors were extremely supportive.

“[The show] is hokey and goofy and our family embraced the goofiness,” said Hazard.

Alongside Hazard were his wife, daughter, son and daughter-in-law all dressed in their gingerbread man onesies and welcomed their judge Carter Oosterhouse as he was about to see their house for the first time.

Hazard was surprised that their judge’s first look was during the filming and not beforehand, which made the moment even more exciting and nerve wracking.

The candy cane lever Oosterhouse used to turn on the light display was constructed with the help of Hazard’s close friend who has experience in robotics.

Oosterhouse was impressed with the meticulousness of the display and blown away by the frames Hazard had made. At the time of filming, Hazard had 312 frames on his house, which is now up to 325.

What wasn’t shown on the episode was how the Hazards were able to use their garage even with frames and Christmas trees on it.

Filming the family interview will always be memorable for Hazard because the weather took a turn and it began to snow.

Hazard said at one point they had to stop the interview as there was a half inch of snow piled on his head.

Although the Hazard family didn’t win the episode, Hazard said the comments they received from production, staff and Oosterhouse was all worth it.

On the episode, Oosterhouse said the family “went to pure artistry.”

“That was the highest compliment,” said Hazard. “It truly was… and that came from him.”

One year later

It was a year ago when the hazard family found out they didn’t win the episode and have had to keep the secret since.

However, their excitement returned when they were surprised by the first promotion for the new season of the show featuring them. Hazard knew they had to share it on their social media, which is run by his daughter who is in marketing.

“It’s like the best moment of my entire life,” said Hazard.

At the beginning of the holiday season, the Hazard Gingerbread House had 3,200 followers. After posting a video of him lighting the house, that number has grown and over 3 million have viewed the video, even people from overseas are commenting on the house.

“It’s just as impressive if you go up 100 yards and look at the house from a distance,” said Hazard. “You can see that the house has so many twinkling, color changing lights, that the house has a pulse to it.”

The Hazard Gingerbread House is located at 10221 Fairgate Way.

Parker resident brings vintage finds to Highlands Ranch

A year after her exit from corporate America, Kelly Crossley has taken a leap and launched a store in Highlands Ranch full of pieces she loves. Modern Vintage Marketplace, which opened on Nov. 1, carries home decor, collectibles, men’s and women’s clothing, and hundreds of other items that have caught the first-time business owner’s admiring eye.“Each piece is uniquely picked by mostly me,” said Crossley, who previously worked in information technology and employee engagement. Some products are selected b...

A year after her exit from corporate America, Kelly Crossley has taken a leap and launched a store in Highlands Ranch full of pieces she loves. Modern Vintage Marketplace, which opened on Nov. 1, carries home decor, collectibles, men’s and women’s clothing, and hundreds of other items that have caught the first-time business owner’s admiring eye.

“Each piece is uniquely picked by mostly me,” said Crossley, who previously worked in information technology and employee engagement. Some products are selected by Wil Crossley, her husband and partner in the new endeavor.

Long before she started her adventure in retail, Crossley said she had curated a collection of items from her own life that were beautiful or well-made or held special meaning. A fan of vintage glassware and handbags, she enjoys searching estate sales, thrift stores and the internet for pieces. She has an appreciation for things that were made “back in the day” and has learned that others do, too.

This realization led her to start buying and reselling unique and vintage goods on digital forums like Mercari and Poshmark. But shipping glass was a “nightmare” and eventually she decided she wanted a brick-and-mortar store.

“You’re not paying shipping. You get to touch it, feel it,” Crossley said, describing to Colordado Community Media the in-person shopping experience she’s creating. “You get to try it on … if it doesn’t meet your (expectation), you don’t have to deal with returning it. So I’m hoping that is a more attractive way to go.”

Although about 75% of Modern Vintage Marketplace’s 2,000-plus-piece inventory has been previously owned, the Crossleys are reluctant to use words like used or thrift or resale. Instead, they use the term “rescued” to describe their not-new merchandise. It’s a nod to the idea that they’ve saved quality products from a sorry fate languishing unappreciated at a charity shop or, worse, in a landfill.

Crossley said she put the 1,400-square-foot store together with shoppers in mind. She wanted the fitting room spacious and the restroom fun. (It’s tiki themed.) She picked a name for the place that hints at what kind of items customers would find inside. Songs from decades past play over the speakers and set a nostalgic mood. A set of lockers near the back allow customers to set aside pieces they’re interested in while trying on clothes. There’s even a pair of upholstered chairs where one can linger with a hot beverage.

“I want you to feel comfortable and enjoy yourself — not just be running in and then running out,” Crossley said. “Hang out for a while.”

Whether it’s the colorful, mismatched letters spelling out the store name on the wall or the second-hand butcher blocks that make up the checkout counter or the cedar fence pickets Wil repurposed for baseboards, the Crossleys succeeding in generating the “it’s all good” vibe Kelly was going for. And they did it on a budget.

“It’s just us and our savings,” Wil Crossley said, “so we were scrimping and saving and using reused things whenever we could.”

While Kelly Crossley is happy to be out of the corporate world and working for herself, she’s noticed she’s using lot of the skills she developed in her former career to get her fledgling shop off the ground: reading contracts, negotiating prices, managing relationships with vendors and customers. This difference is now she’s doing it to benefit her own business instead of someone else’s.

“I tell people, it’s scary and exciting all at the same time,” she said.

The Know | Highlands Ranch tornado tore out 16,000 trees but helped build a sense of community

“Were you home when the tornado hit? Did you have damage?”Those are the first questions people in Highlands Ranch are asking each other when meeting up nowadays, a few weeks after the wildest weather event anyone can remember experiencing in the suburb south of Denver.The next discussion is likely about how to replace what has been destroyed, mostly the trees.On that humid Thursday afternoon, Douglas County was hit by one of those wild Colorado storms that for tens of thousands of residents in Highlands Ranch...

“Were you home when the tornado hit? Did you have damage?”

Those are the first questions people in Highlands Ranch are asking each other when meeting up nowadays, a few weeks after the wildest weather event anyone can remember experiencing in the suburb south of Denver.

The next discussion is likely about how to replace what has been destroyed, mostly the trees.

On that humid Thursday afternoon, Douglas County was hit by one of those wild Colorado storms that for tens of thousands of residents in Highlands Ranch is now an indelible life moment. Thankfully, no one was hurt by the technically small (EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale) but destructive tornado on June 22. Very few actually saw the twister cloaked in sheets of rain and hail as it hit Northridge Elementary School and blasted across homes and businesses for more than 6 miles just south of C-470, from Lucent Boulevard to Quebec Street

But some doorbell cameras caught the action, like this one.

The tornado was powerful enough to destroy an estimated 16,000 mature trees along major parkways and residential yards. Douglas County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is still assessing the damage in order to request a national disaster declaration that could provide funding for repairs. Countless homeowners are in the process of filing claims with their insurance companies and finding out what is and isn’t covered.

The soundtrack of summer now includes chainsaws and wood chippers.

Beyond the expense, many are lamenting the loss of so many large trees that created shade, privacy, bird habitats and seasonal beauty. For the community to be transformed in such a striking visual way in a matter of minutes has everyone processing a sense of shock, sadness, and relief that it wasn’t worse.

“We moved here from the Midwest nine years ago and we’ve never experienced a tornado before now,” said Jennifer Smith, who sheltered in her basement with their two daughters and their pets while her husband, Matt, peered cautiously out main floor windows. “The winds were blowing in all directions,” he said. “It felt like you were inside a washing machine.

Luckily, the couple didn’t lose any of their own trees, but said a large aspen across the street was knocked over. They spent July 1 making trips to the Eastridge Recreation Center parking lot to shovel fresh mulch into buckets and cardboard boxes for xeriscaping their yard. Mountains of chipped trees are piled up in several locations around town, including near the post office on Quebec and University. Residents are being encouraged to take as much as they would like.

“We also took one of those large stumps for the garden,” Smith said pointing to a pile of pine trees that had been sliced into sections like large souvenirs, each revealing inner rings numbering more than 30. And the air around Highlands Ranch is perfumed with the pungent smell of pine sap.

Longtime local plant nursery The Gardens has been doing brisk business since the storm. Staffer Kate Kator was at work when the tornado warning blared on the smartphones of everyone inside the store. Some customers rushed to their cars and drove home, while others chose to wait it out with the employees. Kator says within 10 minutes, dark clouds were overhead soon followed by rain and hail blasting in first from west to east, then from east to west.

“One of our gazebos flew up into the trees and portions of the greenhouse and main store roofs were torn off,” she said. “Some of our fencing blew over and the greenhouse flooded.”

A large Scotch Pine just outside their gate blew down, but the next day they were able to prop it back up into place because the rootball was intact. “We’re advising our customers that phosphorous can help trees re-root, and nitrogen will help them grow. A lot of people are coming in asking for replacement trees. We don’t sell large trees, and right now we are just getting in small shrubs that we ordered weeks ago.

“People are buying annuals to replace the flowers they lost, but a lot of people are sad about their shade trees. One customer did say she’s gained a lot of extra space in her yard for the kids to play in now.”

A few years ago, the Colorado State Forest Service came out with recommendations for homeowners along the Front Range who want fast-growing trees.

The blue spruce was listed high up, along with silver maples, white oak varietals and catalpa trees, which are known for their white fragrant flower clusters and heart-shaped leaves. These could become the next generation of popular trees in Highlands Ranch.

“This storm affected more of our evergreen trees than the deciduous varieties,” noted Kator. “Those had broken branches, but the evergreens have more shallow roots and were uprooted by the winds. In Highlands Ranch, we have hard-packed soil once you get past the layer of clay, so it’s hard for roots to go deep.”

Kator said people can plant trees between March and October in Colorado as long as they are well watered for the first couple weeks to get them established. She expects the demand to be extremely high for trees like the flowering crabapples.

Kator noted The Gardens owners Steve and Michelle Smith opened their business in 1997 when Highlands Ranch had many fewer (and smaller) trees. Newcomers don’t know there was a time when the now-mature trees along the greenbelts, parks and subdivisions in the community were just saplings.

Gary Debus served as community manager of Highlands Ranch for 20 years starting in 1991. He recalls the rolling grasslands, where pronghorn and prairie dogs lived. “When Highlands Ranch began in 1981 with the first house, there were very few trees and those that were on the Ranch were native types along with some small native shrubs. Grasslands covered most of the development area.”

Debus said, “Landscape architects developed the parkway plantings and commercial areas that added aesthetics. As new homes were built and sold, homeowners started completing their own landscapes. It was very easy to tell where the newest areas were. Critics dubbed us a ‘sea of rooftops.’ But Highlands Ranch was soon designated a Tree City USA.”

Charla Kelly specializes in helping people buy and sell homes here. She lives close to the community’s original Mansion, which lost numerous large trees in the storm. She said it’s sad, but people have been outside talking with each other more.

“Neighbors have been helping each other,” she said. “People with trucks have been transporting branches to the drop-off sites.”

Kelly hopes those looking to plant new trees in their yards will remember to contact Colorado 811 before doing any digging and potentially hitting buried power lines. It’s the reason no one lost power during the storm, but it’s easy to forget that and start shoveling. Homeowners can go online to request their lines be located and flagged at https://www.colorado811.org/ or just call 811.

Dave and Laura Mutton have lived in their Highlands Ranch home for 21 years. They lost a tree that was planted by the previous owners but had grown to have special meaning for their family. This was the tree where they took annual back-to-school photos of their children from kindergarten through 12th grade. The kids are now out of the nest, and the tree that appears in so many cherished photos is also gone. Their daughter, Julia, was the one who mentioned the photos that feature her and her brother Andrew smiling and hanging on to a limb, even hugging the tree that was like part of their family as they themselves grew each year.

That kind of tree can never be replaced.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, In The Know, to get entertainment news sent straight to your inbox.

Highlands Ranch tornado may have been EF-1, National Weather Service says

The National Weather Service has issued a preliminary report for the tornado damage in Highlands Ranch. The NWS says the estimate is that Thursday's tornado may have been an EF-1 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.The violent storm traveled a total of 6.3 miles across northern Douglas County crossing from west Highlands Ranch to Lone Tree. Estimated peak wind is 97...

The National Weather Service has issued a preliminary report for the tornado damage in Highlands Ranch. The NWS says the estimate is that Thursday's tornado may have been an EF-1 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The violent storm traveled a total of 6.3 miles across northern Douglas County crossing from west Highlands Ranch to Lone Tree. Estimated peak wind is 97. But, that number may go up after NWS surveys damage in person on Friday. The width of the damage path is estimated at 1/4 mile wide.

In addition, to the tornado in Highlands Ranch a second tornado touched down near Payton northeast of Colorado Springs.

Thursday's storm left a destructive path of hail from Evergreen to Elbert County. Morrison had 2 inch diameter hail the size of eggs. Littleton into north Highlands Ranch had ping pong ball size hail.

If the tornado, wind and hail weren't enough the storm also soaked the south metro area with flooding rains. In some spots as much as 1 to 4 inches of rainfall hit during Thursday's storm.

RELATED: Highlands Ranch prepares for Fourth of July parade, fireworks as it continues cleanup from tornado

Dave Aguilera

Watch First Alert Chief Meteorologist Dave Aguilera's weather forecasts on CBS News Colorado -- on TV and on our free streaming service. Check out his bio and send him an email.

Twitter Facebook Instagram

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.