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Fast Growing Trees
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Hybrid Poplar


Hybrid Poplar
Weeping Willow
Silver Maple
Theves / Lombardy Poplar


Tulip Poplar

Douglas Fir
Canadian Hemlock
Dawn Redwood


Black Walnut

Colorado Blue Spruce
Scotch or Scots Pine

Fast Growing Hedging Plants
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Hybrid Poplar
Siberian Elm

Canadian Hemlock
- tall one of the fastest

- not so quick or so tall, more elegant

Douglas Fir
- good for wind break or background

Fast  Growing Trees

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More about Fruit Trees: Apple and Crab-apples | Apricot | Cherry | Peaches and Nectarines | Pear | Plums and prunes | Pests and problems | Hints and tips

The fast growing tree, especially the fast growing shade tree is an excellent way to start off a bare or almost bare plot and add value to your home.

Planting a fast growing tree is a great and easy way to give your garden that landscaped look in double quick time. However, it's not all as simple as it seems and there are some things that you aught to be aware of before filling your plot up with saplings that are raring to go.

    Fast growing plants in general put their energy into lots of prodigious leafy growth and height.
    This means that they are frequently weak wooded, of rather untidy growth pattern or both.
    There is also little energy left for flowers.
    Fast growth often means greedy feeders with aggressive often shallow roots so frequently little can be grown at the base of these trees (even grass).

The longer term answer therefore is to plant some fast growers and then back them up with stronger, long-lived trees that provide elegant architectural shapes, flowers, fruit, bark, fall colors etc. Trees on this page are labeled Fast, Faster or Fastest, you won't be far off if you assume than growth rate is the opposite of wood strength and particularly - longevity.

Hybrid Poplar - Populus hybrid - Fastest

Hybrid PoplarAmongst the fastest growing trees, in good conditions, hybrid poplars will shade a 1 story house in three years Hardy and rugged will grow almost anywhere. Lifespan of  30-50 years, wind, insect and disease resistant. They thrive even in bitter cold Canadian climate. The results of 50 years of research by the U.S. Forest Service, they are used to reforest fire ravaged land quickly and to reclaim strip mines and land fills. Good for screening, too. Ensures privacy between houses and serves as a windbreak or snow fence on farms. Planted 9' apart they grow into a solid green living wall in about 3 years.

Willows or poplars shouldn't be planted within 140 feet of a house or drains to be safe. They have very vigorous far reaching roots and are thirsty enough to make the soil expand and contract with the uptake of water so threatening foundations.

To 60 feet tall and 30 foot spread. Zones 3 - 9, deciduous

Weeping Willow - Salix niobe / Salix babylonica - Fastest  

Weeping WillowProbably the fastest-growing shade tree. Grows as much as eight to ten feet a year under ideal conditions. Slender, graceful drooping branches and fine, narrow, leaves that change to a rich golden color in autumn. Handsome bark makes this tree a showpiece in winter after the leaves are gone as well as in summer. The weeping willow thrives in moist as well as dry locations, frequently growing alongside river banks with a portion of the roots under water. Tolerant of smog and smoke.

Willows or poplars shouldn't be planted within 140 feet of a house or drains to be safe. They have very vigorous far reaching roots and are thirsty enough to make the soil expand and contract with the uptake of water so threatening foundations.

To 50 feet high and 40 foot spread. Zones 4 - 9 deciduous

Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum - Fastest

Silver MapleOne of the fastest - growing windbreak trees you can plant. Grows 3 feet per year. The name comes from the foliage that has an attractive silvery underside, best seen in a light breeze, turns golden yellow or orange-red in fall.

To 80 feet tall with a 50 foot spread. Zones 3 to 8 - deciduous

Hardy Pecan - Carya Illinoinensis - Faster

fast growing fruit tree, Hardy PecanHardy PecanA beautiful tree that provides shade in summer and an abundant crop of sweet, rich-flavored nuts in fall. This hardy tree is ideal for the lawn because it does not shed its leaves until late in the fall and it is practically immune to the attack of insects. The nuts are good size and excellent quality. This hardy pecan will thrive and produce anywhere peaches can be grown, like all nuts does best where there are long warm summers.
Plant two for best pollination.

To 100 feet tall and 70 foot spread. Zones 3 - 9, deciduous.

Ash - Fraxinus spp. - Faster

To 40 - 60 feet tall, similar spread with an oval crown. Zones 3 to 9, deciduous.

Green AshGreen Ash  Zones: 3-9
The Green Ash tree, Fraxinus Pennsylvanica, is a fast growing shade tree with rich green foliage and an upswept branching habit. It is very adaptable.

White AshWhite Ash  Zones: 4-9
The White Ash tree, Fraxinus Americana, is a handsome native tree. It develops an open and rather round topped crown in its old age.

Cimmaron AshCimmaron Ash  Zones: 3-9
The Cimmaron Ash tree, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, 'Cimmzam', is a fast growing ash tree that has beautiful glossy purple-colored leaves for showy foliage.
Autumn Purple AshAutumn Purple Ash  Zones 3-9
The Autumn Purple White Ash, Fraxinus americana, 'Autumn Purple', is a seedless male tree and is a cultivar of the species which is native to moist areas.
Tulip Poplar - Liriodendron tulipifera - Faster

Tulip PoplarExcellent specimen trees where the shapely form can best be appreciated. Sometimes sold on the strength of masses of tulip-like flowers in the spring. It's true that they do produce them, though they are inconspicuous from a distance their pale green and yellow color blending in with the trees leaves. The leaves are deep green and turn a blazing golden yellow in fall. A valuable shade tree Fast-growing, hardy and highly resistant to insects and diseases.

To 80 feet tall. Zones - all, deciduous

Colorado Blue Spruce - Picea pungens glauca - Faster

Colorado Blue SpruceA must in every yard, an excellent fast growing evergreen tree. Glistening, steel blue coloring and graceful conical shape. Blue Spruce will add real value to your property. Have the added pleasure of shaping your tree just the way you want while you watch it grow. So dense growing these make superb windbreaks or privacy screens where there is space enough for large spreading trees. Makes a great outdoor Christmas tree to festoon with lights.

The Colorado Blue Spruce tree, Picea Pungens, is a pyramidal shaped evergreen with steel blue foliage. It prefers heavier soils, full sun, and clean cultivation.

To 50 feet tall and 20 foot spread. Zones 3 - 7 evergreen

Douglas Fir - Pseudotsuga menziesii syn. P. taxifola, P. douglasii - Faster

Douglas Fir
A tall growing conical dark fir with bluish-green needles a a well-shaped pyramidal form. Beautiful fir tree is excellent for use as windbreaks or background plantings.

a splendid pyramidal evergreen.

To 80 - 160 feet tall at maturity and 20 to 30 feet spread. Zones 3 - 6, evergreen

Canadian Hemlock - Tsuga canadensis - Faster
Canadian HemlockThe Canadian Hemlock tree, Tsuga canadensis, is also called Eastern Hemlock or Hemlock spruce. For use as a specimen tree or as an excellent hedge. Canadian Hemlock is often called the most graceful of all evergreens. The foliage is a soft blue green color that grows in flat, feathery layers all the way to the ground. It can be sheared to any formal shape desired as well as a privet hedge can. Whether sheared, or left unsheared, this hedge remains neat and attractive.

Easily adapts to a wide range of soils, requires protection from prevailing winds the first year planted. Will grow 1-3' annually.

To 70 feet tall and 30 foot spread. Zones 3 - 8, evergreen

Dawn Redwood - Metsequoia glyptostroboides - Faster

Dawn RedwoodFlourishes in almost any soil or climate, on dry sites growth slows after 30 approx. 30 feet tall, in moist or even damp or waterlogged soils it keeps on going. A handsome narrowly conical specimen tree, plant it, water, and stand back to watch it grow 3 - 6' a year with no spraying, fertilizing, pruning or cutting. From springtime green, the fern-like leaves turn orange-brown to dark brown in fall.

To 70 - 130 feet tall and 15 foot spread or more. Zones 4 - 8, evergreen

Scotch or Scots Pine - Pinus sylvestris - Fast

Fast growing evergreen tree, Scotch pineA magnificent tree, tall and stately, will grow up to 2 feet in a season. Pyramidal when young, then develops to conical to columnar-conical shape. Grows in a pyramidal form, 40-75 feet tall. Stiff, bluish-green needles stay dense and thick all year long, block wind with a vengeance.

To 50 - 100 feet tall with a 20 - 28 foot spread. Zones 2 to 8 - evergreen

Black Walnut - Juglans Nigra - Fast

Black WalnutThe black walnut is a good cropper in climates where summers are suitably long and warm (zone 6 and above) to give the nuts time to ripen properly. In all zones it is a good shapely shade tree, not as fast growing as many on this page, but longer lived, sturdier and provides valuable wood.

A wife a dog and a walnut tree,
the more you beat them the better they be.

To 40 feet tall and wide. Zones - all, deciduous

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