Fast Growing Trees: Learn About Common Trees That Grow Quick

Rows Of Tall Skinny Trees
fast growing trees
(Image credit: garethkirklandphotography)

Mature trees add life and focus to a backyard garden and provide shade for warm, sunny days. It’s such an advantage to have trees sharing your space that most gardeners prefer fast-growing trees to reach that goal as quickly as possible. If you wish you’d planted trees years ago, you may be looking for the quickest trees to grow. Keep reading for a round up of some of the most popular trees that grow fast.

What Trees Grow Quickly?

It may seem discouraging to plant a tree seedling that won’t reach a reasonable height for years. This isn’t the case with all tree species though, so look for trees that grow quickly. What trees grow quickly? Luckily, there are quite a few fast-growing trees out there, making it very likely you can find one to suit your planting location. Be sure to select trees that grow well in your hardiness zone and exposure you can offer it.

Trees That Grow Fast

Some birches classify as fast growing trees. River birch (Betula nigra) qualifies as one of the quickest trees to grow. It can get up to 24 inches (61 cm.) taller per year and offers gorgeous fall color. Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) grows equally fast and is admired for its white, exfoliating bark. These birches are native to northern climates and don’t do well in hot regions.

Some maples are also considered fast-growing trees. The red maple (Acer rubrum) is a native tree that grows in the east. It is cultivated in many backyards for its bright and beautiful red fall foliage. Red maples can grow 36 inches (91 cm.) in a year. Silver maple (Acer saccharinum) is another fast-growing tree option.

For other tree species that grow quickly, try quaking aspen or hybrid poplar (Populus deltoides) from the poplar family. If you want a willow, weeping willow (Salix babylonica) can grow up to 8 feet (2 m.) in a year. If you’d prefer an oak, consider pin oak (Quercus palustris).

It may be you’re looking for hedging trees that grow quick. In this case, the Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) is certainly one of the quickest trees to grow. Green Giant arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata 'Green Giant’) grows fast as well, getting broad and tall enough to be a great windbreak tree.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.