Hybrid PoplarFast  Growing Trees This page is for trees in the USA

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 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.

Delivery and planting - These trees are often delivered bare-rooted and dormant. This is so they can be transported through the postal system without paying for a large heavy root ball and its surrounding compost, it also means that any leafy shoots aren't damaged. They arrive looking like almost bare sticks, but they will grow! Unwrap them and plant as soon as possible, see here for planting technique, make sure you incorporate plenty of organic material in the planting hole when you put them in.

Hybrid Poplar- Populus hybrid - Fastest

Amongst 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.

Other poplars are also quick growers, though none as quick as the hybrids that are bred for rapid growth.

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

Hybrid Poplar, Shade 3-4' Tall
$ 15.49
Lombardy 1-3' Poplar
$ 3.95
Lombardy 3-4' Poplar
$ 6.99
Screen Hybrid 2-3' Poplar
$ 7.99
Screen Hybrid Tall 3-4' Poplar
$ 15.49
Shade Hybrid Poplar 2-3'
$ 7.99

Weeping Willow- Salix niobe / Salix babylonica - Fastest

Probably the fastest-growing shade tree. Grows as much as eight to ten feet a year under ideal conditions, 2 feet or so is more common. 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 which it likes best. Tolerant of smog and smoke.

Other willows are also quick growers, though of more characteristic tree shape rather than having the weeping branches.

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 6 - 8 deciduous

Hybrid Willow
$ 7.99
Pussy Willow
$ 3.98
Weeping Willow
$ 2.98

Maples - Acer -  Fast

There are a whole host of maples, species and cultivars, they are all pretty fast growers (other than the slow growing Japanese maples) good as windbreak trees. Attractive foliage that frequently turns golden yellow or orange-red in fall.

To 80 feet tall with a 50 foot spread. Zones 3 to 9 - deciduous

Red Maple
$ 3.98
Scarlet Red 3-4' Maple
$ 5.99
Sugar 3-4' Maple
$ 11.29
Sugar Maple 4-5'
$ 24.99

Hardy Pecan - Carya Illinoinensis - Fast

A 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 6 - 9, deciduous

Pecan Nut
$ 9.99

Ash - Fraxinus spp. - Faster

To 40 - 60 feet tall, similar spread with an oval crown. Zones 3 to 9, deciduous. A number of different cultivars are available of the green and white ashes.

Green Ash tree, Fraxinus Pennsylvanica, is a fast growing shade tree with rich green foliage and an upswept branching habit. It is very adaptable. - Green Ash  Zones: 2-9

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

Tulip Poplar- Liriodendron tulipifera - Faster

Excellent 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 not obvious 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 - 4-9, deciduous

Jumbo 3-4' Tulip Tree
$ 6.99
Tulip Tree 2-3'
$ 1.99

Colorado Blue Spruce- Picea pungens glauca - Fast

A must in every yard, an excellent reasonably 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. It prefers heavier soils, full sun, and clean cultivation.

To 50 feet tall and 20 foot spread. Zones 2 - 7 evergreen

Blue 1-2' 4-5 yr old Spruce
$ 2.49
Blue 3 year old Spruce
$ 2.99
Blue Spruce
$ 9.99

Canadian Hemlock- Tsuga canadensis - Faster

The 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, NOT drought tolerant. Will grow 1-3' annually.

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

Canadian 15-20'' Hemlock
$ 6.49
Canadian 6-12'' Hemlock
$ 6.79

Dawn Redwood - Metsequoia glyptostroboides - Faster

Flourishes in almost any soil or climate, on dry sites growth slows after 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 5 - 8, evergreen

Dawn 1-2' Redwood
$ 9.99
Dawn 2 1/2 - 4' Redwood
$ 23.98

Scotch or Scots Pine - Pinus sylvestris - Fast

A 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 3 to 7 - evergreen

Scotch Pine
$ 7.99

Black Walnut - Juglans Nigra - Fast

The 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, provides valuable wood and of course plenty of walnuts.

To 40 feet tall and wide. Zones - 4 to 9, deciduous

Black Walnut
$ 7.49

To maintain a fast growth rate, the trees have to be grown in good conditions. This means no competition around them from other trees or bushes. When planting them use plenty of organic matter to get them off to a good start, clear an area around the tree of grass to a radius of 12-24" and keep it grass and weed free for the first couple of years. Give them a bucket of water once a week or so during dry spells in the growing season for the first year at least, then once established, they can be left to their own devices.

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