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Fastest Growing Trees

Without trees, our landscape would be missing that added dimension that brings the yard together and we would be sweating it out in the sun. We use trees to give us shade as well as to provide us privacy from the neighbors or perhaps it’s the blooming dogwoods providing us with gorgeous spring flowers or the beautiful fall foliage of the stunning sugar maples.


We have intentions for every plant that we stick in the ground. Knowing what the fastest growing trees are can help us properly block out our neighbors in a timely fashion or simply expedite the creation of shade over our sweltering patio. Remember that all plants and trees grow the fastest where the conditions are the most like where they grow natively. Just like Willows and Sycamores grow natively in wet, marshy areas, they will grow the fastest in these conditions as will all trees when in their ideal habitats.


Some fast growing trees did not make the fast growing list simply because they have landed themselves on other lists, like most undesirable trees or most invasive species lists. For example, the Royal Empress Tree can grow 12 foot a year but so can Kudzu and it did not make my groundcover list. Here is a list of the fastest growing desirable trees, to help you get the right tree to fit your space.

Weeping Willow

When planted in the proper place there is not a more serene tree around. When planted in the wrong place, you may find yourself replacing your septic tank or field lines or having your water pipes drilled out. This tree has a massive root system and will seek any source of water.  This trees canopy is vast and this trees roots will grow out of the ground, making mowing a problem and picking up or buckling any driveway or sidewalk that is remotely close. Give this tree plenty of space and a moist environment and it will put on quite a show. This tree is also a very fast grower. Check out our 8 Water Loving Trees.

American Sycamore

This large deciduous trees leaves can really litter up a yard. This tree is recommended for larger properties planted on a wood line or near a creek or lowland. This tree has very impressive, colorful, peeling bark that is unmistakable. This tree is adaptable and can tolerate some drought and well-drained soil but prefers wet conditions. Sycamore has an invasive root system so avoid planting in the lawn or in high traffic areas. Sycamore is also a quick grower and can grow up to 6 feet per year. Other names include Planetree, Buttonwood and Buttonball. Check out our 8 Water Loving Trees

River Birch

This tree is very adaptable. It grows naturally beside creeks and in moist lowlands. It can handle dry clay soils but prefers moist, acidic and fertile soil. This tree needs room to grow and can take over a landscape when put in the wrong place. It will shade its lower branches once it gets large enough, dropping dead branches below. This tree is tough as nails and known for its beautiful exfoliating paper bark. Not recommended near the house, septic tank or near a lawn that likes sun. This tree is considered a fast grower and usually presents as a multiple trunk tree. This tree has good insect and disease resistance. “Heritage” is the recommended cultivar.

Quaking Aspen

looking up through the crown of an aspen.

These trees come as males or females. These plants grow as colonies which are all clones which come from the roots of 1 tree usually. This tree grows as far north as Alaska, through Canada and throughout most of the United States and has incredible white bark, and brilliant goldish yellow fall color. It is because of this, that it is said to be one of the most photographed trees in the country. It also is not a city tree so much as it does not deal with pollutants in the air well. In the right environment you can expect up to 5 foot of growth per year.

The name Quaking Aspen comes from the sound that the tree and leaves make whenever there is the slightest wind blowing. The trees are said to be whispering to each other. I can confirm that as the Aspen groves in Montana were incredible to be around. Because these groves grew in open fields, big cats and bears would hide in these groves and ambush their prey as they passed by. It was truly an experience that I will never forget.

Hybrid Crape Myrtle

Perhaps one of the faster grower in the bunch, the Crape Myrtle is unmistakable in the summer when it starts blooming. This medium size tree is very adaptable and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. This tree is also the highest maintenance tree in the bunch and requires pruning periodically. Coming in all different color pinks, reds, purples, lavenders and white, this tree will fit into any landscape. These trees grow 20 to 30 foot tall but also come in dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties. When trimmed in February, Crape Myrtles have been known to grow over 8 foot in a single year. This tree made it onto the Top 10 Landscape trees list.

Red Maple

This is a great shade tree and one of the bigger ones on the list, getting up to 75 feet tall. It is great at producing shade and has amazing fall colors. Varieties like Autumn Blaze or October Glory are guaranteed to put on quite a show. This tree is a quick grower and does not get the dead wood in it like the Silver Maple does. This tree made it onto the Top 10 Landscape trees list. Silver Maple, Red Maple, Black Maple and Sugar Maples can all be tapped for maple syrup as well.

Autumn Blaze Maple

This tree has the best of both worlds, as it is a cross between the sturdy, attractive Red Maple and the adaptable, fast growing Silver Maple. This tree is a very fast growing tree that has great disease resistance and brilliant fall color. This tree is held in high regard in commercial complexes for not littering parking lots with winged seed heads. This cross breeding occurs in a controlled environment at the nursery but also in the wild, when Silver Maples pollen fertilizes a Red Maple.

Green Giant Arborvitae

In a time where Leyland Cypress have been overused like Bradford Pears, the Green Giant  Arborvitae is a fresh alternative to the Leyland with less potential problems down the road. Leyland was only good for a screen but the tapered pyramid shape of Green Giant makes it a great specimen plant or screen. It holds a tight uniform shape, grows quickly, prefers full sun to partial shade and requires no pruning.
This tree made it onto the Top 10 Landscape trees list

Leyland Cypress

Due to its very quick growth rate and its ability to create a big screen, Leyland Cypress has become one of the most commonly used plants around. Leyland Cypress has proven to be tough as nails, with few problems. There is one disease that can seem to be problematic to the Leyland around times of drought but to this day, the Leyland Cypress still proves to be as tough as they come. You can read about this disease by clicking right here.


This pyramidal evergreen is the national tree of Japan and is somewhat sacred. In cold winters it will display a beautiful goldish bronze color. This tree also has a reddish brown exfoliating bark. Like all conifers, it produces a cone that is spherical. This tree has good pest resistance and makes a great screen or specimen. This tree is a quick grower.

This tree has a dwarf version called Cryptomeria japonica ‘Black Dragon’.


Sawtooth Oak

This tree has heavily serrated, long narrow leaves that resemble that of the Chestnut Tree. This tree grows at a faster rate than other oak trees and produces acorns at a more abundant rate than other oaks as well. These acorns are not as desirable to wildlife as other oaks due to their bitter taste. This tree primarily grows in the southeast US.

Hybrid Poplar

Hybrid Poplar is a cross between North America’s Cottonwood Tree, Aspen Tree and European Poplars. These trees are considered to be one of the fastest growing of all trees. It is not uncommon for this tree to grow 6 to 8 feet per year. Its parents are known for their fast growth habits but also their abundance of dead wood. Willows, Poplars and Cottonwood grow quite fast and all three are notorious for getting dead wood in them.


When you have a tree that that seems too good to be true then you look for its flaws. This tree has plenty of those also. This tree is said to be very susceptible to fungal leaf spots as well as canker that can kill the tree within a few years. This tree is ideal for planting on property lines to give privacy but not recommended in the middle of the landscape, due to its littering of dead branches. It burns well in the fireplace and many people grow it for firewood. This tree also makes a good windbreak and works well for erosion control. This tree lives a short life.


The way the world is going now, everyone wants things faster it seems. Well the Eucalyptus Tree is one of the fastest growing trees in the United States and every part of it is used in so many ways. First, their look is so unique, with its tan exfoliating bark and its dusty blue-green, evergreen foliage and not to mention its totally unique smell that is used in making potpourri and in flower arrangements.

The leaves repel bugs like fleas and can help your dog smell less dog-like. This drought resistant tree grows outside in the southern United States and can grow over 5 foot per year in most places.


Other related articles:

15 Types of Evergreens Landscaping

Types of Maple Trees

Types of magnolia trees

Why wont Grass Grow Under My Trees

How to Grow Plants Using the Color Spectrum of Light

12 great live Christmas trees for the landscape

Types of pine trees

25 plants and trees with great fall color

8 Water Loving Trees

Types of Oak Trees

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Posted 2015-10-08T15:06:31+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL