Gardening

15 Best Fast Growing Trees

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Planting fast growing trees is a great way to build a privacy screen around your home. They also look spectacular in your garden or backyard, creating a wholesome visual atmosphere.

Some fast-growing tree varieties, including Lombardy Poplar, Baby Giant Arborvitae, and Ficus, can achieve astonishing growth rates of up to 5 feet per year. You're guaranteed to have a fully grown tree in only a few years.

Today, we will explore 15 quickly-growing trees and shed light on some of their unique features and climate preferences.

1. Lombardy Poplar (4-6 Feet A Year)

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The Lombardy Poplar, scientifically known as Populus nigra 'Italica,' is a fast-growing decorative tree commonly found in North America. It boasts an impressive growth rate of around 4 to 6 feet per year, making it an excellent choice for those seeking quick privacy or shade.

Native to the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, this tree has adapted well to various climates and soil types. It thrives in full sun exposure and can withstand temperatures ranging from -30°F to 100°F. The Lombardy Poplar typically reaches maturity at around 20 years of age and can grow to a majestic height of 50 to 70 feet, adding an elegant touch to any landscape.

2. Baby Giant Arborvitae (3-5 Feet A Year)

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The Baby Giant Arborvitae, scientifically known as Thuja plicata 'Baby Giant', is a compact evergreen tree that grows at an amazing rate of about 3 to 5 feet per year. It reaches a mature height of 15-20 feet, making it an excellent choice for smaller landscapes and gardens.

This cultivar typically takes around 10-20 years to reach maturity. Baby Giant Arborvitae thrives in a variety of climates and is hardy in USDA zones 5-8. It prefers full sun to partial shade and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. The native land of the Baby Giant Arborvitae is the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

3. Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree (3-5 Feet A Year)

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The Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree is renowned as one of the fastest-growing trees in the world. With an impressive annual growth rate of around 3 to 5 feet, it can reach a maximum height of 200 feet within just a few decades. This tree typically reaches maturity at around 15 years of age.

Its most distinctive feature is its bark, which sheds in strips to reveal a stunning display of colors ranging from green, blue, purple, and orange. Native to the tropical rainforests of Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines, the Rainbow Eucalyptus thrives in warm, humid climates with temperatures ranging from 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Cleveland Pear Tree (3-5 Feet A Year)

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The Cleveland Pear Tree, scientifically known as Pyrus Calleryana 'Cleveland Select', is one of the fastest-growing trees. With an impressive annual growth rate of 3 to 5 feet, it can reach a mature height of 30 to 40 feet. Despite its rapid growth, it takes around 15 to 20 years to reach maturity. 

This beautiful tree thrives in various climates and temperatures, making it versatile and adaptable. Originally native to China and Vietnam, the Cleveland Pear Tree boasts a symmetrical and pyramidal shape, adorned with glossy green leaves that turn vibrant shades of orange and red in the fall, adding a touch of elegance to any landscape.

5. Quaking Aspen (3-5 Feet A Year)

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Quaking Aspen, scientifically known as Populus tremuloides, is a deciduous tree species native to North America. It is known for its distinctive leaves that flutter and tremble even in the slightest breeze. This tree has a rapid growth rate, typically increasing by around 3 to 5 feet per year.

At maturity, it can reach heights of 50-80 feet. Quaking Aspen usually takes around 20-50 years to reach maturity, depending on environmental conditions. It thrives in cool to cold climates, often found in regions with temperatures ranging from -50°F to 70°F. Quaking Aspen is native to areas across North America, including the United States and Canada.

6. Thuja Green Giant (3-4 Feet A Year)

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Thuja Green Giant is renowned for its rapid growth, making it one of the fastest-growing trees available. It boasts an impressive annual growth rate of 3-4 feet, enabling it to quickly reach its maximum height of 30-40 feet within a short span of 10-15 years.

This evergreen tree features a dense, pyramidal shape with rich green foliage that remains vibrant all year round. Thriving in a variety of climates, Thuja Green Giant is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -20 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Native to North America, this resilient tree is adaptable and tolerant of various soil conditions, making it an excellent choice for homeowners and landscapers alike.

7. Leyland Cypress (3-4 Feet A Year)

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The Leyland Cypress has an impressive annual growth rate of 3 to 4 feet. It reaches a mature height of 50 to 70 feet, making it a popular choice for privacy screens and windbreaks.

Despite its rapid growth, the Cypress takes around 15 to 25 years to reach full maturity. This evergreen tree thrives in a variety of climates, including hot summers and cold winters, and it prefers full sun exposure. Native to the United Kingdom, the Leyland Cypress features a dense, columnar shape with soft, feathery foliage that adds a touch of elegance to any landscape.

8. Weeping Willow (3-4 Feet A Year)

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The Weeping Willow, scientifically known as Salix babylonica, is a deciduous tree characterized by its graceful, drooping branches and long, narrow leaves. It is known for its fast growth rate, with an average increase of 3-4 feet per year. The mature height of a Weeping Willow typically ranges between 30 to 50 feet.

It reaches maturity at around 10 to 15 years of age. Weeping Willows thrive in moist soil and require full sun exposure. They prefer temperate climates with average temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (15-23 degrees Celsius). Native to China, the Weeping Willow is now cultivated worldwide for its aesthetic appeal and ability to provide shade and erosion control near water bodies.

9. Autumn Blaze Red Maple (2-3 Feet A Year)

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The Autumn Blaze Red Maple is known for its status as one of the fastest-growing trees with an annual growth rate of 2 to 3 feet. This tree can reach a mature height of 40 to 50 feet within a relatively short period of around 10 to 15 years.

This deciduous tree thrives in multiple climates, including hot summers and cold winters. Native to North America, particularly in the Midwest, it displays a stunning appearance with vibrant red, orange, and yellow foliage during autumn.

10. Tulip Poplar Tree (2-3 Feet A Year)

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The Tulip Poplar Tree, also known as Liriodendron tulipifera, has an annual growth rate of 2-3 feet. It can quickly reach a maximum height of 70-90 feet. This tree typically takes around 15-20 years to reach maturity.

Its distinctive appearance features large, bright green leaves that resemble tulip flowers, which turn vibrant shades of yellow in the fall. The Tulip Poplar Tree thrives in a temperate climate with moist, well-drained soil, and it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Native to the eastern United States, this majestic tree adds beauty and shade to landscapes and forests alike.

11. Mexican Fan Palm Tree (2-3 Feet A Year)

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The Mexican Fan Palm Tree, scientifically known as Washingtonia robusta, has an annual growth rate of 2 to 3 feet. It can reach impressive heights of 50 to 80 feet when fully mature.

This palm tree typically takes around 20 to 40 years to reach its full maturity. Native to northwestern Mexico, it thrives in warm climates and prefers temperatures between 50 to 100°F. Its slender trunk is topped with a crown of large, fan-shaped leaves that add a touch of elegance and beauty to any landscape.

12. Heritage River Birch (2-3 Feet A Year)

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The Heritage River Birch (Betula nigra Heritage) is one of the fastest-growing trees with an impressive annual growth rate of 2 to 3 feet. It can reach a maximum height of 40 to 70 feet, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a quick-growing shade tree.

This birch tree typically reaches maturity at around 15 years of age. It has a distinctive appearance, with attractive peeling bark that exposes reddish-brown inner layers. The Heritage River Birch thrives in moist to wet soil conditions and is native to the eastern and central United States. It can withstand a wide range of temperatures, making it adaptable to various climates.

13. Palo Verde (2-3 Feet A Year)

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The Palo Verde tree, a popular decorative tree, has an annual growth rate of approximately 2 to 3 feet. It quickly reaches its mature height of around 25 to 30 feet in only 5 to 10 years.

Native to the southwestern United States and Mexico, the Palo Verde thrives in arid and desert climates. It prefers temperatures ranging from 60 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 43 degrees Celsius). Known for its unique appearance, the tree boasts striking green bark and vibrant yellow flowers.

14. Ficus (2-3 Feet A Year)

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The Ficus tree, scientifically known as Ficus benjamina, is a popular indoor and outdoor ornamental plant. It has a moderate annual growth rate, typically growing 2-3 feet per year, reaching a maximum height of around 30-40 feet. It takes approximately 5-10 years to reach maturity and start producing aerial roots.

The Ficus tree has a distinctive appearance, with glossy, ovate leaves and a dense, weeping habit. It thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, preferring temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C). Native to Southeast Asia and Australia, the Ficus tree is well-suited for regions with high humidity and bright, indirect sunlight.

15. Sycamore (1-2 Feet A Year)

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The Sycamore Tree is a splendid decorative tree admired for its unique characteristics. It boasts an impressive annual growth rate, typically reaching 1-2 feet per year. With a mature height ranging from 70 to 100 feet, this majestic tree stands tall.

The Sycamore Tree takes approximately 10 to 20 years to reach maturity, depending on various factors. It thrives in temperate climates and prefers temperatures ranging from 60 to 85°F (15-29 °C). Native to North America, particularly the eastern regions, the Sycamore Tree exhibits a striking appearance with its large, hand-shaped leaves, mottled bark, and beautiful round seed balls that dangle from its branches.