Whether you've just moved into your home or have spent many years making it your own, there's one area that deserves special attention: your landscape and its trees. Trees present a unique opportunity to personalize your home, but the decades they can take to fully mature can be frustrating.
Luckily, there are plenty of fast-growing trees that can thrive in multiple plant hardiness growing zones.
The Thuja Green Giant is an evergreen tree that can grow in Zones 5 to 9 at a rate of 3 to 5 feet per year. After three years it can reach 15 to 20 feet and, at its mature height, it stands at 30 to 40 feet fall. The Thuja Green Giant Tree is not only fast-growing but also incredibly resilient. It is drought tolerant, disease and insect resistant, and very adaptable. It grows in a uniform shape and height without having to be pruned or sheared, making it a low-maintenance and popular option for homeowners.
The Leyland Cypress Tree is the fastest-growing privacy tree and used in horticulture to form screens from the neighbors yards. It grows in Zones 6 to 10 at a rate of about 3 to 4 feet per year. Like the Thuja Green Giant, it reaches about 15 to 20 feet after three years, but is much taller at its mature height, measuring 40 to 60 feet. The Leyland Cypress is easily pruned and has aesthetically pleasing foliage that's soft to the touch. They grow quickly in a variety of soil types, so it doesn’t take much yard prep to reap the benefits of the Leyland Cypress's privacy and fast growth.
A hybrid blend of the Silver Maple and red maple, the Autumn Blaze Red Maple Tree isn't found naturally growing wild but can be purchased and grown in Zones 3 to 8. It grows 3 to 5 feet per year and can reach 15 to 20 feet within three years. Once it reaches maturity it's typically between 40 and 50 feet. As a dense branching shade tree, it can be relied upon for cool shade in the summer and astonishingly vibrant color in the fall.
The Weeping Willow is a hybrid of the Peking Willow and the White Willow. It grows in Zones 4 to 9 at a rate of 4 to 8 feet every year. At the peak of its maturity, it typically measures 30 to 40 feet but can reach 15 to 30 feet within its first three years. The Weeping Willow is a dramatic addition to any landscape, and its unique shape and branching make it quite the statement piece.
5. Black Bamboo
If you don't have the yard space for a large tree, the Black Bamboo may be a more realistic option. It can grow outdoors in Zones 7 to 10 but also thrives indoors with exposure to sunlight. Its culms turn black within three years of emerging, growing 3 to 5 feet per year and reaching a peak height of 15 to 30 feet. It needs rich topsoil to grow strong culms and, although it can have a slow start, will spread rapidly when it approaches maturity. They're easy to trim and can even be used to create a privacy screen.
The Baby Giant Arborvitae Tree is another fast-growing evergreen, but it grows in a more compact format that makes it popular as hedging. It thrives in Zones 5 to 9 and reaches a maximum height of about 14 feet. Since it reaches about 8 to 10 feet in three years and grows an average of 3 feet per year, it works well for new homeowners who are looking to create privacy or boundaries without the drastic height of most other fast-growing trees.
Able to withstand temperatures down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit, the Lombardy Poplar is an extremely hardy deciduous polar. Aside from its attractive, Italian inspired appearance, it is often used to block wind, standing at 40 to 60 feet upon reaching maturity. It can grow 8 to 10 feet per year and measures 30 to 40 feet tall after only three years. Their yellow fall foliage and elegance adds to their appeal for homeowners.
The Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree is one of the most visually stunning trees found on Earth. Native to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea, it can also be found planted in frost-free areas and on patios throughout the United States. During the winter, it can be transferred indoors and kept near a south-facing window. It grows on patios in Zones 4 to 11 and fully outdoors in Zones 9 to 11. At full maturity, it reaches a height of 60 to 80 feet, but it can be trimmed to suit your personal preferences. Its fast growth of 3 to 5 feet per year makes it a favorite among eclectic and artistic homeowners who want to individualize their homescapes.
Not many trees can boast the elegance and flamboyance that the Tulip Poplar produces year in and year out. It's actually not closely related to a Tulip or Poplar tree, but rather to a Magnolia. As a flowering tree, its bright blooms blossom in May and June, complemented by yellow leaves that turn green as they age. It’s one of the most impressive trees on our list, growing up to 6 feet per year and reaching 70 feet or more once mature. They grow best in open areas that receive full sun. If you're looking to add color and personality to your landscape, the fast-growing Tulip Poplar is an optimal choice.
Unlike the more aromatic Bradford Pear, the Cleveland Pear is a beautiful flowering tree that effuses a lovely scent in the spring when it blooms. It can withstand -10 degrees Fahrenheit and flourishes in Zones 5 to 8. It averages a growth rate of 4 feet per year and stands at 30 to 40 feet tall once it's mature. Additionally, it grows uniformly, so it doesn't need to be managed or pruned constantly. The dainty white blooms in the spring and vibrant orange foliage in the fall can spruce up any home.
As the first and only palm tree on our list, the Mexican Fan Palm grows about 3 feet per year and is a stately addition to the interior or exterior of any home. If you'd like to cultivate one of these trees outdoors, you'll have to be located in Zones 8 to 11. However, the Mexican Fan Palm can be grown on patios in Zones 4 to 11 and then transported indoors. It measures 50 to 70 feet once mature and is a fantastic landscape piece.
The Heritage River Birch can prosper in Zones 4 to 9. It grows about 3 to 4 feet in height every year and stands at 50 to 20 feet after only three years. This fast-growing shade tree adapts well to a variety of soil types, so many households successfully grow these trees regardless of the quality and texture of the soil. The soil does, however, need to be well-drained, and full sunlight is needed for this tree to reach its full potential. This River Birch has a unique peeling bark that stands out in a cluster of other birch tree species.
13. Quaking Aspen
While some trees don't fare well in the colder temperatures of the northern United States, the prosperity of the Quaking Aspen Tree more than makes up for the disappointment that north-dwelling burgeoning horticulturists may feel. It can withstand temperatures down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit and grows up to 5 feet per year in height. Its mature height is 40 to 50 feet, 15 to 30 of which is gained in the first three years. The Quaking Aspen got its name from the gentle quake of the branches when a breeze passes through the tree. The Quaking Aspen's gorgeous fall color is sure to add to the autumnal elegance of any landscape.
You don't have to wait years or even decades to see a tree you've planted reach its full glory. These 13 fastest-growing species experience rapid growth that provides you with a beautiful landscape or indoor greenery without the wait. Whether you're looking for a Black Bamboo Tree to fit your indoor minimalist aesthetic or a stately evergreen tree to add privacy to your yard, there's a fast-growing tree for every need.
Fast Growing Trees specializes in providing vibrant young trees to homeowners around the country. Learn more about the fastest growing trees, privacy trees, shade trees, flowering trees, and which trees are suited for your zone!