10 Fast Growing Trees to Boost Your Yard in a Snap
Looking to liven up your yard and add shade in a hurry? Here are some great fast-growing trees for you to consider:
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
Available in many cultivars, the bush-like crape myrtle features flowers in pink, purple, lavender, red or white. Some bloom in early summer, but those that bloom in mid- to late summer are especially sought out for providing beauty and shade when other foliage doesn’t add much to the landscape. Depending on the cultivar, crape myrtles have the potential to grow to a height of 35 feet with a 35-foot spread.
Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
Native to North America, the sweetgum tree is drought tolerant and hardy in zones 5b-9b. It can grow to a height of 75 feet and produces fruit that resembles spiky green balls. In the fall, the leaves turn a stunning gold and red.
Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
The dawn redwood is an especially fast-growing tree, and can grow to be 90 feet tall. Hardy in zones 5a-8b, it does best in full sun and wet soil, but is pest and drought tolerant.
Ginkgo (Gingko biloba)
A fast-grower that is most popular for its colorful foliage, Gingko trees appreciate partial to full sun and can grow up to 75 feet tall with a 50-foot spread. Landscapers highly recommend using the male variety, as it doesn’t produce bad-smelling fruit like the female variety. Gingko is hardy in zones 4a-8a.
Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
A princess tree for your princess? A great choice! Hardy in zones 6a-9a, the princess tree is drought tolerant and produces gorgeous purple flowers in the early to late spring. It can grow to 50 feet tall and thrives in partial to full sunlight with moist soil.
Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)
Unique in that it features smooth white bark, the fast-growing paper birch tree can grow up to 75 feet tall. It is drought tolerant and likes partial to full sun. Best of all? It attracts birds!
Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra ‘Italica’)
A tall and narrow tree, the Lombardy poplar reaches heights of up to 50 feet with a 10-foot spread. Hardy in zones 3a-9a, it thrives in full sun. While it prefers moist, well-drained soil, it is tolerant to drought.
River Birch (Betula nigra)
Especially attractive to birds and butterflies, this fast-growing tree is perfectly suited for a woodland garden setting. Hardy in zones 3b-9a, it appreciates partial to full sun. Its growth potential is 50 feet tall.
Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata)
For those bare, full-sun areas of your yard, consider using Japanese zelkova as a specimen tree. It can reach 80 feet tall and spread up to 60 feet. In addition, it’s pest and drought tolerant. Hardy in zones 5a-8a, it is also referred to as sawleaf zelkova.
Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
A familiar tree due to its “weeping” form, this willow is a very fast grower. Hardy in zones 6a-9a, it thrives in wet soil and partial to full sunlight. Landscapers recommend using it as a specimen tree and for erosion control. Avoid planting weeping willow near sewer and water lines.