The most fast-growing shade trees may acquire their full height capacity in 20 or 30 years and can reach heights of up to 50 feet. This means that they will be able to offer your yard shade, seclusion, or a windbreak sooner than other shade trees, which may take up to twice as long to mature into their full size.
They achieve maturity at a younger age than slower-growing trees, which means that they have a shorter lifespan overall because they start to decline at a younger age.
This is the trade-off for their rapid development. In addition, their wood is often more prone to breaking during storms, which means that you will need to trim them regularly to assist keep them under control.
These trees, when planted in the appropriate location and given the proper care, have the potential to completely transform the appearance of your house and yard in a very short length of time.
Make sure you have a location that is far away from houses, power lines, and roads before you plant any of these varieties. This will help reduce the amount of property damage that may occur if the massive branches (or trunks) of these plants break during a storm.
When determining where to plant your tree, it is important to take into consideration the position of other structures, such as sewage lines and sidewalks, since the tree’s roots have the potential to potentially cause damage to these areas.
The beauty that these trees provide to your yard will last for many years to come as long as you take proper care of them and pay attention to detail while planting them.
1. Cypress of the Bald
The bald cypress, also known as Taxodium distichum, is one of the few species of trees that can withstand prolonged exposure to standing water, making it an excellent option for moist or marshy areas.
The bald cypress also has minimal issues with insects or diseases. In the latter part of autumn, the leaves become a vibrant shade of rust before falling off, revealing an appealing rusty-brown bark.
It can achieve a height of up to 100 feet and a width of up to 40 feet, and it grows at a pace of 18 to 24 inches every year. The bald cypress is a tree that is indigenous to North America and thrives in full sun in zones 5 through 10.
2. Tallow tree
The Chinese tallow tree, also known as Sapium sebiferum, is a viable alternative to poplars in warmer locations since it often has fewer problems with pests than poplars do.
These trees develop a spherical shape as they mature and have a stunning appearance in the autumn when their leaves change color. Growing between 12 and 18 inches every year, it has the potential to reach a height of up to 40 feet.
It is best to avoid planting Chinese tallow trees near decks, patios, or terrace gardens because of the large number of blossoms and fruit that they shed throughout the year.
Nonetheless, these trees are excellent for providing shade. Alternatively, you may increase the level of seclusion in your yard by planting this quick-growing tree in the far back corner of your garden.
The ideal growing conditions for Chinese tallow trees are full sun and soil with good drainage in zones 8 through 10. Check with your municipality to see if there are any limitations on planting it before you do so; in certain areas, it is considered an invasive species.
3. Cottonwoods and Lombardy Trees
Cottonwoods, also known as Populus deltoids, are recognized for having wood that is both brittle and weak, and they are known to thrive near rivers and other damp places in the eastern United States.
They may reach a height of up to 70 feet and grow between three and four feet every year. Its cousins, the Lombardy poplars (Populus nigra var. italica), are often utilized as screening trees and may grow up to 40 to 50 feet tall.
They were called after the area in Italy where they originated. The care that is required for cottonwoods might vary depending on the type that is planted, but in general, they are hardy in Zones 3-9 and need full sun or light shade, as well as soil that drains well. Check with your municipality to see if there are any limits on planting before you do so; certain species are deemed invasive.
4. Dawn Redwood
The dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is an excellent choice for a fast-growing tree that may give seclusion in the corner of a large residential property.
It grows around two feet each year until it reaches maturity at a height of approximately 80 feet. It thrives best in Zones 5-8 in soil that is wet, in either full sun or partial shade, and throughout the growing season, it might seem to be an evergreen due to its soft, fine needles.
After turning various hues of red and brown in the autumn, the needles eventually fall off, revealing the tree’s fascinating branching structure and its bark in the wintertime.
5. Black Alder
The European black alder, also known as Alnus glutinosa, is a natural species that can be found in the majority of European countries. It thrives in low, moist sections of the landscape, which other types of trees often cannot.
It is best to avoid planting this tree near sidewalks or sewage lines because of the potentially enormous root system it may have (it can grow over 16 feet). Growing at a rate of 12 to 15 inches each year, it will ultimately reach a height of 40 to 60 feet and a width of 20 to 40 feet.
It grows quickly while it is young. Plant in Zones 4-8 on soil that is somewhat moist and receives full sun or mild shade. Test Garden Tip: Before planting European black alder, find out whether there are any limitations on the species in your region; it may be considered an invasive species there.
6. Gum Eucalyptus Citriodora Tall Tree
In addition to providing shade and seclusion, gum trees (Eucalyptus) which are known for their robust and rapid growth, are excellent choices for western landscapes because of their ability to serve as an anchor.
Put gum trees in areas where the debris from their fallen leaves and stems won’t create any issues. Gum trees have a variety of varieties that vary in height from 25 to 70 feet and grow at a rate of two to three feet per year.
While gum trees come in a wide range of sizes, they often do not thrive in the intense heat and humidity of the southeast. In zones 9–10, locate the plant in an area that receives full sunlight and has soil that drains well.
7. Japanese Pagoda Tree
The Japanese pagoda tree, also known as Sophora japonica, thrives in just a small portion of the United States yet requires very little maintenance and blooms with white flowers throughout the summer.
It is believed to have originated in China and Japan, and its average annual growth rate is between 12 and 15 inches, with a maximum height and width of 75 feet. Pagoda trees from Japan need Zones 6-8 and may grow in either full sun or moderate shade. The soil should be rich and well-drained (and mild areas of Zone 5).
8. Bottlebrush with Lemon
The lemon bottlebrush, also known as Callistemon citrines, may be cultivated in northern latitudes in big pots and then taken indoors for the winter even though it is heat and drought-tolerant in the south.
It grows at a pace of ten to fifteen inches every year, and may potentially reach a height of twenty-five feet. Hummingbirds are drawn to the bright red blossoms of this plant when they are in bloom. Plant outside on soil that has good drainage, full sun, or moderate shade in zones 9-10.
9. Cypresses de Leyland
Leyland cypress, also known as Cupressocyparis leylandii, may be grown as a solitary tree or as part of a grouping of trees to create a tall, quick-growing hedge that provides seclusion and screening.
It may reach a height of up to 70 feet and has a preference for full sun and well-drained soil in Zones 7-10, where it grows between one and three feet every year. Regular cutting will prevent it from getting out of hand if you don’t want to see it grow into a tree.
10. Silver Maple and a Red Maple
The silver maple, also known as Acer saccharine, is endemic to the eastern region of North America and is one of the most widespread trees in the United States.
It can reach a height of up to 100 feet and a width of up to 70 feet, with growth rates of one to two feet every year. While it is a popular tree that provides shade, it suffers from having shallow roots and fragile branches.
Its close relative, the red maple (Acer rubrum), is also indigenous to North America and is renowned for the breathtaking color of its leaves in the autumn.
Red maples reach a maximum height of 50 feet and a width of 40 feet as they mature. Both of these maples should be planted in full sun or medium shade, on soil that drains well, and in zones 3–9.