12 Fast-Growing Trees

A landscaped space with grass, trees, and a paved path.

Fast-growing trees offer both privacy and beauty in a short amount of time. Choosing among the vast array of fast-growing trees, however, can be a daunting task. After all, there are many things to consider when picking the right tree, including climate and space. From poplars to birch trees, here are 12 fast-growing trees you should consider for your yard.

1. Hybrid Poplar

Hybrid poplars are one of the most popular shade trees on the market. These trees can grow eight feet every year and reach a height of 40 to 50 feet. There are a number of different types of hybrid poplars available, but the most popular are the eastern cottonwood and the black poplar.

2. Northern Catalpa

A catalpa tree blossom.

The northern catalpa is another popular shade trees with enormous growth potential. They feature big and flashy flowers that are known to attract bees, but their greatest attribute is their thick canopy that offers plenty of shade in the hot summer months.

3. Dawn Redwood

These redwood trees are a popular choice to create privacy. They grow in a pyramid shape and turn orange in the fall. Dawn redwoods can reach 100 feet tall and 25 feet in diameter. They grow best in well-drained areas with plenty of sun.

4. Red Maple

Red leaves on a maple tree.

Red maples are great for shade and offer a splash of color in the fall. They grow around three to five feet per year and can reach up to 40 feet high in full growth. These trees are great if you need a shade option, but also want to add some color to the landscape.

5. Nuttall Oak

The nuttall oak, also called the red or pin oak, is considered the fasting growing oak on the market. This tree offers plenty of canopy coverage along with a steady amount of acorns, which will likely attract deer, squirrels, and turkeys.

6. American Sycamore

Branches of an American Sycamore tree with fruit on them.

American sycamores are also called American planetrees and feature a white colored bark. These tress have an incredible growth rate and top out at around 70 feet tall. They are typically found close to water sources, but can be adapted to urban settings. Just make sure you have enough room to grow these trees without damaging surrounding structures.

7. Freeman Maple

Freeman maples are actually a hybrid variety that offers an abundance of shade and color. These maples grow up to eighty feet high and fill out to fifty feet wide. They also produce gorgeous red and orange colors in the fall.

8. Paper Birch

A paper birch tree trunk.

Paper birch trees feature an attractive white bark that will add a nice neutral color to the yard. Paper birch trees are grown for their sap, which is harvested and turned into birch syrup. (You would, however, need a lot of paper birch trees to produce enough sap to enjoy throughout the year.)

9. Chinese Tallow

Chinese tallows are a great alternative to poplar trees, especially in warm regions of the country. These trees are resistant to pests and offer plenty of color options. They grow around 18 inches per year and stop at around 40 feet.

10. Baldcypress

A bald cypress tree branch.

Baldcypress is a great option for areas with high moisture. These trees can grow up to two feet per year and are naturally resistant to disease and insect infestations. The cypress typically grows to 100 feet tall and around 40 feet wide.

11. Cottonwoods

Cottonwoods are a popular fast-growing tree in the Eastern United States. Known for their brittle wood, cottonwoods grow at a rate of four feet every year and reach heights up to 70 feet tall. Lombardy poplars are close relatives and are often planted privacy screens.

12. Weeping Willow

A weeping willow in a park next to a pond.

Weeping willows have become a staple in the south but can be grown in dry conditions. Willows can grow up to eight feet a year under ideal conditions. They grow best near water, but hybrid versions are actually better conditioned for dryer climates.