Summer is coming and you are ready for your spring planting. Shade trees might be on your mind – that is, something that will provide you a little relief during the heat. If so, and you are in a hurry to get your shade trees up and running, there are some specific species to keep in mind. Here are the top ten fastest growing trees – which of course vary depending on where you live.
1. Empress Tree – Pulownia -
This tree is also called the Royal Empress. It grows 10 to 15 feet per year with an expected height of 35 to 50 feet at its third year and 40 to 50 feet in height at maturity. Some people claim theirs has grown as high as 18 feet in the first year. The tree likes full or partial sunlight, is adaptable to soil conditions and has good drought tolerance. In the winter, this tree becomes covered with fuzzy, pea sized buds. By spring, the tree explodes with purple blooms and smells like gardenia and jasmine. It provides a nice dense canopy by summer with large tropical looking leaves – which not only provide great shade but is easy to clean up in the fall.
2. Willow Hybrid – Salix Hybrid -
This tree will, on average, and under normal conditions, grow six feet per year. Under ideal conditions and on good sites the growth rate is even faster, up to twenty feet a year. Most people plant the Willow Hybrid as a hedge, screen, windbreak, or to line a road or drive. You can expect this tree to be over 20′ tall and 15′ wide in just three years. Its full maturity level is up to 75 feet tall. The downside of this tree is that the branches are weak and snap easily, making for a messy yard and lots of clean up. But if you need quick shade, this one will provide it.
3. Lombardy Poplar – Populus nigra “Italica’ -
These trees are somewhat thin and have upward-sloping branches rather than being canopy like, which means people plant them together in rows to create more of a living wall or privacy screen. These trees will grow as much as six feet per year, get up to 30 to 40 feet in three years and have a maturity height of 40 to 60 feet. The tree has a unique look and songbirds love these trees for nesting and shelter.
4. Hybrid Poplar – Populus Deltoides -
This tree grows 8 to 10 feet per year reaching around 30 to 40 feet by year three and 50 to 70 feet at full maturity. It has dense green foliage and an oval shape. It is easy to grow, tolerates poor soils, including acidic, alkaline or wet soils and thrives in virtually any growing condition – what more could you ask from a tree?
5. Nutall Oak Tree – Quercus Nuttalli -
This tree is also called the red oak, Red River oak, and pin oak. It is often found on poorly drained clay flats and low bottoms of the Gulf Coastal Plain and north in the Mississippi and Red River Valleys. This tree grows 7 to 8 feet per year, 25 to 30 by three years and 50 feet at maturity. It does grown acorn or winter buds that are easily confused with the pin oak. Many use this tree for its lumber. This tree grows well in poorly drained areas. During the winter, squirrels love the acorns as it supplies a great supply of them.
6. Eucalyptus Tree – Eucalyptus Polyanthemos -
This tree grows 6 to 8 feet per year, 20 to 30 feet by its third year and 40 feet at maturity. It leaves a fragrant scent all year around. There are many types and varieties of Eucalyptus. The Silver Dollar Tree is popular with its dusty blue-green leaves. Many use the bark of this tree for fragrance in their closets or drawers. There are no leaves to rake and its green year around. If you own pets, you can also pull some of the leaves off your Eucalyptus and place them around the outside of your house as it repels fleas.
7. Weeping Willow – Salix Babylonica -
This tree grows 4 to 8 feet per year, 15 to 30 by its third year and 40 to 50 at maturity. It thrives in a wide range of soils and moisture conditions. This tree resembles a falling canopy and has a dramatic weeping shape. It has the ability to absorb standing water so it is often planted in trouble spots where water stands in puddles. These trees are naturally found near rivers, lakes and wetlands.
While these are just a few of the trees you can purchase that grow fast and provide shade, they are some of the most popular and fastest growing. Talk to your local nursery or arborist about your landscaping needs and determine which specie of tree is best for you.
Tags: Empress Tree -, Eucalyptus Polyanthemos, Eucalyptus Tree, Growing, Hybrid Poplar, Lombardy Poplar, Nutall Oak Tree, planting, Populus Deltoides, Populus nigra "Italica', Pulownia, Quercus Nuttalli, Salix Babylonica, Salix Hybrid, spring, Summer, trees, Weeping Willow, Willow Hybrid