10 Fast Growing Shade Trees To Plant In Your Yard

10 Fast Growing Shade Trees To Plant In Your Yard

Planting fast growing trees around your property is an excellent way to improve your property values, reduce your heating and cooling costs, and help make your community and world a better place. Urban trees are known to absorb air pollution, reduce rainwater runoff, and reduce stress and depression.

Looking for some fast growing tree inspiration? Here's a list of 10 fast growing trees you should plant in your yard.

Bald Cypress

Bald cypress trees are an excellent tree to plant if you want some shade fast. These fast growing trees thrive in hardiness zones 4-9. In just a few decades, your bald cypress could grow to 120 feet with a 6 foot diameter trunk. Unlike other evergreens, the bald cypress tree sheds its needles each year.


The cottonwood tree is a common tree in the Great Plains states. These trees can grow up to 100 feet tall and thrive in hardiness zones 3-9. Along with its very tall statue, cottonwood trees can have up to a 30 foot spread, making it an excellent choice for a shade tree. 

Dawn Redwood

Dawn redwood trees are a truly ancient tree. They've remained largely unchanged since the dinosaurs roamed the Earth! These trees grow up to 100 feet tall and have a 25 foot spread. They thrive in zones 5-8 and prefer full sun. They aren't particularly picky about the soil they're grown in, tolerating acidic, loamy, sandy, wet, or well-drained soil.

Hybrid Poplar

Hybrid poplars are probably the single fastest growing tree on this list, tacking on between 5 and 8 feet to their height each year. These trees can reach their full height in less than a decade, growing up to 50 feet tall with a 30 foot spread. It thrives well in zones 3-9. 

Black Alder

Black alder trees are fast growing but incredibly thirsty plants. They grow to around 50 feet tall and have a pyramidal shape. They prefer waterlogged soils but can handle dry conditions as well. Be cautious when planting the black alder tree, as it is considered invasive in some areas. The trees can grow up to 50 feet tall and have a 20-40 foot spread.

Red Maple

Red maple trees are more of a medium sized tree, not enjoying the height of the cottonwood, for example. These trees grow up to 60 feet tall but have a wide, 40 foot spread. They thrive in zones 3-9. In the fall, the trees erupt in red and yellow colors, making it a fabulous tree for autumn foliage. 

White Pine

Eastern white pine trees are a long-living tree, surviving up to 500 years. You may be gone, but future occupants of your home will appreciate this gift you leave behind. These trees are especially useful for creating shade in large, open spaces. If you have a wide open space that needs some shade, this tree is the one for you. They grow up to 80 feet and have a spread of 40 feet.

Weeping Willow

Weeping willows are a versatile tree, growing in just about any type of soil, in wet or dry conditions, and in hardiness zones 6-8. These trees have a rounded shape, growing up to 40 feet tall with a spread of 35 feet. This tree is helpful for urban wildlife as well, providing food and habitat for rabbits, beavers, birds, and deer. 

Pin Oak

Pin oak trees are tough, distinctive looking trees. They provides wonderful fall colors, creating bronze colored leaves, and features dark, glossy green leaves during the growing season. These trees create very very dense shade and thrive in hardiness zones 4-8. The tree grows at a rate of 2 feet per year until it reaches its max height of 70 feet. It has a spread of up to 40 feet.

Paper Birch

Paper birch trees are a versatile tree when it comes to climate. It thrives in hardiness zones 2-7. They grow to 70 feet tall and have a spread of about 35 feet. They grow at a rate of about 2 feet per year and grow well in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, and clay soils. Their leaves turn bright yellow in the fall, making it a good choice for autumn foliage. 

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