10 Fast-Growing Trees to Fill Out Your Landscape

Updated: Sep. 15, 2023

Whether your goal is adding quick curb appeal, shade or privacy, here are 10 trees that provide results faster than average.

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Crape Myrtle

A favorite throughout the South, crape myrtles are available as hybrids that grow in a wide range of habitats. Red Rocket shoots skyward up to 5 feet a year and has cherry-red flowers. Another fast-growing variety, Natchez, has white blossoms. Use crape myrtles as specimen plantings or as part of a showy privacy screen.

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White Pine

This fast-growing evergreen is a native that thrives in a variety of soils and is ideal for adding privacy or creating a windbreak. It grows large, so plant it in an open location with lots of sun.

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Bald Cypress

The bald cypress is perfect for damp or soggy areas and thrives in partial to full shade. It is a deciduous conifer, with needles that turn orange in the fall and then drop to reveal an attractive fruit. If you have the room, bald cypress makes a superb specimen in your rain garden.

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Tulip Poplar

This fast-growing tree (actually a member of the magnolia family) has interĀ­esting spring blossoms. In the fall, its leaves turn a beautiful yellow. Few insects or diseases afflict the tree, but its weak wood is susceptible to storm damage.

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Elberta Peach

This tree can reach 15 feet in just a few years. It self-pollinates, producing fruit that is suitable for eating fresh, freezing or canning. Plant Elberta peach trees along sunny edges or in dappled shade.

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Pin Oak

Oaks have a reputation for slow growth, but the pin oak is an exception, growing as much as 2 feet annually. Its glossy dark-green leaves turn bronze or red in the fall. Squirrels and deer feed on its acorns. It needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.

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Red Maple

This ornamental tree is easy to establish and fast-growing. It produces brightly colored yellow or red leaves early in the fall and is a much better choice than silver maple or boxelder. Plus, it produces pollen early in the spring, which may help nourish bees and other pollen-dependent insects.

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Quaking Aspen

Quaking aspen is prized for its white bark and brilliant fall color. It also grows quickly, up to 2 feet annually. It is best planted in clusters and away from buildings that could be damaged by its aggressive roots. At maturity, it can reach more than 50 feet.

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Northern Catalpa

You can’t mistake this tree’s large tropical-looking leaves, trumpet-shaped white flowers and dangling seed pods. Its twisting trunk and branches provide additional interest. Plant this fast-growing shade tree away from buildings, septic systems and sidewalks.

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River Birch

This graceful tree sprouts light green leaves in the spring, and in the fall, male catkins drip from its branches. The peeling bark offers year-round beauty, making it one of our favorite fast-growing trees. Turkey and grouse feed on River Birch seeds and deer eat its leaves. Planted in full sunlight, this tree will grow as much as 3 feet per year.