5 Of The Fastest Growing Trees

a weeping willow over water

Trees are important natural resources that can be used to beautify our homes and farms. Unfortunately, the process of maturing a tree is not as easy as most people would expect. When you buy a new home, you might be enthusiastic and in a hurry to put all your ideas to reality. Unfortunately, most people get frustrated with slow-growing trees and eventually give up.

Luckily, I've been gardening for more than 20 years, and I can help you find your way with trees. Whether you're trying to set up a green fence or just plant some trees that will mature faster, you need to target the right species. Some fast-growing trees can attain up to three feet in just one year. With that said, it is also important to consider your locality, soil, and climate. In this post, we explore some of the fastest growing trees in North America.

1. Leyland Cypress

Leyland cypress is the first on our list, not because it is the fastest-growing of all trees but because it is very hardy. This tree is happy in most environments and can grow anywhere in North America. It's one of the most common gardening trees, and popular for fencing, too. The Leyland cypress is evergreen vegetation and can grow up to three feet in just one year. Thanks to its column shape, it's a favorite among landscapers in many parts of the world.

tall cypress trees along a dirt road

The beauty of this tree comes from its fine feathery soft green pointed needle-like leaves. The needles turn dark blue once the tree matures, giving you a wonderful beauty to behold. At maturity, it takes on the look of a dense, noble pyramid. It tolerates most soil types, thrives in heavy sun, and can grow to a height of 70 feet. Leyland cypress is one of the most popular choices for hedges and boundaries, since it can be controlled to spread instead of growing upright. With proper pruning, the tree will spread its branches and create a thick green fence for your home.

2. Quaking Aspen

Quaking Aspen is also tolerant of most soil types. This tree belongs to the same family as the Hybrid Poplar. It can grow up to three feet per year and is one of the most beautiful landscaping options. According to the tree growing experts Arbor Day Foundation, this is the most popular tree in North America, and it's is believed to be widespread throughout The United States, Canada, Mexico, and even Central America.

It's known for its beautiful fall color of smooth yellowish-white, and it's smooth, creamy bark. Seedlings should be planted during full sun to enhance the chances of survival. The vegetation can grow to a full height of 50 feet and spread 35 feet.

As the name of the tree suggests, its leaves produce a pleasant quaking rustle. It also has economic value, since it's used to make clothes pins, Popsicle sticks, and toys, among other products.

3. October Glory Maple

This is one of the most beautiful shade trees you can plant in your garden. It's very fast-growing, rising as much as three feet a year. This tree is known for its glistering dark green leaves in the summer which eventually turn to radiant red in fall. The beautiful red may last up to a month, giving your home a majestic, magical look. If you love birds, you may want to consider investing this tree—it produces red fruits which attract them in spring. With a maximum height of 50 feet, this tree can grow to maturity in just five years. When mature, the branches may spread up to 35 feet wide.

Unlike the less choosy fast-growing trees mentioned above, the October Glory Maple prefers soil that is slightly acidic and moist. You should plant the seedlings in partial shade to enhance their chances of growing. Pruning a Glory Maple tree enhances the spread of the leaves to create broad, shady cover.

4. Green Giant Arborvitae

As the name suggests, the Green Giant Arborvitae grows into a thick, green mass. This tree is a crossbreed between the western red cedar and the Japanese arborvitae. One of the fastest growing types of arborvitae trees, it enjoys a pyramid conical shape right from a tender age, making it one of the most beautiful garden guardians. The tree is used mostly for growing fences, due to its uniform growth and patterns. The medium dense leaves may turn dark green or even bronze during winter.

Thanks to its pleasant fragrance, it is an ideal tree to add to your garden if you're looking for a natural air freshener. The bark is cinnamon red in youth but eventually turns grey-brown as the tree matures.

The Green Giant is a popular choice due to its tolerance—it can do well in diverse soils and climates. It is also among the most popular choices in North America. It can endure dry spells for a longer period than most of the other trees on this list. However, it is very sensitive to salty soils. The young trees should also be protected from strong winds. Once established, though, this tree is very strong and wind-resistant. It can grow up to three feet per year and can attain a maximum height of 60 feet at maturity. The Green Giant Arborvitae does not spread as wide as the others on this list, but it can attain a maximum speed of 20 feet.

a thick hedge of arborvitae bushes near grass

5. Weeping Willow

The weeping willow is one of the easiest trees to spot due to its open crown of ground weeping branches. The branches appear to be free-falling, creating a beautiful crown-like shape. Its leaves are light green on the surface, while those beneath tend to take a grayish-silver look. This tree grows well near water and can attain a height of 40 feet at maturity. Although the tree doesn't grow very high, it spreads out to about 35 feet wide, and it's still one of the fastest-growing trees, matching the others at three feet in just a year. It produces beautiful yellow flowers between April and May. Thanks to its narrow, light-green leaves, it makes a gorgeous garden ornament. It's also ideal for providing shade, due to its spreading boughs.


There are many trees you can grow on your farm or your garden. However, some trees may take many years to reach a desirable height. If you're looking to establish a green environment in the shortest time possible, spring for trees that mature faster. Some trees on this list can attain a good height in just a year. Once any tree attains a height of three feet, it should begin entering maturity.

Make sure you check your soil type before planting any tree. Make sure the tree you plant can survive in your area too. Most of the trees on this list only apply to North America and parts of Central America.