Fast-Growing Trees

Fast-Growing Trees


What is a "Fast-Growing" tree?

There are many tree species that are known for fast growth, and we will highlight some of our favorites. They are great for privacy screens, windbreaks, fencelines and borders, plus other tree planting projects. We like the fast-growers best, so we say that these are our specialty!

Lots of changes for this season, so do take the various links, on the Catalog webpage to learn more...

It is also important to understand that the rate of growth for a tree, or any plant, is a combined result of several environmental and plant genetic factors. Understanding these factors can help "maximize" the trees growth. Firstly, its the tree species (or sometimes the whole Genus), and the climate or Plant Zone that will largely determine the growth rate. The growing conditions (soil fertility, watering, etc.) would be the next major determinant to growth speed. Getting six to eight feet of growth the first season from a little "stick" is very possible, and there are a good number of trees that can do this, and some can grow more!

Learn more about "Improving the Growth Rate" by... Clicking Here.

After all, how long do you want to wait for a seedling to grow into a tree? Most people would say as little time as possible, and we would agree... Some broadleaf trees like the willows and poplars generally grow faster than the evergreens and conifers.

Empire National Nursery has fast growing trees for privacy screens and windbreaks The Willows

The genus is Salix, and has over 200 species, most of which are native to the northern hemisphere. There are about 40 species that are "trees" in the United States, and there are an increasing number of varieties among these.

Empire National Nursery has fast growing trees for privacy screens and windbreaksWe grow the Ameri-Willow , the Weeping Willow, French Pussy Willow, Coastal Willow, the Flame Willow, and a bunch more. Every year seems to be a bit different, one season we may have a dozen or more species, others are inventories may have fewer types available. Willows overall like full sun and plenty of moisture. Generally fast to very fast growing in loose or sandy soils, they also do best with extra nitrogen fertilizing.

The Ameri-Willow is a unique hybrid bred among some of the fastest growing tree-form willows. The growth rates on this tree are almost unbelievable, but once you see one, you will believe it. Average first year growth is eight feet! The growth you will get can vary from 4 to 15 feet depending on the growing conditions. This makes them useful for fence lines, borders, and screens, where fast growth is needed. The Ameri-Willow can also be pruned and shaped as shade trees in the landscape, or used in other tree planting projects.

The Ameri-Willow growth can be 8 feet or more in the first year, and race up to 15 feet or more in each of the next several years. By understanding the basic factors that influence tree growth, you can get superior growth results.

Do take the link to the "Fastest Growing Tree in America", and learn more about these.Learn more about the Ameri-Willow... click here

Empire National Nursery has fast growing trees for privacy screens and windbreaks The Weeping Willow is a fast growing and majestic tree. Growth can be 6 to 8 feet or more a year. As the tree gets large, the long thin branches hang down, creating a flowing umbrella of shade. The best use for these are in wet areas, or where they can be the yard centerpiece or specimen. It is important to keep Weeping Willows away from sewer lines, or other underground piping. Plant at least ten feet away from open (domestic) water sources and clay pipes (which is good sense for all trees any ways).

There are many other willows we grow, including the G10-8 Hybrid, the Flame Willow, Laurel Willow, and more. Growth rates will vary, but the willows in general are fast growers! They like plenty of water and full sun to grow best.

Empire National Nursery has fast growing trees for privacy screens and windbreaks Poplars and Aspen

The genus is Populus, and there are about 9 native to the United States, and there are many important hybrids. These are in the Willow Family, Saliaceae, so they are typified by fast growth and a preference for moist growing conditions.

This group is best planted where there is abundant water, and where roots will not effect underground pipes. All of these can be used as windbreak or privacy screen trees, fencelines or border trees, or in various planting projects. The Lombardy Poplar has a very narrow shape that makes stately lines along driveways and fence lines. The cottonwoods and Hybrid Poplars also are planted in lines, but tend to be regular tree-shaped. Also known to be fast growers, the poplars commonly grow six to eight feet a year under fairly good conditions. With extra watering and fertilizing, growth rates can rival the fastest of willows.

Empire National Nursery has fast growing trees for privacy screens and windbreaks The Quaking Aspen is also in the poplar genus, and very picturesque with its shimmering gold leaves in the fall and white trunks. Popular nearly nationwide, these too can grow very quick. This is one of the poplars that can vary in growth rates from very slow to very fast. The most widepsread tree in North America, they grow from nearly sea level to sub-alpine, in all types of soils and climate conditions. With such a wide genetic variation, one strain may grow fast and tall, whereas another natural strain may be gnarled with slow growth. Our trees are grown from seed collected of faster-growing taller trees. Aspens can grow upwards of six feet a year, and like the other poplars and willows, prefer full sun with plenty of moisture.

The Big-Tooth Aspen - a true and native species found throughout the northeast... and we grow them (at least when we can get a crop going). Beautiful, but not a white-bark like their popular cousin, but still a great tree!

Empire National Nursery has fast growing trees for privacy screens and windbreaks The Hybrid Poplars

There are many popular hybrids of the fast-growing poplars on the market, and they all have the similar fast growth, likes plenty of water and full sun, but they are bred to best-fit particular areas of the country. The Carolina Imperial is one better suited to the southern states, whereas the Prairie Sky or Norway Poplars are better for the northern states. The Siouxland and Lombardy poplars are generally good nationwide.

What is a Cottonwood? Cottonwoods are poplars. There are several true species, like the Fremont Cottonwood, and the Black Cottonwood, but they part of the Genus (Populus), along with the aspens.

Empire National Nursery has fast growing trees for privacy screens and windbreaks Other Hardwoods

Not all fast growing trees are poplars or willows. There are some "regular" hardwoods that do grow fast. We are always looking for other fast-growers, and experiment with many species.

The Sweetgums are not generally thought of as fast growing per se, but they can be... Six feet or more of growth in a season would be pretty fast in our opinion... Sweetgums are good for driveways or fence lines, and their leaves turn a rainbow of colors in the fall. Sycamores are broadleaf trees that are popular in the landscape design, and their rapid growth and white to blotchy bark makes them attractive shade trees. Empire National Nursery has fast growing trees for privacy
screens and windbreaks

Some of the other broadleafs that can grow fast include the Pin Oak, Tulip Tree, the plums (Prunus genus) like the Black Cherry and Cherry Laurel, the Elms, Black Walnut, the Locusts, among others. How fast will vary, but under good conditions, these can grow four to six feet a year, sometimes more. It's always a toss-up to put some of these in the Fast-Growing section, but these are generally planted more for shade than for privacy screens or windbreaks.

Empire National Nursery has fast growing trees for privacy screens and windbreaks The Paulownia is very popular and known for fast growth, and the huge leaves and clusters of purple flowers they can quickly fill a patch of bare ground. As trees go, this one is a strange one! They often take several years before developing a main trunk and look like trees. As a young tree, they grow really fast, then die back in the fall, then resprout and grow fast the following year. Not always, but more times than not, their early growth repeats this pattern. Reading the literature, others have reported growth rates of 15 to 20 feet a year, and this is quite likely true (under some circumstances). These can outgrow the Ameri-Willow, but generally, you would find growth rates more in the six to ten foot range. We too have had specimens grow eight feet in four months (before the rains drown them), but fast growth is to be expected with this tree. The Catalpa is a close relative of the Paulownia, also a fast grower and popular as a flowering shade tree (but without the juvenile growth oddity).

For fast-growing trees, we generally think of the broadleafs or deciduous trees, but some of the conifers can grow fast also. The Leyland Cypress, with three to four feet of growth a year is pretty fast (for an evergreen). The Coast Redwood, Hemlock, Western Red Cedar, some of the pines (like the Mondell and Aleppo) can grow fast as well. The Cherry Laurel is an evergreen small to medium-sized tree that grows fast, one of the few broadleaf fast-growing evergreens. Granted, not as fast growing as the willows and poplars, but if you add a row of conifers with a row of hardwoods, you'll get both the fastest growth and year-round screening. Something to think about...


Click to the Catalog for all of the items available... click here.

Learn more about the Ameri-Willow... click here.

More Fast Growing Trees... click here.


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