What is the fastest growing tree for shade?

When choosing a spot, make sure it's one that offers enough space for this tree to grow and spread. This deciduous tree, which thrives in full sun or partial shade, tends to drop petals and sap, so keep that in mind as well. Of the more than 500 species of oak trees, there are several that do well as shade trees and also have a fast growth rate. Walnut oak, for example, is up to 2 feet tall every year.

Characterized by its reddish-brown acorns, this deciduous tree provides bursts of fall color with orange-red leaves. Of the 11 listed here, the one that grows the fastest is the weeping willow, which adds about 10 feet to its height each year, peaking at 40 feet. Next on the list are walnut oak with 4 feet per year, the sunrise sequoia with 3.5 feet per year and the tulip poplar with 3 feet per year. The fastest-growing shade trees grow at a rate of about 2 feet per year.

This group includes the northern red oak, the tulip and the sunrise sequoia. Fast-growing pine trees are best for providing quick shade in large gardens; try loblolly pine (zones 6) or eastern white pine (zones 3). The northern catalpa, whose name derives from the Native American word kutuhlpa (which means “winged head” and describes the striking bell-shaped flowers), is a drought-tolerant tree that is a welcome addition to a spring landscape. Weeping willows love water, so if you have a natural pond, place a tree next to it to complete the romantic scene.

Although not known for its fall foliage, hackberry trees are expected to turn yellow and produce edible fruit. Serrata) has been promoted as a disease-resistant alternative to the beloved shade tree of yesteryear, the elm, due to its elm-like qualities. Few trees evoke lazy summer days as much as the weeping willow (Salix babylonica), which provides a perfect protective canopy for picnicking underneath. A mature silver maple can reach up to 80 feet tall and 50 feet wide, growing an average of more than two feet per year.

It is tolerant to different soils and provides dappled shade that allows plants to grow under the tree. River birch grows 13 to 24 inches per year and is more resistant to the bronze birch borer than white birch trees. Check out the USDA plant hardiness zone map (opens in a new tab) to see if a tree is likely to thrive in your area. The eastern redbud grows to a height of 20 to 30 feet, with a gloriously wide canopy that extends to 25 to 35 feet when mature.

You might have to look for it, since garden centers seem to be stuck in the bottom pinoak (a terrible tree for most gardens, since its branches hang from the ground).