Fast Growing Trees in Texas

Any tree that grows more than 2 feet per year is considered a "fast growing" tree. These trees are often used for windbreaks and as shade trees because of their growth rate. To be grown in Texas, a tree must be hardy in USDA Zones 6 through 10. Beyond that, you will find a wide range of both deciduous and evergreen trees that will manage to tower over you in just a few years.

Red Maple

The red maple (Acer rubrum) grows about 2 to 3 feet a year until it reaches a height between 40 to 60 feet with a 25- to 45-foot spread. Its name comes from its constant display of red: red buds in the winter, red flowers in the spring, red leafstalks in the summer and red leaves in the fall. Its cultivar 'October Glory' grows even faster, about 3 to 5 feet per year. Both should be planted in full sun and are hardy in USDA Zones 3 through 9.

Tulip Tree

The tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) is also known as the yellow poplar or tulip poplar. It can grow up to 6 feet per year. and its average height at maturity is between 70 to 90 feet with a 40-foot spread. In the spring, it has attractive greenish-yellow flowers, and its tulip-shaped leaves turn a golden yellow in the fall. It should be planted in full sun in almost any type of soil. It is hardy in USDA Zones 4 through 9.

Thornless Honeylocust

The thornless honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos inermis) is also known as the common honey locust. It grows about 2 to 3 feet each year and can grow as tall as 100 feet with a spread between 30 to 70 feet. Its average height is between 30 to 70 feet. In the spring, the thornless honeylocust produces fragrant yellow blossoms that turn into a fruit that is often eaten by cattle, deer and other wildlife. It should be planted in full sun in a moist, fertile soil. This tree has a moderate tolerance to both flooding and drought. It is considered hardy in USDA Zones 3 through 9.

River Birch

The river birch (Betula nigra) grows about 2 to 3 feet per year. It will mature to a height between 40 to 70 feet with a similar spread. It can be planted in full sun to partial shade in a moist, well-draining soil. It is the most borer-resistant birch. It is hardy in USDA Zones 4 through 9.

Leyland Cypress

The Leyland cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii) is an evergreen that grows about 3 feet per year. It eventually reaches a height between 60 to 90 feet with a 15- to 20-foot spread. It tolerates a variety of soils but should be planted in full sun. It is a good choice for a windbreak and is hardy in USDA Zones 6 through 10.

Hybrid Poplar

The hybrid poplar (Populus deltoides x Populus nigra) grows between 5 to 10 feet per year. It eventually reaches a height between 40 to 50 feet with a 30-foot spread. For best results, plant it in a moist soil in full sun.

Loblolly Pine

The Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) grows about 2 to 3 feet per year and eventually reaches a height between 50 to 90 feet per year with a 30- to 40-foot spread. It will grow in a variety of soils in full sun and is drought tolerant. It is hardy in USDA Zones 6 through 9.

Keywords: fast growing trees, Texas trees, shade trees

About this Author

Darcy Logan has been a full-time writer since 2004. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Arts in special education from Middle Tennessee State University. Before writing, she worked for several years as an English and special education teacher. Logan published first book, "The Secret of Success is Not a Secret," and several education workbooks under the name Darcy Andries.