List of Fast-Growing Trees

Some trees can take decades and decades to grow to their full heights. However, some trees grow significantly faster than others, which is a benefit for those seeking to plant trees for privacy from neighbors and passersby or for shade. Some rapid-growing varieties of trees can grow up to 10 feet annually.

Dawn Redwood

Dawn redwood trees are known botanically as Metasequoias glyptostroboides. They are rapid-growing, deciduous conifers that originated in China. Dawn redwoods typically grow to between 70 and 100 feet in height and are characterized by their green, needlelike leaves that turn orange-brown in the autumn. The conical trees thrive when cultivated in either light shade or full sun and also do well in soil that is moist. Dawn redwoods very rarely require pruning.

Crape Myrtle

The crape myrtle is a fast-growing tree that is also called Lagerstroemia indica. The tree is native to Australia, Oceania, southeastern Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Crape myrtles grow to heights of 15 to 25 feet and are generally between 6 and 15 feet in width. The foliage of crape myrtles is deep green and elliptical and changes color during the autumn months (either red, orange or yellow). Crape myrtles require full sun for optimal growth. The trees are popular for their long-lasting and vibrant flowers.

Sweet Gum

Sweet gum is a tree that is also called Liquidambar. The fast-growing tree is part of the Altingiaceae family. The conical trees are often used for shade purposes and are known for their foliage, which is glossy, shiny and lobed. During the autumn, the leaves of the sweet gum tree turn, which results in a striking display of purple, yellow and red color. In the spring, sweet gum trees produce small yellowish-green flowers. The trees require full sun for growth.

Lombardy Poplars

Lombardy poplars are extremely fast-growing trees that have short lifespans (about two decades or so). The trees are botanically referred to as Populus nigra italica. Lombardy poplars are often planted as fence line trees or windbreaks. During the fall, the trees are known for their bright foliage. The trees grow to heights of up to 100 feet and are generally around 15 feet in width. The trees need either partial shade or full sun for successful growth.

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About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.