Fast-growing tall plants help to fill a garden in no time. They create a commanding landscape presence alone or when planted in masses. Tall and wide plants make ideal screening plants to grow along the landscape as a makeshift privacy fence. They also help to shield a home from wind creating a windbreak and when planted alone, make an ideal specimen plant along a front yard.
River birch (Betula nigra) is a deciduous tree with a moderate-to-rapid growth rate. Growing 40 to 70 feet tall and 40 to 60 feet wide, river birch has medium-to-fine texture. When young, the river birch is pyramidal in shape to eventually open up to a more upright, open shape. Easy to transplant, river birch trees have simple green leaves that grow 2 to 3-½ inches long and beginning in fall, cast a yellow tinge to the tree. River birch trees are heat-tolerant, making for a hardy tree variety. Planted along the front or back landscape, they create a commanding focal point to the space. The bark of river birch trees is cinnamon to brown in color with an exfoliating or peeling look to the trunk. River birch trees require full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil to thrive. Plant the river birch in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
Alternate Leaf Butterfly Bush
Alternate leaf butterfly bush (Buddleia alternifolia) is a rapidly growing shrub with medium to fine texture. Growing 10 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide, alternate leaf butterfly bush has an upright open form with long, arching branches. Attached to the pendulous stems are the bright purple to lilac flowers. Growing in dense clusters, the blooms produce a mild fragrance and are born on the season’s previous growth. The gray leaves range from 1-½ to 4 inches long to come to a narrow taper at each end. Fall casts a yellow tinge to the leaves that lights up the garden with color. Drought-tolerant, alternate leaf butterfly bushes are hardy, versatile plants to grow throughout the landscape. They require full sun to light shade and prefer nutrient-rich soils that is loose. They tolerate clay and dry soils. Plant the alternate leaf butterfly bush in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 7.
Redtwig dogwood (C. stolonifera) is a deciduous shrub with a vigorous growth rate. Growing up to 9 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide, redtwig dogwood has a rounded, broad form with loose stems. Drought- and wind-tolerant redtwig dogwood shrubs have flat-topped white flowers that emerge in early summer. The medium to dark-green foliage grows 2 to 5 inches long to cast a red to purple color in fall. The stems are bright to dark red, hence the name redtwig. Redtwig dogwood requires full sun to part shade and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions including, wet or dry planting sites. Plant the redtwig dogwood in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 to 7.
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