Fast-Growing Shade Trees For Any Yard

If you’re in the market for fast-growing shade trees, then you’ve come to the right place. Find out all you need to know about fast-growing shade trees before making that final decision. Knowledge beforehand prevents regrets later. 

Unlike house plants, shade trees are meant to go outdoors. If you’re looking for the best house plants instead of fast-growing shade trees, then check out this article on plants for indoors. If you still want shade trees, then read on. 

What Are Shade Trees?

Fast-Growing Shade Trees
Via Black Bear Builders, Inc.

Shade trees are trees that are used to shade an area from the sun. They offer protection from the sun and slight shelter from the weather. They are the most common types of trees for yards and landscaping as they offer practical and aesthetic uses. 

Shade trees are recognized by their cloud-like crown, on most occasions, though some shade trees can be shaped differently. What matters is that they offer some sort of shade for people or animals to stand under. 

What To Consider Before Choosing A Tree

Via Wallace Landscape Associates

Choosing a tree can be difficult. But all it takes is a little knowledge of what you want and how to get it to ease your mind, letting you know you’re making the right decision. Before learning about the different types of trees, consider these things. 

Seed Vs. Sapling 

Of course, growing a tree from a seed is going to take longer than growing one from a sapling. You also need to know a lot more about trees in order to grow one from a seed. Most trees take months, or even years, to reach sapling height.

A tree is considered a sapling when it is 3ft tall. Shorter than that and it’s a seedling or sprout. You can buy a tree at any stage, but if you want it to be a guarantee that it will be healthy, get a sapling. The hard work is already done. 

Speed Of Growth

Consider what you’re looking for in a fast-growing tree. Do you want something that will reach an adult height in a year or are you willing to wait five or ten years? When it comes to trees, “fast-growing” can be an ambiguous term. 

Find out how long you’re willing to wait before looking at trees. Then, you can automatically cancel out any tree that isn’t within your growth speed range. Anything that helps the decision process is a good thing. 

Height Of Tree

The height of the tree you want is important. Some trees never grow past a few feet while others never stop growing even if they reach 400ft tall, as the Hyperion tree can. So get an approximate height decided. 

If you have a small yard, you will want a smaller tree. But if you live on a farm, you may want large trees that will give your family hundreds of years with it. Think about these things before moving on. 

Home Climate

What is the weather like where you live? Does it frost every winter? Is it so hot and dry in the summer that you don’t want to be outside? Trees have needs just as humans do. Some will die if not in the proper climate. 

Research the tree you want before you decide on it. If it won’t survive in your area, find the trees that can thrive in your climate and pick one of those that are fast-growing shade trees. 


Lastly, consider what vibe you want your tree to give off. The wrong tree can unintentionally change the entire feel of your yard. The right one can create an aura that reaches the interior of your home. 

Fastest-Growing Shade Trees

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Via Finton Construction

If you want a fast-growing shade tree, then you probably want to look at the fastest-growing shade trees. These trees grow faster than any other trees like them. They offer shade too, so you won’t be missing out.


Poplar trees are one of the most popular fast-growing trees often bought for that purpose. They are often grown in rows and in driveways to create a tunnel. Keep in mind, though, that there are over 30 species of poplar trees. 

Weeping Willow

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Via Whitmores Landscaping

A poetical and fantastical tree, the weeping willow is an inspiration to artists everywhere. They have long strands of branches that droop drown, which is where the tree gets its name as the tree appears to be weeping. 

Quaking Aspen

Aspens are tall, thin trees that offer a medium amount of shade. Much of the year, the quaking aspen is a bright yellow color. The quaking aspen doesn’t live very long for a tree, but it offers a lot of life while it is living. 

October Glory Red Maple

The October Glory Red Maple is a popular tree in some areas due to the bright red color of the leaves. In the fall, this leaves a beautiful carpet of red on the ground. You won’t find a more appealing tree than this. 

Arborvitae Green Giant

One of the fastest-growing trees, the Arborvitae Green Giant can grow up to three feet a year. The trees also grow in a cone shape and look quite royal when planted together. Much like a regal courtyard or garden. 

River Birch

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Via Wagner Hodgson

The curling bark and tolerance of moisture make the river birch a favorite amongst botanical enthusiasts. These trees grow in a funky way, and are naturally found on riverbanks. That said, they can grow almost anywhere. 

Dawn Redwood

Dawn redwood trees are one of the few living redwood species. The tree grows quite tall and has gorgeous drooping branches. Despite its name, it spends most of the year in a green state, only turning red in the fall. 

Leyland Cypress

Leyland cypress trees are perfect if you want a Christmas tree in your yard all-year-long. They are one of the fastest-growing evergreen trees. However, that does come with drawbacks, considering they rarely live past 30 years. 

Paper Birch

Another great birch tree is the paper birch. This birch tree has light-colored bark with a beautiful contrasting texture. This bark often peels off in thin layers and looks like paper. Another short-lived tree that doesn’t get very tall. 

Swamp Spanish Oak

The pin oak tree is a safe tree to plant. It grows fast and large, is easy to take care of, and can live to be over 100 years old. It also offers a great amount of shade and blends in well with any environment or landscaping style. 

Small Shade Trees

Small shade trees may seem like an oxymoron. After all, usable shade is created by something above head height. But there are smaller-scale trees that offer plenty of shade without taking up your entire yard. 

Sargent Cherry

Via Harmonia Inc.

If you’re interested in smaller fast-growing trees for a small yard, the Sargent cherry tree is a safe place to turn. It offers a wide shade and a color that is rare in small trees. Sargent cherry trees have pink leaves, giving a unique aesthetic. 

Red Buckeye

The red buckeye rarely gets taller than twenty feet. It’s a simple tree with a pleasing shape and red flowers. For a small tree, it has a great amount of shade due to the round shape of the crown, which is round. 


The Crapemyrtle is a gorgeous pink tree native to Asia. The average size at full maturity is 15ft by 15ft. This is on the larger end of small trees but will fit in most yards. You won’t find a more beautiful small tree.

American Elder

The American elder is a small tree that produces elderberries. Elderberries are a medicinal berry that should be handled carefully and in small amounts. Unlike other elderberry trees, the American elder rarely reaches 15ft. 


Though some dogwood trees can reach up to 40ft, most of them rarely grow to be larger than 15ft. You can get both pink dogwood trees or white dogwood trees, which appear more primitive. Dwarf dogwoods are also available which are much smaller. 


Witch-hazel trees have a unique and mysterious shape that is unmistakable. The leaves are yellow and the limbs are wiry. In most cases, they are considered shrubs. They usually max out at 20ft but can be found smaller. 

Most Fruit Trees

Via Bevan Associates

If you want small, appealing, and useful small shade trees, consider getting fruit trees. Apple trees, peach trees, cherry trees, and more all offer great shade and are an adorable addition to any yard. 

So What’s Next?

Before you decide on a tree, find out everything you can about it. You need to know the care that you need to put into it. Some trees require more than you will have time for while others take care of themselves. 

If you fall in love with a tree that won’t work for you, look for trees similar to it. There are hundreds of species to choose from, so maybe you need to “branch” out in order to find that perfect tree just waiting for a good home.