The Fastest Growing Trees to Plant in Your Yard for Shade and Privacy

Garden Betty

You know the saying—”The best time to plant a tree is yesterday”?

If you’re just getting around to it now, it can be tough to find a tree that won’t take decades to mature.

Fortunately, these beautiful, low-maintenance trees grow quickly to fill in your landscape without the wait.

Best fast-growing privacy tree

The Leyland cypress (Cupressus) is America’s most-planted privacy tree for a reason: It grows fast (up to 5 feet per year) and has an iconic columnar silhouette that makes it ideal as a dense, living wall when planted 8 feet apart.

Best fast-growing privacy tree for small yards

For smaller yards where a row of Leyland cypresses might feel overwhelming, consider this arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘American Pillar’) as a privacy screen.

Best fast-growing evergreen tree

Oakland holly trees are unique in that the leaves resemble oak leaves, and each tree has both male and female flowers, so no pollinator is needed to produce beautiful, berry-laden boughs.

Best fast-growing evergreen tree for cold climates

For bitterly cold climates down to zone 2 (around -40°F), Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) is my pick for an extremely cold-hardy evergreen that’s also sleek and beautiful.

Best fast-growing shade tree

If you want a big, romantic tree to sit under on a hot summer day with a picnic or a book in hand, it’s hard to go wrong with the secluded shade of a weeping willow (Salix babylonica).

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Garden Betty