8 Fast-Growing Shade Trees - Backyard Boss
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8 Fast-Growing Shade Trees

The beauty of large trees is that they provide the shade you need in your backyard and a habitat for wildlife. Shade trees help you save energy and money since they keep your home cool during the summer months and warm during winters. According to research, a single shade tree, if placed correctly, can reduce net carbon emissions caused by the use of electricity during the summer by 31%.

Apart from that, shade trees increase property value and provide privacy, especially if you don’t prefer outdoor privacy screens or outdoor privacy curtains. While there are fast-growing privacy trees, if you’re looking for trees that provide shade and privacy and grow fast, we combed the internet to find the eight best ones for the job.

Before you plant these fast-growing shade trees, remove other trees and stumps that may be causing your backyard more harm than good. You’ll need to learn how to kill tree roots to make room for shade trees in your backyard.

8 Fast-Growing Shade Trees

1. Quaking Aspen

quacking aspen
Image Credit: sf-dvs via Creative Commons

The quaking aspen is hard to miss. It grows stunning yellow leaves during the fall, and it’s one of the fastest-growing trees. It can reach a height of 40 to 50 feet and a width of 25 feet. It’s known for its beautiful color, soil adaptability, and thriving in cold climates. You’ll be glad to know that the aspen tree has the widest natural range in North America for any tree, so chances are you’re safe to start planting.

When it comes to producing the quaking aspen, you want it to be in an area it can receive full sunlight for at least six hours. As soil goes, as we stated before, the aspen is adaptable, but you want to make sure you have well-drained soil. After planting your aspen, you’ll want to water once a week and more frequently during the dry months.

2. Northern Red Oak

northern red oak
Image Credit: treegrow via Creative Commons

The Northern Red Oak is the embodiment of strength for the trees on this list. It can grow in pretty much any environment. We’re talking about lousy soil, lack of quality air, and even small spaces. This tree is no joke when it comes to size, having the ability to grow up to 75 feet in height and 50 feet in width. Last but certainly not least is how long the red oak can live. One common characteristic of the oak tree is it easier to transplant out of all the oaks.

The Northern Red Oak will be easy to notice, as it has strong red leaves that naturally grasp your attention. When planting the red oak, space and sunlight are essential. Watering is pretty simple; water it once a week until it matures; after it is fully developed, water it during dry months.

3. Paper Birch

paper birch
Image Credit: daryl_mitchell via Creative Commons

Like the other trees on this list, the paper birch is fast-growing and can get up in size, but the catch is it’s a short-lived tree. The good thing is that in ‘tree’ years; short-lived is still more than enough time for us as people. This tree can grow from 12 to 24 inches each season.

4. Red Sunset Maple

red sunset maple
Image Credit: nicwn via Creative Commons

Maple trees are some of the more common trees for all people. The Red Sunset Maple is one of the most beautiful trees. It develops these deep red hues on its leaves, and unlike other trees, they produce quickly, and the color lasts longer. It can grow up to 50 feet and 35 feet in width. With this tree, you get beauty and strength.

The Red Sunset Maple does not need as much care when planting as other trees. Its maximum need for sunlight is six hours; the rest of its time should be in a shaded area, and it only needs to water during dry spells in its first years.

5. Hackberry

hackberry tree
Image Credit: Frederick County Forest Conservancy District Board via Creative Commons

The hackberry is the epitome of your classic American tree. It looks how you would imagine a tree would if someone told you to picture your idea of a tree. It is similar to an elm tree but less prone to disease. It grows to around 30 to 50 feet in height and 20 to 30 feet in height. If you genuinely like all of nature, you would love the hackberry tree as it attracts robins, mockingbirds, and butterflies.

Now what you came here for is how to go about planting this classic tree. This tree will need well-drained soil and only a minimum range of sunlight from three to seven hours. The hackberry is drought resistant, but you should still water it once a week in its first seasons.

6. Pin Oak

pin oak tree
Image Credit: Famartin via Creative Commons

Oak trees are known for their size, and the Pin Oak is no different. The Pin Oak gets about 60 feet in height and can reach about 40 feet in width; now that’s a big tree! Shade is something that’s pretty much guaranteed with Pin Oak. The catch of the pin oak is that it grows slower than the other trees on this list, but it needs less, and its growth is consistent.

The Pin Oak needs minimum work when planting. A small amount of sunlight, anywhere from four to six hours, and water once a week in its first year is all it takes to grow this beauty. After that, rainfall can take care of the rest.

7. River Birch

river birch
Image Credit: Drew Avery via Creative Commons

The River Birch is not as thick and voluminous as other trees on this list but still grows enough to be great for shade. The plus side to the river birch is its adaptability to various soils and resistance to common diseases for trees. It grows two to three feet each year.

The Birch needs deep watering in its first seasons. During dry seasons, it is best to up your watering to twice weekly. Your birch will also need full sunlight for up to eight hours.

8. Northern Catalpa

Northern Catalpa
Image Credit: cultivar413 via Creative Commons

What’s the old saying, save the best for last? We’ll leave the conversation of the best tree on this list to you, but the northern catalpa is the biggest. On average, it grows to around 50 feet tall but can reach heights of 70 feet.

You’ll notice the northern catalpa as it grows unique white flowers throughout the tree. The requirements for the catalpa are minimum. You only need to water the catalpa when it’s dry and in full sunlight for around six hours.

In Summary

A lovely shade tree would go perfectly in your yard, and with the size, these trees grow to, they’ll have no problem standing out. You have the options of different colors, sizes, and even growth rates. We can all agree on the beauty of trees and the love we have for nature. We hope that this list has helped you pick the right tree for your backyard.

Happy Gardening!