With the arrivalt of Summer comes heat and, in many areas of the country, humidity. When those high temperatures hit, all we can do is think about being cooler. It’s a seasonal irony….in Winter we can’t wait for it to be warmer and in Summer we can’t wait for some relief from the heat. Well, one way to find relief from the heat (and relief from your Summer energy bill) is to plant fast growing trees in the right locations!
Shade trees keep the sun’s brutal rays from heating up the walls and roof of your home and prevent the rays of sun from coming in your windows. This, in turn, keeps your house cooler. If your house stays cooler, it takes less energy to keep it at the temperature you find most comfortable.
In fact, “A tree planted on the west side of a house can reduce net carbon emissions from summertime electricity use by 30 percent over a 100-year period.” says Geoffrey Donovan, who is a research forester.
These fast growing trees come in all sizes, shapes and even colors. It all depends on your preference, climate, and whether you want a lot of colorful leaves in the Fall.
For instance, if you’re in a climate where it stays warm the majority of the year, you may want to plant evergreen trees to shade your house year around. If you’re in a colder climate, you may want deciduous trees so that the warm sun will help heat your home in the Winter.
Different trees also require different planting zones and, since most of us are very impatient, the tendency is to plant varieties that are fast-growing.
With that in mind, I have listed below 7 of the fastest growing trees that can not only add shade to your yard, but beauty as well.
Also known as Pin Oak or Red Oak, this is a fast growing deciduous tree. When grown, it blesses you with a wide area of shade. As an extra bonus for you animal lovers, it also provides a lot of acorns for the deer, squirrels and birds to feast on all Winter.
By far one of the fastest growing trees, Hybrid Poplars can grow up to 8 feet per year and top out at an astounding 40 to 50 feet tall! If you are wary of growing poplars because of the cottony mess they can leave in your yard, plant the cottonless variety Populus deltoidous x Populus nigra.
Not only does this tree supply abundant shade, it provides a splendid Fall showing of bright red leaves! It grows at a rate of 3 to 5 feet per year, topping out at around 40 feet tall. This fast growing deciduous tree will be providing you shade in little time at all!
This is definitely one of my favorite trees. I have fond memories of playing beneath the weeping canopy of limbs as a child. This graceful beauty grows at a rate of 3 to 8 feet per year. The majority of varieties grow best near water, but there are also varieties that are suitable for drier climates.
Also known as the Cigar Tree or Catawba, this tree will beautify your yard with its array of large, showy flowers in the Spring, which happen to be huge bee magnets. One of the things that makes it such a great shade tree is its huge canopy of large leaves.
Also known as American Planetree, this fast-growing tree adds beauty to your yard in Winter with its mottled white bark. In nature, they are often found near streams and ponds, but they are also suitable for urban landscapes. But, be sure that you have plenty of room in your yard to accommodate these trees. They can grow 6 feet per year and reach an astounding 70+ feet tall!
Due to differing requirements for rainfall, temperatures, length of growing season, etc., it’s possible that not all of these trees will be able to be grown in your area. To find out which of these beautiful, fast-growing trees is suitable for your landscape and climate, seek professional advice from a nursery or cooperative extension office.