Shade TreeFast growing shade trees are being produced these days with spectacular results. Scientifically advanced methods are creating particular species such as the hybrid poplar that have become so refined that they can grow as much as ten feet taller per year.  Yet providing shade and beauty to a yard are not the only benefits of the fast growing shade trees.  Fast growing trees greatly increase the value of property and they can also help cut down on utility bills which makes them a wise investment for homeowners.


Hybrid poplars are a favorite and often the first choice for many homeowners, contractors and landscapers wanting to plant a fast growing shade tree.  The poplars are frequently used in new construction areas like housing tracts or even shopping centers because they are so quick to reach heights substantial enough to produce an umbrella of shade.  Poplars are also used to replace trees that have been lost to storms, insect or disease infestation since they are such a remarkably fast growing tree.

In the US, hybrid poplars grow hardy in most growing regions. They grow in areas spanning planting zones 2-9 which is nearly all the continental US minus some small areas where the weather is too hot (zone 10) such as the southernmost tip of Florida. Red Oak

The adaptability of this fast growing shade tree to most climates and soil conditions is among the reasons why it is frequently chosen for planting.  These fast growing shade and privacy trees can grow up to 10 feet per year. Another reason why poplar hybrids are being chosen as the shade tree for planting is because scientific advances in their creation have made them more resistant to insect and disease damage which varies from zone to zone.

As a shade tree, hybrid poplars are members of the willow family.  They are a cross between aspens, North American cottonwoods and European poplars.  They were first used as windbreaks in European fields which is an indication of some of the other beneficial uses of these trees.

Poplars not only grow fast and hardy above ground, they also have a fast growing root system that helps prevent soil erosion.  They can be planted along streams or brooks to help maintain a bank.  They are also good for planting along embankments or other sloped areas where there is a chance that the soil will be washed away if not protected.

Fast growing trees are beautiful additions to a yard.  They can often start producing a great deal of shade in just two or three years depending on the height of the tree you are planting.  With a six foot a year growth, even a three foot sapling can easily reach fifteen feet in two years and twenty-one feet in three years.  This means the top could span as much as fifteen to twenty-feet across creating a significant amount of shade making the hybrid poplar a good choice for landscaping trees.

Many of the fast growing shade trees will lose their leaves in the fall.  Again, using the hybrid poplar as example, there are some that will give a more colorful display of change than others.  There are golden and yellow varieties of poplars that will most likely give the most vibrant display of colors if you are looking to create somewhat of a fall ambience in a climate that normally doesn’t experience an array of colors in the fall.

Fast Growing TreeWhen choosing the tree, read carefully in respect to the expected height and breadth of the tree.  As stated earlier, you also might want to consider the colors it will create in the fall.  You should also consider the type of root system the tree has and if it is good for your climate.  Some of the fast growing shade trees have a wide but shallow root system that is not good in windy areas.  Other shade trees have deeper roots but can’t grow well in rocky soil.  So basically you should consider the tree’s expectancy of physical features above and below ground.

The information you gather from the previous paragraph is necessary for when you choose a spot to plant your tree.   Obviously, you will need to know the size the tree should grow to, however there are other things to consider as well when choosing the right location:

  • Make sure you don’t start digging over or too near to buried utilities.  You don’t want to cut through wires or pipes with your shovel and you don’t want the roots of the tree to eventually entwine themselves in them either.  So be sure you know where all the buried utilities are in your yard; the power line, the phone line, water lines, septic tank and drain field etc.
  • Be certain that you don’t plant too close to the house that the falling leaves can damage the roof, the limbs start hitting the house or the roots start growing into the foundation or basement.
  • Don’t plant close to driveways, sidewalks or walkways that the growing roots of the tree can damage those areas.

Fast growing shade trees are excellent investments.  Since they do produce shade so quickly, they can rapidly and dramatically reduce your utility bills.  A sprawling shade tree situated strategically in a yard can help cool a house and block the sun in the summer time.  Fallen leaves are good nutrients for gardens as well as flower beds and so even in colder months they can help you save money by eliminating the need to buy commercially produced fertilizers.

A shade tree does much more than beautify your yard: it increases the value of your property.  Shouldn’t you be living in the shade? One of the most popular companies to purchase a shade tree is from Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Company.