How Fast Does It Grow?

One of the most common tree questions nursery professionals get is “how fast does it grow?” Most customers don’t want to wait 20 years for shade and privacy. The chart below lists the fastest growing trees available at Lawyer Nursery. The growth rates given are under good growing conditions. Drought stress, very poor soil or other hostile growing conditions will negatively impact growth.

Name USDA Zone Avg Size HxW (ft) Growth Rate Per year (ft) Comments

Abies grandis
Grand Fir

4-8 200 x 35 .5-1.5 Exceeds 300’ in the wild. Very fast growth makes it a popular Christmas tree or specimen.
Acer negundo
Box Elder/Manitoba Maple
2-9 40 x 40 3-4 Extremely tough.  Takes wet or dry conditions, heat and wind   in nearly any soil. 
Acer rubrum
Red Maple
3-9 60 x 50 1.5-2.5 Perfect for lawns, streets, parks. Likes even moisture. Spectacular in fall when mixed with pines.
Betula papyrifera, Paper Birch 2-6 60 x 40 3-51.5-2 Outstanding tree for all seasons.  Effective mixed with evergreens. Even moisture a must.
Celtis occidentalis
Common Hackberry
2-9 60 x 50 2-3 Will not heave paving. Takes heat, drought, cold, high pH.  Great street tree. Attracts birds.
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Green Ash
2-9 50 x 40 2.5-3 Highly adaptable. Takes drought, flood, heat, poor soil. Excellent shade or street tree.
Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis,
Thornless Honey Locust
4-9 50 x 50 2-2.5  Will take drought, heat, high pH, salt. Light shade will allow plant growth beneath. Very adaptable.
Juglans nigra
Black Walnut
4-9 75 x 75 2-3 Fastest growth when young.  A high value lumber tree. A stately tree for open spaces.  Hardy.
Magnolia acuminata,  Cucumber Magnolia 4-8 60 x 60 2.5-3 Takes higher soil pH than many other magnolias. A superb tree for parks, golf courses, estates
Metasequoia glyptostroboides,  Dawn Redwood 4-8 80 x 35 2-3 This tree has not been cultivated quite long enough to determine average or maximum garden size.
Picea abies
Norway Spruce
2-8 60 x 30 1-1.5 Less pest prone than many other spruces. Very fast growth for a spruce.  Ideal for windbreaks.  
Pinus strobus

White Pine
4-8 60 x 30 1.5-2 One of the fastest growing pines for landscape use. A handsome specimen for parks, large areas.
Platanus occcidentalis,  American Sycamore 4-9 80 x 80 2.5-3.5 A splendid tree for large areas.  It appreciates even moisture. A stately park tree.  
Populus tremuloides,  Quaking Aspen 1-6 40 x 20 3-4 Will tolerate extreme cold. Does well in most soils. Outstanding for high elevations.  Dislikes heat.
Quercus palustris
Pin Oak
4-8 50 x 40 2-2.5 Transplants easily. SO2 tolerant. Great for use in lawns, parks, golf courses. Needs acid soil.
Salix spp.
Varies Varies 3-6 Many have colorful winter stems. Tolerates wet conditions. Perfect along ditches, streams, canals.
Thuja plicata
Western Red Cedar
6-9 120 x 35 1.5-3 Maintains its rich green color all  winter. Will take strong summer heat.  Good tall clipped hedge.