How Long Does It Take for a Tree To Grow? 45 Trees Ranked by How Fast

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | November 29, 2023

Woman holding a calendar in a field with trees growing in stages wonders how long does it take for a tree to grow and how long does it take for an apple tree to grow and other fruit trees.

Have you ever wondered, how long does it take for a tree to grow?

Every tree has its own growth rate, and while some may reach mature height in a few years, others take decades to reach their full potential.

Knowing how long does it take for a tree to grow has its advantages. You can estimate when you’ll be able to harvest fruit if you know how long it takes for a peach tree to grow, or you can estimate when your landscape will reach maturity.

Whether you are planting fruit trees, landscaping your back yard, or growing privacy hedges using types of tall succulents, tree growth rates can help.

This complete guide explains the answer to the question, how long does it take for a tree to grow, and explores the reasons for tree growth rates for some common species, as well as the factors affecting the growth rate.

How Long Does It Take for a Tree To Grow?

You can buy seeds in stores or stop by a local nursery for tree seedlings. When sprouting a tree from a seed, growth will take longer than if you purchase a 3-4 year old sapling.

Whether you wish to enjoy the fruits or use them for landscaping, fencing, or shading, it is crucial to know how long you must wait before the tree can serve its purpose.

Photo of a hand holding a seedling in front of a mature tree in white background.

(Image: Tumisu10)

Trees usually take 20-30 years to reach full maturity, but the growth rate depends on the species, where you plant it, and several other factors.

However, some trees, like types of Weeping Willow trees, grow at a staggering rate, with most reaching over 15 ft within five years.

Some trees, like the Sugar Maple and American Sweetgum, have an average growth rate, reaching 10-15 ft high in about ten years. Others are famous for taking less than ten years to accomplish 90% of their mature height.

In contrast, some species, like the Ginkgo Biloba, take a century to reach their maximum height.

If you are looking for a tree that grows tall within the shortest time to create a solid hedge around your home, you will be safer going for options with the fastest or moderate growth rates.

Estimated Growth Rates for Different Kinds of Trees

The table below shows the estimated growth rates of the different kinds of trees.

Types of TreesGrowth Rate (Yearly)Final Height
1. Basswood Tree1-2 feet65-70 feet
2. American Chestnut2-3 feet50-75 feet
3. Magnolia Tree1-2 feet20-25 feet
4. Cherry Blossom Tree1-2 feet15-25 feet
5. Banyan Tree1-2 feet100 feet

Basswood tree growth chart showing a line graph with basswood tree age on the x-axis and Basswood tree height on the y-axis.

Types of TreesGrowth Rate (Yearly)Final Height
6. Dogwood Tree1-2 feet20-25 feet
7. Oak Tree1-2 feet40-80 feet
8. Willow Tree2-10 feet15-40 feet
9. Sycamore Tree2 feet75-100 feet
10. Mulberry Tree1-2 feet30-80 feet

Oak tree growth chart showing a line graph with Oak tree age on the x-axis and Oak tree height on the y-axis.

Types of TreesGrowth Rate (Yearly)Final Height
11. Lemon Tree0.8-2 feet20-30 feet
12. Birch Tree1.5-2 feet40-70 feet
13. Cherry Tree1-2 feet15-25 feet
14. Cypress Tree2-4 feet60-100 feet
15. Ash Tree1-2 feet60-120 feet

Ash tree growth chart showing a line graph with Ash tree age on the x-axis and Ash tree height on the y-axis.

Types of TreesGrowth Rate (Yearly)Final Height
16. Maple Tree1-2 feet40-148 feet
17. Pink Magnolia Tree1-2 feet50-80 feet
18. Sweet Bay Magnolia Tree1-2 feet10-35 feet
19. Southern Magnolia Tree1-2 feet10-35 feet
20. Chocolate Mimosa TreeOver 2 feet20-40 feet

Maple tree growth chart showing a line graph with Maple tree age on the x-axis and Maple tree height on the y-axis.

Types of TreesGrowth Rate (Yearly)Final Height
21. Pink Mimosa TreeOver 2 feet30-40 feet
22. Desert Willow Tree2-3 feet30 feet
23. Hazelnut Tree1-2 feet10-20 feet
24. Eastern Cottonwood Tree4-5 feet70-100 feet
25. Cashew Tree1-2 feet40-50 feet

Eastern Cottonwood tree growth chart showing a line graph with Eastern Cottonwood tree age on the x-axis and Eastern Cottonwood tree height on the y-axis.

Types of TreesGrowth Rate (Yearly)Final Height
26. Umbrella Tree1-2 feet5-50 feet
27. Dwarf Umbrella Tree1 foot10 feet
28. Red Oak Tree1-2 feet60-70 feet
29. Lavender TreeLess than 1 foot1-3 feet
30. Kumquat Tree1-2 feet8-15 feet

Red Oak tree growth chart showing a line graph with Red Oak tree age on the x-axis and Red Oak tree height on the y-axis.

Types of TreesGrowth Rate (Yearly)Final Height
31. Camphor Tree1-2 feet50-60 feet
32. White Oak Tree1-2 feet50-80 feet
33. Beech Tree1-2 feet50-70 feet
34. Purple Weeping Willow Tree8-10 feet30-80 feet
35. Black Walnut Tree1-3 feet100 feet

Camphor tree growth chart showing a line graph with Camphor tree age on the x-axis and Camphor tree height on the y-axis.

Types of TreesGrowth Rate (Yearly)Final Height
36. Dwarf Weeping Willow Tree1-2 feet6-8 feet
37. Pink Willow Tree1-2 feet10-20 feet
38. Dappled Willow2-4 feet6-10 feet
39. Hibiscus Tree2-4 feet8-20 feet
40. Hickory Tree1-2 feet70-80 feet

Hickory tree growth chart showing a line graph with Hickory tree age on the x-axis and Hickory tree height on the y-axis.

Types of TreesGrowth Rate (Yearly)Final Height
41. Avocado Tree3 feet40-60 feet
42. Quaking Aspen2-3 feet40-50 feet
43. Sugar Maple1 foot90-120 feet
44. American Sweetgum1 foot60-120 feet
45. Arborvitae Green Giant2-3 feet50-60 feet

American Sweetgum tree growth chart showing a line graph with American Sweetgum tree age on the x-axis and American Sweetgum tree height on the y-axis.

Does a Tree’s Growth Rate Affect Its Lifespan?

Interestingly, you will discover that the slowest-growing members of the same species usually live longer than their counterparts. While the fastest growers grow taller and grow seeds faster, the others tend to ease their way into old age.1

Scientifically, the faster a tree grows, the more energy it puts into developing taller and gets exhausted earlier than other slow growers. They also take up more space, are the first to mature sexually, and are more susceptible to disasters like fires and floods, leading to earlier death.

On the other hand, the slower-growing trees of the same species take their time investing in structural integrity, developing stronger wood, and becoming more immune to diseases and pest infestations.

They may hardly tower over the forest canopies, but they don’t burn out from extreme growth, making them more likely to survive until their old age. Studies explain this phenomenon better, proving that there is a natural balance where trees grow at their pace based on their surroundings.2

How Long Does It Take for a Tree To Grow: What Conditions Influence a Tree’s Growth?

The following factors determine how fast trees of the same species will grow.


Trees need water to photosynthesize, making moisture one of the most crucial growth elements. It is the primary component of the plant cells, necessary for transporting essential minerals to the cells, and facilitates seed germination into seedlings.

Like humans, water makes up most of the tree’s volume, meaning that lacking it has dire consequences. The plant cells will have stunted growth, and the tree will use the little water available for survival and fail to grow taller.


Sunlight is another vital component of the tree’s photosynthetic process besides water, as it helps create energy by forming sugars. Growing your tree in a shaded location limits access to the rays, leading to a slower growth rate.

The only exception is for trees that grow better under partial sunlight or shaded spots. However, if your tree loves the sun, it helps to plant it under full sunlight; otherwise, it will have stunted growth.


Plant cells need particular nutrients to facilitate all their functions. Trees in jungles grow faster than others due to the fallen leaves that form decayed nutrients.

The roots absorb these compounds through the soil, usually in solution form, thanks to mixing with water. If the required nutrients are unavailable or have insufficient water to dissolve them, it will affect the tree’s growth.

Of the several minerals in the soil, nitrogen is one of the most crucial, explaining why it is present in many fertilizers.


Each tree grows best in a specific season, but one common factor is that most have a drastic growth decline during winter. The conditions are too harsh for the plant, and if your region experiences punishing low temperatures, you expect little growth around that time.

Photo of a student crouching and planting a seedling in dirt.

(Image: Rommel Diaz11)

Most prefer planting from August to October or later in the year, depending on their region. Trees growing in tropical areas or warm weather can fully grow within less time than those growing in colder climates, which can take longer than a century based on the plant species.3

How Long Does It Take for a Tree to Regrow Its Branches?

If you want to prune your tree’s branches, one of the first concerns is how long does it take for a tree to grow its branches back. The time frame usually depends on how and where you have cut it, explaining the need to seek an arborist’s advice when taking care of your tree.4

If doing it yourself, it is paramount to know the difference between the branch and the trunk wood. Interfering with the trunk can cause issues with future growth, but pruning the branch means that your tree will grow back faster.

You need to know the professionals in the area and how much the service will cost. The experts know where and how to cut trees without interfering with their growth rate.

Another common mistake tree owners make is topping the tree. Here is where you cut back the branches to the trunk, which causes severe tree damage; the twigs may fail to grow or come back weaker and more vulnerable to harsh weather.5

You will also ruin the tree’s aesthetics in the process, hence the need to carefully check how you prune your trees.

What To Know About Growing Trees From Seeds

The two main ways to grow a tree in your home are from seeds or seedlings. While others prefer using seedlings, which seem more convenient, others would instead start with seeds, and there are several advantages to it.

Photo of a man digging and preparing the land for tree-planting.

(Image: Jed Owen12)

For one, buying seeds that will produce more trees is cheaper. It is more economical than buying individual seedlings because you can get more plants.

Another upside is that you can select the strongest of the bunch that will grow into healthy seedlings, and there are chances of coming up with new tree breeds. You can grow almost anything from seeds since trees develop nuts or fruits that are similar to or better than the parent.

Some favorites include the Heartnut, a walnut species, and the Antonovka Apple; the goal is to pick seeds from a plant with the features you are looking for, not weak plants that will birth stunted offspring.6

The best time to pick seeds is during autumn when they have fully matured, then prepare them for planting by cleaning and drying them. Alternatively, you can buy them from reputable local stores or import them.

Can You Speed up Tree Growth?

The great news about planting relatively slow trees is that you can help improve their growth rate, and there are several ways to do that.

Watering More

Given how vital water is for the growth of trees, providing more of it encourages them to grow. Moisture helps trees transport food and minerals within the cells and lacking it means the growth rate will reduce.

Providing your trees with more water speeds up the process.

Adding Fertilizer

Trees grow better when there are necessary nutrients in the soil, and you can supplement the levels by adding fertilizer or compost, especially in spring. Plants grow better with nitrogen-rich fertilizer since they will create sufficient food and have enough energy to grow faster.7

Improving Soil pH

All trees thrive under certain soil pH; you can learn what the seeds need, test the levels, and provide a more conducive environment. For instance, if your plants love the soil acidic, you can improve the levels or reduce them if they don’t.

Removing Weeds

Intense competition is the primary reason for low growth rates. Weeds and other closely-growing plants struggle for the scarce resources with your trees, robbing them of the necessary moisture and nutrients.

Weeding eliminates the competition, helping your plants thrive.


If you are keen on your tree’s vertical growth rate, pruning can be effective because it eliminates the dead and sick branches and leaves, which unnecessarily strain the tree in terms of nutrients and resources. Reducing overcrowding and dead weight also helps the tree better utilize resources.

Treating Diseases and Pests

A sick tree doesn’t grow as fast as a strong, healthy one. If you determine the underlying issues and find viable treatment, you will ease the stress off the tree and give it new life, meaning better growth.

Can You Slow Down Tree Growth?

In a contrasting case, sometimes the tree grows faster than you expect, and you may want to slow down the rate. The best solution is to use hormone regulators, which effectively reduce the rate of growth hormone production.

The growth rate gradually starts declining due to the interference with the release of gibberellic acid and other components. The regulators stop trees from growing excessively tall and manage the speed of foliage growth.

Another viable strategy is to prune the branches growing on top regularly. Unlike horizontal pruning, it reduces the growth rate, but do it correctly to avoid damage.

Topping helps rid the tree of a massive chunk of leaves and branches, making it shorter. However, note that this method is risky and not encouraged because it can ruin the tree’s aesthetics or permanently interfere with its growth.

Ways To Encourage a Tree To Grow

If you find your tree growing unusually slower than its counterparts, the best you can do is to provide everything it needs, creating a conducive environment. If your region experiences scorching heat, you can frequently water your trees to replace the moisture lost via evaporation and transpiration.

All plant types, including hardy desert species, need water to survive, and you can tell when to water whenever the soil dries up. Secondly, you can check that the tree is in a safe spot where it can receive unlimited sunlight and that there are no shading buildings or objects nearby.

Trees need at least six hours of sun, and you can carefully plant yours in the open where there is no shading. It also helps to enrich the soil with fertilizer and compost to boost its growth hormones and watch out for pests and diseases that usually inhibit growth.

Will a Tree Re-Grow if You Cut It Down?

If you cut down a tree or it gets damaged by destructive weather, it doesn’t always mean the end of its life.8 Sometimes a tree regrows and develops new sprouts if sufficient nutrients are in the soil to support its growth.

Leaves will later form on these fresh sprouts, facilitating their growth. However, this only happens if you strategically plant the tree where the soil is fertile and there is enough sunlight and water access.

On the downside, this rarely occurs since most trees die when you cut them down. They become vulnerable to pests, then rot and wither away.

Additionally, most tree species hardly have nutrients stored that can comfortably support regrowth, and for them, cutting down means instant death.9

What Are the Stages of Tree Growth?

When discussing how long does it take for a tree to grow fully, it is crucial to understand all its growth stages.

Stage 1: Germination

All plants initially start from seeds in the ground. Watering, fertilizing the soil and providing warmth facilitate germination as the seeds soften from their rigid shells and start developing roots within a few weeks.

Stage 2: Seedling Development

The next step after germination is the tree’s growth into a seedling or sapling. It usually indicates successful germination and how the tree is now ready to develop into maturity.

While species like the oak tree can stay saplings for years, some grow faster and healthier and start producing fruits earlier.

Stage 3: Maturity

With patience, care, and maintenance, your tree can reach its full height and start flowering and producing fruits. The time frame, however, will vary based on the species and other prevailing conditions.

Photo of two pairs of hands of holding and supporting a seedling with soil.

(Image: Shameer Pk14)

Generally, most trees reach maturity after surpassing the 10 feet mark, although other species that live longer, like the Oak tree, usually become an Acorn tree when at least 30 years old.

How Long Does It Take for an Apple Tree To Grow?

An Apple tree can reach maturity at 2-10 years, based on the species you plant or whether you grow it from a seed. Starting from seed typically takes longer since you must wait for the tree to complete its germination and seedling stages.

Under perfect conditions, an Apple tree can reach a mature size of 30 feet tall and take less than five years to bear fruits.

How Long Does It Take To Grow a Christmas Tree?

To those wondering, how long does it take to grow a Christmas tree? Each of the various types of Christmas trees has individual growth rates, but generally, the species take 4-7 years to reach at least 5 feet high.

The Balsam Fir is one of the slowest growing species, attaining 12 inches annually, while the Leyland Cypress grows faster at double the rate.

Interestingly, some trees can reach 4 feet yearly under perfect conditions, but the rate usually depends on when you bought it or its initial stage before planting.

How Long Does It Take a Pine Tree To Grow?

Pine trees are a favorite for homeowners because they grow tall quickly, making them perfect privacy hedges and fences. Typically, pines reach maturity within 25-30 years, after which their wood will be ready for harvesting.

Most pines have a fast growth rate, reaching up to 2 feet yearly, and some grow to a staggering 150 feet high. The Australian and Canary Island Pines are some of the top choices for trees that grow tall fast.

However, varieties like the Pinyon Pine tree grow slower and shorter.

How Long Does It Take an Oak Tree To Grow?

Oaks are known for their slow growth rates from their saplings to become self-sustaining. They usually take 5-6 years before they are independent and take decades to grow fully, with the average time to produce viable acorns being 20 years.

The fastest growers only reach 3 feet annually, with the rate gradually declining the more it ages, and some produce worthy acorns when they are 50 years old.

How Long Does It Take To Grow a Bonsai Tree?

On average, bonsai trees can take 5-15 years from a seed/sapling to full maturity, but some species can extend to 30 years. They are usually slow-moderate growers, attaining 12-18 inches in height annually.

Photo of five different types of bonsai trees placed on top of a marble.

(Image: Ilona Ilyés15)

Therefore, it takes a while before your bonsai is ready for shaping, but the best part is that your plant will live for 50-80 years, with some unique species surviving for up to 1000 years.

How Long Does a Lemon Tree Take To Grow?

A Lemon tree growing in ideal warm conditions outdoors can take 4-6 years to start bearing fruits. Lemons usually reach 20-30 feet tall and take 20-25 years to attain their maximum height.

The tree will grow taller and produce fruits faster when you take proper care of it and grow it in a suitable spot.

When To Plant a Lemon Tree

Lemons are the most cold-sensitive citrus trees, and you want to avoid the punishing winter weather. Additionally, they hate the sweltering summer temperatures, meaning spring is the best time to plant.

The goal is to avoid planting in frozen soil, and there is no frost risk, preferably towards the end of February and early March. However, you can grow one all year round indoors or outside in tropical regions.

What’s the Fastest Growing Tree?

Among the different types of trees, the fastest-growing tree in the world is the Hybrid Poplar, which grows at an impressive rate of 8 feet annually. Homeowners find it ideal for a privacy hedge or fence because it effortlessly towers above other trees.

It is also a common tree grown for its firewood because it is ready for use faster. Besides being a popular landscaping plant, it is also an excellent investment.

Other fast-growing trees include the Weeping Willow, River Birch, Red Maple, and Quaking Aspen.

What’s the Slowest Growing Tree?

The slowest-growing tree on record is a Canadian White Cedar from the Great Lakes region that grew to only 4 inches in 155 years, weighing only 0.6 ounces. Other slow-growing trees include the Bur Oak, Eastern Hemlock, and Japanese Maple.

They are great landscaping choices if you want a tree that grows gradually and lasts a lifetime instead of the fast-growing options with short lifespans.

How Long Does It Take for a Tree To Grow From a Seed?

Germination of a tree from seed can take 1-3 weeks or several months based on the type and prevailing environmental conditions. The seedling stage after germination comes next when a tree has sprouted and started growing taller.

Maturity comes later after years of constant care allowing the tree to reproduce. The entire process from germination to maturity can take a decade to 30 years, depending on the tree species and how well you care for it.

What Season Do Trees Grow the Most?

Spring is the season with the most suitable temperatures to facilitate a tree’s growth. The season has the ideal combination of rain or moisture and sunlight since the days are longer.

It is one of the best times to plant your tree if you want the fastest growth rate, unlike in summer when rain is scarce and the sun is scorching, making it the most likely time for plants to wither.

What Is the Best Time To Plant a Tree?

For type of tree, the ideal time or season to plant is during fall or autumn when there is rain and the temperatures are cooler, allowing the tree’s roots to develop. Cold air will also limit the leaves from forming, shifting the focus to underground development.

Photo of many seedlings in black containers prepared for tree-planting.

(Image: T.J. Breshears13)

A more robust root system is the foundation to keep your plant safe before the harsh weather kicks in.

Do Tree Roots Ever Stop Growing?

The tree’s roots will keep growing, provided there is a steady supply of sugar and other necessary nutrients. However, growth can stop when the tree goes dormant or there is a problem with the plant.

For instance, chopping off the tree cuts off the energy supply, halting further growth unless the tree stores enough nutrients to support root growth for a while.

Magnolia Tree Care

Magnolia trees need care and maintenance, especially sensitive seedlings. While most species can survive under sweltering summers and water shortages, the young ones need regular irrigation until they are self-sufficient, preferably the drip method.

They also need fertilizing to grow faster and healthier, and you only need to prune them a little except for damaged branches or when shaping and styling for landscaping reasons. These are the things needed for proper Magnolia tree care.

When looking for trees to plant around your home as privacy hedges, you consider their full height and growth rate. When you have settled on particular varieties, the next step is to grow them from seeds or seedlings, with the former taking longer since you must wait for germination.

Most trees take 20-30 years to mature depending on the type, the surrounding conditions like the climate and seasons, and how well you care for them. Generally, the more comfortable the plant is, the faster it will grow.

It should thrive if you provide full sunlight, sufficient water, fertilizer, and anything else your plant needs.

Therefore, if you are worried about how long does it take for a tree to grow, remember that you also have a significant role to play in how much your trees thrive and reach their full potential.


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10Photo by Tumisu. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

11Photo by Rommel Diaz. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

12Photo by Jed Owen. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

13Photo by T.J. Breshears. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

14Photo by Shameer Pk. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

15Photo by Ilona Ilyés. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>