40 Fast Growing Shade Trees Types: Backyard, Evergreen, Flowering Trees

Man relaxing under shade trees after learning about types of fast growing shade trees to grow, including flowering shade tree, evergreen shade tree, best trees for shade, and low maintenance shade trees.

Are you looking for shade trees for your home, but don’t want to wait a decade for them to grow?

No problem! There are tons of trees that grow quickly, some as much as 2-4 feet per year, and you can be enjoying your shade in no time.

It is okay to ask how long does it take for a tree to grow if you are planning to plant shade trees that serve as privacy screens and spruce up your home.

You don’t have to worry because fast growing trees do all that for you within the shortest time possible.

This guide outlines 40 fast-growing shade tree types for your backyard and other areas around your home, including evergreen trees for hedges and fences, ornamental flowering trees for beauty, and other breathtaking types of trees that grow fast, from all over the world.

Qualities of the Best Trees for Shade

Planting shade trees can be a large investment, whether you perform the work yourself or you hire a landscaping contractor.

You’ll have to buy seedlings and dedicate your time and effort to helping the tree grow, which is why you want to know what to look for when selecting perfect fast growing shade trees for your back or front yard.

Eye level view of American Sycamore Tree showing American Sycamore Tree wide trunk and branches with no leaves.

(Image: Denise Davis14

It is not all about which trees will provide the most shade.

It goes a little bit deeper than that. So, what is a good shade tree?

They Shouldn’t Be Too High Maintenance

Trees are living things that need some TLC, but what if you get busy? Will that put your tree in danger?

That is why you need a low-maintenance type that will survive and not be too overwhelming to look after.

It Should Be Able To Grow Fast

Virtually nobody wants to grow a shade tree that will take decades to reach a desired height. That’s the entire purpose anyway, a tree that grows tall enough to provide shade over your home in the shortest time imaginable.

It Should Look Amazing

All trees are stunning no doubt, each in its own way. When selecting a tree for your home, you should also think about whether it has ornamental value.

What are the fall colors? What about the flowers?

How does the trunk grow? All these matter because many homeowners want all three features in their trees, the ability to provide shade, and grow fast, all the while looking fantastic.

How To Plant the Best Shade Trees

In your pursuit of finding the most stunning fast-growing shade trees, you should also take into consideration a few factors. For instance, trees have growing zones or regions where they are most comfortable living, and your best shot at growing a healthy and strong tree depends on that.

That is why you should check the USDA hardiness zone of the tree first and see whether your location can provide that.6,7

Another factor to consider is whether you will be able to provide all the tree’s needs in terms of the soil type, water requirements, and sunlight hours. You should also consider the care and maintenance needs.

Will you find it easy to prune it when required? How about fertilizer to increase the growth rate?

Are you not sure when is the best time to plant? You can always do that in early spring as long as there is no danger of frost and the soil is not freezing cold.

With all these in check, your tree should be doing just fine. You can also think about growing plants for shady areas under trees, like shrubs and flowers, to serve as companion plants.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Planting Fast Growing Shade Trees?

You want to grow a tree, a shading tree for your home, to be specific, but do you know all the pros and cons involved?

Take a look.

Fast-growing shade trees will help you achieve the results you need in very little time. No more bare spaces, and you can finally have privacy in your yardOne problem with fast-growing trees is the fact that their wood tends to be weaker and has a higher chance of breaking in case of severe storms
Planting trees also has the advantage of reducing noise levels around your home and helping purify the airWith these trees, you have to always be on the lookout for their aggressive root systems. There are some types that you cannot plant too close to the house or near pipes and sidewalks
If you are constantly dealing with extreme temperatures in your home, shade trees can work together to keep the air cooler and, in doing so, reduce your cooling costOne thing about fast-growing trees is that all of the parts of a tree also grow pretty fast, especially the leaves, and you will have to keep pruning them quite often.3
You will notice that planting trees has the unique effect of attracting wildlife; there will be birds chirping and bees buzzing all over your yard

5 Small Shade Trees

Onto the first category of fast-growing shade trees, the small trees.

These ones are perfect if you have a small space to spare but still want a stunning ornamental tree that can provide shade for you within a short time.

Graphics of small shade trees showing Japanese Maple Tree, Saucer Magnolia Tree, Flowering Dogwood Tree, Sargent Cherry Tree, and Emerald Green Arborvitae Tree images on square frames.

Name of TreesDescription
1. Japanese MapleAre you a lover of all things about the Maple Tree? Then you will absolutely love the Japanese Maple with its striking fall colors and upright stature, but most of all, its fast-growing nature and ability to grow to only 10-20 feet, ideal for fitting in small spaces.
They work best in zones 5-8 and come in various types for your selection.
2. Saucer MagnoliaHave you ever come close to any Magnolia Tree? Aren’t the flowers always breathtaking?
That is what you get with the Saucer Magnolia with its white and pink flowers.8 With a height of about 25 feet, it will be comfortable living in your small yard, especially if it is in hardiness zones 5-9.
3. Flowering DogwoodStill talking about small, fast growing shade trees with hypnotizing flowers, the Flowering Dogwood Tree doesn’t disappoint. It looks somewhat delicate but is still an easily adaptable tree that grows to about 25 feet.
Having this shade tree in your yard will be a great idea if you are looking for the ultimate landscaping tree.
4. Sargent CherryThis gorgeous tree is native to Asia, that is Japan, and Korea, all the way up to Russia. Apart from providing the shade you need in very little time, its pink showy flowers will definitely be a showstopper in your garden.
The Sargent Cherry Tree is perfect for small spaces because it grows to 10-30 feet, and you should also know that it can survive in USDA zones 4-7 and is relatively low maintenance.
5. Emerald Green Arborvitae TreeThis tree stands out from this list in so many ways. Not only is it the only Evergreen Tree, but it also has a different growing pattern, short, slim, and upright, measuring only 10-15 feet.2
Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that it will not be a great shade tree; it is just that it is more suitable for shading along your hedges, making it ideal for privacy.

5 Large Shade Trees

You may also be looking out for majestic trees that take center stage in your home, but the catch is that they have to be fast-growing. There are some trees that grow tall all through their lives, and unless you know how to tell how old a tree is you would be shocked that they can live for decades in your home.

Graphics of large shade trees showing Red Maple Tree, River Birch Tree, Tulip Tree, Hackberry Tree, and Pin Oak Tree images in square frames.

Name of TreesDescription
6. Red MapleYou know the Red Maple, the magnificent North American native tree known for how its leaves turn vibrant red and orange shed in the autumn. Imagine having this enormous tree that is able to reach 120 feet high and 50 feet wide growing right in your home.
It can grow in USDA zones 2-9 and is pretty easy to care for.
7. River BirchImagine growing a tree that grows at an incredible rate of 13-24 inches every single year. Pretty impressive right?
But that’s not all, the River Birch Tree is also able to grow in a more massive hardiness zone range between zones 3-9, meaning that you can grow it almost anywhere, and in perfect conditions, it can effortlessly grow to 90 feet high.
8. Tulip TreeThe tree gets its name from its flowers because they look exactly like those of an actual tulip. It is also a massive hit among homeowners because it can grow to an enormous size of 130 feet.
Therefore, you will have to have a massive space to accommodate it and maybe don’t grow it too close to your house.
9. HackberryAre you looking for a stunning tree that needs little care and is able to survive various harsh conditions? The Hackberry is an excellent choice that grows fast and can reach at least 70 feet high.9
Many love that it is a beautiful tree for landscaping and doesn’t really need a lot of watering.
10. Pin OakClosing off the list of majestic fast-growing tree options is the Pin Oak. Knowing the outstanding features of Oaks, you can easily tell that this type of tree will make a bold statement in your home.
It can get to as much as 90 feet, depending on the prevailing conditions, and will reach this height within a very short time.

5 Evergreen Shade Trees

Do you hate when there are no leaves on tree, maybe when winter is kicking in? That only happens for deciduous trees, but the case is totally different when dealing with evergreens.

It doesn’t matter the seasons or the prevailing conditions; they will forever stay green and stunning all year round.

Graphics of evergreen shade trees showing Leyland Cypress Tree, Hemlock Tree, Eastern White Pine Tree, Japanese Cedar Tree, and Rocky Mountain Juniper Tree images in square frames.

Here is a roundup of the fastest-growing evergreen shade trees.

Name of TreesDescription
11. Leyland CypressOf course, there has to be a Cypress Tree in this list, and starting off is the Leyland that levels up to its cousins in all aspects. If it grows comfortably growing in hardiness zones 6 all the way to 9, it can easily reach 70 feet and grow at a rate of 3 feet every single year.
12. HemlockAnother evergreen that you should definitely have your sights on is this beautiful landscaping tree that grows in hardiness zones 3-8. Perhaps the most impressive part about this tree is not that it grows more than 2 feet per annum but the fact that it can actually live for up to 800 years.
13. Eastern White PineThe Eastern White Pine cannot be missed in the list of the most magnificent evergreen trees that you can use for your landscaping needs. It is perfect if you are going for a giant tree because it can have a 40-foot spread and an 80-foot height,4 and the best part is that the attractive needle leaves stay intact all year long.
14. Japanese CedarThere is a good reason why this beauty is Japan’s national tree, and it is easy to tell why. It grows to form a dense leaf cover that not only provides shade thanks to the 50-foot height but it also serves as a perfect privacy screen and it helps that it stays glowing all around the year.
15. Rocky Mountain JuniperOf course, you know Junipers by how elegant and fast they grow. This variety doesn’t disappoint because it grows more than 2 feet annually, and the best part about it is how low maintenance it is, especially if growing in zones 4-9.

5 Backyard Shade Trees

Even as you are paying attention to your lawn and sidewalk, you cannot afford to forget that your backyard also needs sprucing up.

It is actually the perfect spot for a shade tree and it is a bonus that the plants also become great privacy trees.

Graphics of backyard shade trees showing Northern Red Oak Tree, Dawn Redwood Tree, European Black Alder Tree, Sweet Bay Magnolia Tree, and Dappled Willow Tree images in square frames.

Name of TreesDescription
16. Northern Red OakDo you have a massive space in the back and need a tall tree that grows to have a massive spread? Then consider the Northern Red.10
Being an Oak tells you that it is a classic that will stay in your home for generations. Under the right conditions, especially in zones 6-11, the Northern Red Oak Tree will reach up to 74 feet.
17. Dawn RedwoodIf you find pyramid-shaped trees breathtaking, you will love the Dawn Redwood and how majestic it grows past 70 feet high in zones 5-10. Its deciduous needles that turn orange in the fall are to die for, and it will be perfect growing in your home.
18. European Black AlderIf you have tried planting trees but failed, give this grand Black Alder Tree a chance. It doesn’t mind wet soils, and its ability to survive in USDA zones 3-7 means that it will survive whatever gets thrown at it and, therefore, will not need a lot of care and maintenance.
19. Sweet Bay MagnoliaYou know how stunning Magnolias are and that is exactly what the Sweet Bay Magnolia Tree offers. Growing in zones 5-9, you will love how it has got deep green leaves that are silvery underneath and the fact that it is deciduous if growing in North America and evergreen while in the South.
20. Dappled WillowIf you can’t get your eyes off trees with variegated leaves, you will definitely love growing the Dappled Willow in your yard. The trees grow to have beautiful pink, white, and green leaves that keep changing color all through the year, and they can either grow into a tree or a shrub.

5 Low Maintenance Fast Growing Shade Trees

If you admit that you don’t really have a green thumb and that you can only go for a low-maintenance tree, you are in the right place. The following shade trees will grow extra fast and won’t demand too much TLC from you.

Graphics of low maintenance fast growing shade trees showing Japanese Zelkova Tree, Colorado Blue Spruce Tree, Washington Hawthorn Tree, American Sycamore Tree, and Nuttall Oak Tree images in square frames.

Name of TreesDescription
21. Japanese ZelkovaIf you have always loved Elm Tree but want to avoid the mess that they are famously known for, the Japanese Zelkova is an excellent alternative. Another advantage is that they are immune to the Dutch Elm disease, and although many homeowners tend to overlook them, they will be a perfect choice for your home.
22. Colorado Blue SpruceSpruces are some of the most popular landscape trees, and a great example that works for you if you need a low-maintenance type is the Colorado Blue Spruce. It can grow to 2 feet every year and will never give you a hard time all the while staying breathtaking.
23. Washington HawthornAlthough it has a moderate growth rate unlike other trees on the list, the Washington Hawthorn Tree is prized for how hardy and low maintenance it is. It will never complain when growing in USDA hardiness zones 4-9, and it helps that it is also drought resistant just as soon as it establishes itself.
24. American SycamoreLook no more if you are looking for a giant, fast-growing shade tree for your home that is also low maintenance because the American Sycamore Tree ticks all the boxes.11 It can grow in partial or full sunlight and can thrive regardless of the type of soil or the level of drought.
25. Nuttall OakAnother Oak Tree that has made its way into this list is the Nuttal, all thanks to its drought-resistant features. Like with other Oaks, this tree is nothing short of stunning, and you will always enjoy the orange, yellow, and red color changes during fall.

5 Fast Growing Shade Trees: Fruit Trees for Shade

Who wouldn’t want a fruit tree growing in their yard? Imagine picking up delicious fruits from a tree that also doubles up as a shade tree.

Graphics of fruit trees for shade showing Persimmon Tree, Mulberry Tree, Pear Tree, Avocado Tree, and Apple Tree images in square frames.

There are countless amazing fruit trees that you can grow but below are some notable ones known for growing extra fast.

Name of TreesDescription
26. PersimmonThe Persimmon is one of the most delicious fruits that you will ever get a taste of and there is nothing better than having one growing in your compound. The best thing about the Persimmon tree is how it tends to grow open and wide, which basically means that it will be a perfect tree for shade.
27. MulberryAre you going in a more non-native direction when it comes to your choice of fruit tree? Because Mulberry Tree is an excellent choice.
It can easily get to 40 feet high and has some of the tastiest red and black berries.5 The growth pattern will also make it a perfect shade tree for your backyard.
28. PearThe pear is a beloved fruit tree that cannot fail to appear in this list. It is not just because it has tasty fruits but it is also known to grow big and tall, which is exactly what you are looking for in a shade tree and the best part is that there are so many varieties to choose from.
29. AvocadoThe Avocado is a common fruit that you will find in very many households. This tropical fruit is a must-have in your fruit garden and you get the best of both worlds with it.
The Avocado Tree produces yummy fruits that everyone wants and one that will grow to offer shade.
30. AppleYou cannot name the best fruit trees without including the Apple. It grows relatively fast to provide the world’s most famous fruits and there is literally an endless list of the types of Apple Trees that you can pick from.

5 Fast-Growing Flowering Shade Trees

Flowering trees are the peak of landscaping and there is very little you can do to make them look even better because it is all so natural. There are so many beautiful flowering trees to choose from and you will be spoiled for choice trying to find just one to plant in your home.

Graphics of flowering shade trees showing Northern Catalpa Tree, Empress Tree, Crape Myrtle Tree, Kwanzan Cherry Tree, and Southern Magnolia Tree images in square frames.

Name of TreesDescription
31. Northern CatalpaYou can spot this tree from a distance with its bright showy white flowers. Imagine a giant tree that offers a massive shade and at the same time has massive white flowers.
For best results, you can grow it in USDA zones 4-8 and you will see how stunning it grows to be.
32. Empress TreeHow shocking is it to find a tree that is not only gorgeous but one that can grow at a rate of 15 feet in just one year? As if that’s not convincing enough, the Empress Tree’s flowers are heavily vanilla scented and the massive leaves grow to form a pretty dense canopy for your shading needs.12
33. Crape MyrtleBold is the word to describe the Crape Myrtle flowers that show up all through the summer. Did you know that there are various cultivars that you can choose from, from the pink flowers of the Tuskegee type to the blinding white of the Natchez?
34. Kwanzan CherryCherry Trees are known all over the world for having some of the most striking flowers and this type is a great example of that. You will always boast of having a Cherry Blossom Tree every springtime and delight at your bright pink flowers.
35. Southern MagnoliaAnother irresistible Magnolia that you should definitely try out is the Southern Magnolia Tree. You will never get enough of its dark green leaves contrasting with the showy white flowers that will stay on the tree from mid-spring all the way to early summer, sometimes from May into June.

5 Ornamental Trees for Shade

If you are on the lookout for fast-growing shade trees, you might as well go for ones that also double up as ornamental trees. Virtually everyone wants their house to look good and here are some options that will definitely get the job done.

Graphics of ornamental trees for shade showing Freeman Maple Tree, American Redbud Tree, Bottlebrush Tree, Linden Tree, and Weeping Willow Tree images in square frames.

Name of TreesDescription
36. Freeman MapleThis hybrid has earned a stellar reputation for being a perfect ornamental tree. Well, most of the credit goes to its red-orange color in the fall and it will boldly stand out in your home.
It also goes without mentioning that it is impressively tall, reaching up to 60 feet high.
37. American RedbudFor all lovers of pink-colored trees, the American Redbud will be perfect. It is indeed an ornamental tree that is known for its dazzling bold pink flowers and heart-shaped leaves and it will be the attention grabber when growing in your home.1
38. BottlebrushYou cannot miss the Bottlebrush with its striking red flowers that effortlessly spruce up any garden or lawn. It is nothing short of a bold statement to make in your home and the best part is how it heavily attracts pollinators.
39. Linden TreeThis stunning native tree is another favorite for homeowners and it is easy to see why with its bright yellow flower that bees can never seem to get enough of. Did you know that the linden tree’s leaves contain anxiolytic properties and people use it to make tea that calms anxiety?
40. Weeping WillowClosing the list is the ever-gorgeous Weeping Willow,13 known the world over for its unique leaves that seem to drape toward the ground. A touch of grace and a little bit of drama is what you get with the Weeping Willow and it is no wonder more and more people are planting it in their backyards.

There is nothing as beautiful as having living fences or stunning trees growing around your home. Everyone has a reason why they grow them whether it is for their fruits, shade, or ornamental value.

Luckily, there will always be a tree that will serve your needs. If you are keen on the fastest-growing types that will offer shade, you can see that the list is endless.

You will be spoiled for choice because each one is better than the next.

Within very little time of growing your beautiful shade trees, you will realize that it doesn’t take long before you can enjoy fast growing shade trees towering all around your home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fast Growing Shade Trees

Are There Desert Shade Trees?

Actually, there are several types of desert shade trees that can survive in drought-stricken areas and will live even with little watering, the trick is to find one that grows a wide canopy, enough to be a great shade tree. Some that can work include the Desert Willow Tree, Palo Brea Tree, and the Chinese Elm Tree.

What Makes Good Shade Trees?

While there are several trees that you can grow solely for shade, not all of them are perfect for the job. The best should be fast-growing, at least 2 feet every year, must be low maintenance, should have a wide canopy at the top, and of course, have ornamental value.

Why Go for Fast Growing Shade Trees?

One of the main benefits of having tall shade trees in your home is that they create a cooling effect. They are perfect if you have scorching hot summers and being fast-growing, they will serve your needs within a very short time.

Read More About Fast Growing Shade Trees


1A, V. (2023, February 15). All About Shade Trees. Lowe’s. Retrieved July 9, 2023, from <https://www.lowes.com/n/buying-guide/shade-tree-buying-guide>

2DeAngelis, Z. (2021, November 2). 12 Fastest Growing Shade Trees For Small Yards. Tree Journey. Retrieved July 9, 2023, from <https://treejourney.com/fastest-growing-shade-trees-for-small-yards/>

3Lovely, L., & Savage, K. (2023, March 31). 22 Fast-Growing Shade Trees to Plant in Your Yard. Bob Vila. Retrieved July 9, 2023, from <https://www.bobvila.com/articles/fast-growing-shade-trees/>

4Ocone, L. (2023). fast-growing Shade Trees. This Old House. Retrieved July 9, 2023, from <https://www.thisoldhouse.com/landscaping/21018756/fast-growing-shade-trees>

5Pockat, A. A. (2013, March 30). Big Fruit Trees Can Work for Shade Too! The Home Site. Retrieved July 9, 2023, from <http://aapockat.blogspot.com/2013/03/big-fruit-trees-can-work-for-shade-too.html>

6Fast Growing Trees. (2023). Shade Trees for Sale | FastGrowingTrees.com. Fast Growing Trees. Retrieved July 9, 2023, from <https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/collections/shadetrees>

7U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2023). USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved July 12, 2023, from <https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/>

8University of Massachusetts Amherst. (2023). Saucer Magnolia. UMass Extension Plant Identification. Retrieved July 12, 2023, from <https://extension.umass.edu/plant-identification/saucer-magnolia>

9Weisenhorn, J., Zuzek, K., & Koetter, R. (2018). Common hackberry | UMN Extension. University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved July 12, 2023, from <https://extension.umn.edu/trees-and-shrubs/common-hackberry>

10North Carolina State University. (2023). Quercus rubra (American Red Oak, Eastern Red Oak, Mountain Red Oak, Northern Red Oak, Oaks, Red Oak). North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. Retrieved July 12, 2023, from <https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/quercus-rubra/>

11North Carolina State University. (2023). Platanus occidentalis (American Plane Tree, American Sycamore, Buttonball Tree, Buttonwood, Eastern Sycamore, Sycamore). North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. Retrieved July 12, 2023, from <https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/platanus-occidentalis/>

12North Carolina State University. (2023). Paulownia tomentosa (Empress Tree, Princess Tree, Royal Empress Tree, Royal Paulownia). North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. Retrieved July 12, 2023, from <https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/paulownia-tomentosa/>

13North Carolina State University. (2023). Salix babylonica (Babylon Weeping Willow, Silver Willow, Weeping Willow). North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. Retrieved July 12, 2023, from <https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/salix-babylonica/>

14American Sycamore Tree image. Provided by Denise Davis.