Benjamin Kilbride, Editorial Assistant at The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Want to spruce up your property with a new tree or two? Choose quick-growing varieties and provide shade to your yard in a surprisingly short amount of time.
Pros and Cons of Quick-Growing Trees
Trees that have fast growth rates can grow large enough to provide shade for your yard in eight to ten years, depending on the variety. However, that quick growth makes the trees brittle and more likely to be damaged by high winds and ice storms than varieties that grow more slowly, such as sugar maple and beech. Quick-growing trees also have shallow root systems, which can lead to the trees toppling over in high winds in rare cases.
When to Plant
The best time to plant trees is in the fall, when temperatures are cool and precipitation is high. Once the air temperature drops below that of the soil, trees stop producing new shoots and instead focus their efforts on root growth. A well-established root system helps to ensure that the tree will be healthy and grow vigorously the following spring.
Types of Trees to Plant
Eastern Poplar – Also known as the cottonwood, the eastern poplar grows 4 to 5 feet a year, reaching 50 to 80 feet in height at maturity.
Honey Locust – Thornless (unlike its black locust cousin), the honey locust grows 2 to 3 feet per year, reaching the mature height of about 45 feet.
Red Maple – Known for its fiery red fall foliage, the red maple is a medium growth rate specimen, gaining about 2 feet a year. Because it grows slightly slower than other trees mentioned, it has a more durable frame. At maturity, the red maple reaches a height of 40 to 70 feet.
Pin Oak – Unlike most oaks which grow quite slowly, the pin oak has a growth rate of 3 feet a year, reaching 60 to 80 feet in height at maturity.
Silver Maple – Known for their light-green leaves with a silvery underside, the silver maple grows 2 to 3 feet each year. At full height, silver maples commonly reach 49 to 82 feet.
White Willow – A cousin of the weeping willow, the white willow grows very quickly at a rate of 4 to 5 feet per year, reaching 20 to 30 feet tall in just five to six years! At full maturity, the white willow can be up to 100 feet tall.
WANT TO KNOW THE BEST DAYS TO GO FISHING? WHEN IT’S BEST TO PLANT OR HARVEST?
THE 2020 OLD FARMER’S ALMANAC COUNTRY CALENDAR CAN TELL YOU THAT AND MORE!
Along with full-color photographs of beautiful country scenes across America, the Country Calendar includes country wisdom, interesting facts, and reference charts for domestic animal gestation plus best days to plant. Pick one up at your local Tractor Supply store today!