Fast-growing trees are in great demand, especially for new gardens. However, rapid growth should not be overestimated. Many of the trees quickly grow to a comfortable size, but they don’t stop growing. Often they simply become too big for the small garden and have to be felled again after 10 to 15 years. It is therefore important to make the right choice before buying and planting. In the following text you can read which trees grow fast and how their growth develops.

First thoughts

  • How big will the tree and crown grow?
  • How big does the root get?
  • Is there a risk of masonry, paving slabs or pipes in the ground being damaged?
  • Is the gutter in danger?
  • How fast does it grow in the first few years?
  • Does growth slow down over the years?
  • Will he tower over the house soon?

Fast growing deciduous trees

There are numerous fast-growing deciduous trees. However, you shouldn’t just see the rapid growth on your own. Many trees also have disadvantages. For example, the poplar, which is one of the fastest growing trees, forms endless saplings up to a distance of 40 meters. Even if the tree has been cleared, the saplings will continue to sprout. In addition, the poplar sows well, even far away from the tree, so that the enthusiasm of the neighbors will be limited. Before you plant a tree like this in your garden, you should think twice about it. I strongly advise against spontaneous actions. Planting fast-growing trees needs to be well thought out. Pros and cons must be weighed.

Blauglockenbaum (Paulownia tomentosa)

Actually, the flowers are the highlight of the blue bell tree. Unfortunately, these trees only very rarely bloom here, our winters are too severe. However, the trees look very attractive even without flowers. In addition, they grow very quickly. The hybrid species of the Chinese bluebell tree Paulownia ‘Nordmax 21’ from the company WeGrow is said to grow faster than a poplar. The trees grow to a height of 10 to 15 m and make a good house tree if space is available.

The blue bell tree likes a sunny location and nutrient-rich, dry to slightly moist soil. It is important that the soil is water and air permeable. If the tree does blossom, self-seeding must be expected. The seeds are very easy to grow. The seedlings reach a height of 2 m in the first year.

  • Straight trunk, thick branches and a spreading crown
  • Leaves arranged opposite, up to 45 cm wide, long-stalked, dull dark green to light green
  • Buds conspicuously fox-brown to brown-red hairy
  • The flowers appear before the leaves emerge in April/May
  • Inflorescences up to 40 cm high
  • Bell-shaped pink-purple flowers striped yellow inside
  • Nut-shaped capsule fruits
  • Taproot, but also a large root overall
  • Very sensitive to injuries
  • Requires a sheltered and warm location
  • The buds are very sensitive to frost and do not tolerate sub-zero temperatures
  • Hardly requires water
  • If the tree gets too big, you can cut it
  • Prune after the first autumn frost
Tip: In its natural environment, in warm regions, the bluebell tree is one of the invasive plants because it reproduces so quickly through its seeds. The hybrid breed Pauownia ‘Nordmax 21’ can help. These offspring are not only hardier and faster-growing, they can no longer reproduce.

Eschen (Fraxinus excelsior)

Ash trees can also grow up to 40 m high. Unlike the sycamore, they cannot be kept so small without completely losing their shape. So, the ash is a fast-growing tree for a large garden. However, they grow much faster at first. The growth slows down over the years. It takes a tree about 100 years and 30 m to grow tall, but it grows 20 of them in the first 40 years. I would only plant an ash tree if there is really enough space and the tree can develop naturally without pruning. It is important not to plant the tree too close to the house and to underground pipes and sewers. Ashes need a light, preferably sunny location and absolutely basic, nutrient-rich soil.

  • Leaves exactly opposite, imparipinnate
  • The latest to emerge from the native deciduous tree
  • Inflorescences with numerous flowers, whitish to yellowish, rather inconspicuous
  • Flowers only after 20 to 30 years
  • Fruit – little nut
  • Deep root, more heart root when young
  • Mighty roots that don’t stop at house foundations, but only if there are already cracks
  • No fall color
  • Requires plenty of water
  • Lack of water slows down growth
  • Can be cut
  • Cutting date late February, early March
  • Make an educational cut from the start
  • Growth in the first 10 years – about 70 cm per year
Tip: Ash trees seed themselves. Always pull the seedlings out of the ground as early as possible, then it’s still easy. The longer you wait, the harder it gets.

Poplar (Populus)

The poplar also grows very tall, up to 45 m, and is therefore only suitable for gardens where there is enough space. The tree grows narrow, has an upright trunk and does not become wide, looking more like a rounded column. This is because the branches grow quite tautly upwards. Poplars are among the fast-growing trees. 1 meter per year is not uncommon. There are around 60 species. Poplars have a decisive disadvantage, they have a particularly wide root system, which is why no other plants thrive in the area. This is impractical for a garden. In addition, they drive endless saplings, so the neighboring gardens also benefit from it. For allergy sufferers, the heyday is a time of suffering. Poplars prefer a sunny location and moist soil that is never too dry. Planting takes place in autumn.

  • Triangular, cordate or ovate leaves, entire or lobed, petiole long
  • Flowers – stalked, pendulous catkins
  • Flowering time between February and April, depending on latitude
  • Flowering already after 5 to 10 years
  • Roots – Cardiac root system to horizontal root system
  • Drives up saplings up to 40m away
  • Sow yourself
  • Seedlings can reach root depths of 75 to 150 cm in the first year
  • Very hardy
  • Plant far enough away from the house, walls, lines and pipes in the ground
  • The roots can also lift sidewalk slabs
  • Annual growth up to 100 cm
Tip: Poplars cannot simply be cut off when they have grown too big. The trees then sprout masses of root shoots. Poplar runners grow through streets and brickwork!

Plane trees (Platanus)

Plane trees are not the classics in the garden because they can reach 30 to 50 meters in height. However, they can be cut well and kept at virtually any height. Plane trees are fast-growing trees and will spread if you let them. Uncut, they only fit in decently sized gardens. The trees like a sunny location and sandy to loamy soil. The planting distance to buildings and other trees should be at least 5 m. Plane trees should not be planted near underground pipes and wires. Planting is best done in spring.

  • Maple shaped leaves
  • Sprout together with the leaves
  • Flowering between March and May
  • Bright yellow to orange autumn colour
  • Works great to form a flat roof
  • Very cut compatible
  • Can be kept as a small tree
  • The main cut takes place in the leafless period
  • In early summer, lower side branches are removed close to the trunk to encourage upward growth.
  • Frost hardy, only young trees need some protection
  • Growth increase per year – up to 50 cm
  • Good wind resistance
  • Diseases are rather rare – sycamore canker, Massaria disease, leaf tan
  • Pests are also rare – leaf miner
Tip: Young plane trees have difficulties with dry soil. They need regular and sufficient water. Rainwater is ideal. Calcareous water is not so cheap.

Fast growing conifers

Fast-growing conifers are usually intended to serve as privacy screens. They are often used as a hedge. Spruce and fir grow quickly, but simply get too big for many gardens. If you cut them off, they lose a lot of their good looks. If you don’t cut them, they will soon tower over all the buildings in the neighborhood, throw gigantic shadows and nothing will grow around them anymore. Planting such a large tree should be well thought out.

Conifers have the advantage of being evergreen. They give the garden structure even when there are no leaves. Hedges protect against prying eyes, wind and noise all year round. Many cypress plants are used as hedges, primarily because they can be grown at almost any height. However, they have to be cut once or better twice a year. If you don’t want that, you have to find another solution.

Bastardzypresse Leyland-Zypresse (× Cuprocyparis leylandii)

Die schnellwachsenden Bäume werden gern als Thuja oder Lebensbaum bezeichnet, sind aber eine eigene Art. Die Pflanzen haben mehrere Vorteile. Sie wachsen mit am schnellsten von allen Alternativpflanzen, bieten guten Windschutz, sind ganzjährig blickdicht, verkahlen nicht, sind ausgesprochen winterhart und schnittfähig. Außerdem sind sie preislich eher im unteren Segment angesiedelt. Wichtig ist ein Rückschnitt von Anfang an. Dieser wird im Frühjahr durchgeführt. Für eine gute Entwicklung benötigen Leyland-Zypressen einen nährstoffhaltigen Boden und einen sonnigen bis halbschattigen Standort. So kann ein Wachstum von bis zu 70 cm im Jahr erreicht werden. Einziger Nachteil der Pflanzen ist die Winterhärte. In sehr frostreichen Regionen reicht diese häufig nicht aus.

  • Hybridpflanze – Kreuzung zwischen Monterey-Zypresse und Nootka-Scheinzypresse
  • Zählt zu den Koniferen
  • Kann bis zu 30 m hoch werden
  • Wächst säulenförmig schmal
  • Kleine, schuppige Blätter, kreuzgegenständig an den Ästen
  • Zuchtformen Robinson Gold und Gold Rider – gelbliche Blätter, Silver Dust – cremefarben
  • Im Alter können Zapfen ausgebildet werden
  • Verträgt keine Trockenheit, sollte also regelmäßig gegossen werden.
  • Benötigt reichlich Nährstoffe
  • Treibt nach einem Rückschnitt recht gut wieder aus
  • Kann von Pilzen befallen werden
  • Schädlinge – Borkenkäfer, Miniermotte, Schmierläuse
  • Jährlicher Rückschnitt nötig, sonst starkes Höhenwachstum
  • Kann auch zweimal pro Jahr geschnitten werden
  • Nicht ins alte Holz schneiden

Lawsons Scheinzypresse (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) 

Es gibt zahlreiche Scheinzypressen, die alle schnell wachsen und sich als Heckenpflanzen eignen. Die Sorte ’Yvonne’ hat allerdings eine schöne Farbe, ein helles grün, leicht ins gelbliche gehend. Viele der Scheinzypressen haben einen bläulichen Ton oder ein sehr dunkles grün, dass irgendwie unnatürlich aussieht und nicht so recht in die Natur passen will. Die schnellwachsenden Bäume müssen ordentlich geschnitten werden, um ihr Wachstum etwas einzudämmen. Einen Nachteil haben Scheinzypressen, sie verkahlen von unten her. Daher eignen sie sich besonders für Gärten, wo sie hinter einem recht blickdichten niedrigeren Zaun stehen, so dass die fehlenden Triebe unten nicht auffallen. Von innen kann man ja etwas davor pflanzen.

Diese Scheinzypresse kann bis 5 m hoch und 2 m breit werden. Der Wuchs ist kegelförmig.

  • Sehr robust
  • Büßt auch im Winter die schöne hellgrüne Farbe nicht ein
  • Sonnige Lage erwünscht, im Halbschatten verblasst der Gelbton zu einem fahlen Grün
  • Benötigt ausreichend Feuchtigkeit, aber keine stehende Nässe
  • Reagiert empfindlich auf nasse Füße
  • Sollte aber auch nicht zu trocken stehen
  • Verträgt keinen lehmigen Boden
  • Wichtig ist der regelmäßige Schnitt, ein- bis zweimal pro Jahr
  • Sollte schon als junge Konifere nach dem Pflanzen geschnitten werden
  • Kein Rückschnitt ins alte Holz, da treibt sie nicht mehr aus
Hinweis: Abgeschnittene Zweige der Konifere nicht auf den Kompost geben. Sie enthalten Stoffe, die den Stoffwechsel der zur Rotte benötigten Mikroben beeinträchtigen und damit die Aktivität hemmen. Als Beetabdeckung sind sie aber gut geeignet. Besonders Scheinzypressen freuen sich über einen solchen Bodenbelag.

Lebensbaum (Thuja)

Trees of life belong to the cypress family. In native gardens mostly the Western specimens are used. They are particularly popular as hedge plants. There are different types of Thuja, they differ mainly in color. The rich green ranges from emerald green to moss green to golden yellow. The trees are very tolerant of pruning, but no longer sprout from old wood. If you don’t cut regularly from the beginning, you have to expect that the trees will become bare from the inside because not enough light can penetrate there. The inner shoots turn brown, then bare. Nothing will ever grow there again. Therefore, cut from the beginning so that light can get inside, so that this balding is avoided.

  • A sunny location is best. The plants need a lot of light.
  • Thrive on almost any soil
  • Prefer loose, slightly acidic to alkaline soil
  • Water plentifully in dry locations and drought
  • Fertilize regularly in nutrient-poor soils
  • Pruning possible from winter to late summer (think of breeding birds!)
  • Two cuts a year are best.
  • Does not tolerate road salt very well (take note of road holding!)
  • Can be transplanted well, even if it is a lot of work. But then they have to be cut back.
  • Planting distance when planting hedges about 40 to 50 cm, depending on the variety
Tip: Small plants grow faster than larger ones and above all better and overtake them in growth. Money can be saved there!

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