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6 Fast Growing Trees That Won’t Keep You Waiting

There are so many benefits to having trees in your garden. They create a focal point, provide shade, and act as vital havens for wildlife. If you’re thinking of planting a tree in your garden, but would rather not wait forever to start enjoying all it has to offer, then read on to discover a selection of faster-growing native trees that won’t keep you waiting.

Choosing the right tree for your needs

First things first, it’s important that you choose the right tree to suit your needs. Whether you want to reduce your carbon footprint, cut road noise, attract wildlife or enjoy glorious blossom, there will be a tree that’s just right for you.

Secondly, be sure to think about space. There are certain trees that lend themselves to small gardens, ideal if you have limited space. Always consider the potential height and spread of your tree, and think about whether it might collide with anything such as power lines or spill over into a neighbour’s garden or block light once it’s fully grown.

Essentially, always think about where you are planting the tree in relation to your property. From tiny acorns grow mighty trees so the saying goes, so consider how the roots and branches may spread beyond the boundaries of your home. Could branches drop onto property or vehicles? Could roots cause damage to foundations or garden landscaping features? Will the leaves clog guttering or drains?

It really is so important to plan ahead when planting a tree in your garden, ensuring it has the space to grow without affecting its surroundings. Whilst doing so, also think about whether the conditions in your garden are right for the tree. Soil type, sunlight and distance from other trees are all crucial considerations.

Finally, always make sure you are planting native trees, and be sure to buy home grown.

What are some fast growing trees?

If you are looking to start enjoying the benefits of trees in your garden without having to wait too long, here are some fast growing species you may wish to consider.

1.     Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

A great tree for spring blossom and summer berries, rowan has distinctive silvery-brown bark, and leaves that transform into a glorious shade of auburn in the autumn. This is a tree that’s perfect for a small garden, and is of great value to wildlife, especially pollinators and birds, such as thrush, blackbird, redwing and redstart.

A light, well-drained soil provides the ideal conditions for the rowan tree, which will grow to between eight and ten metres at a rate of around 20-40cm per year.

Rowan tree for small gardens

2.     Osier willow (Salix viminalis)

This species of native willow is nice and bushy, making the ideal addition to beds and borders. Producing lovely green and yellow catkins throughout late winter to early spring, this willow provides some much-appreciated early colour.

Also known as the basket willow, the stems have been used for basket weaving across Europe for many years. The catkins provide an early source of nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators, and the bushy branches offer the perfect nesting site for birds. Providing it has a good source of sunlight, osier willow reaches its full height of around seven metres in just two years, growing at a rate of 100cm per year.

3.     Hazel (Corylus avellana)

Hazel is another tree that’s ideal for the small garden, especially if you need to consider height restrictions. Its delicious nuts can be used to make scrumptious hazelnut butter, and the charming yellow lambs’ tail catkins bring a splash of much-needed colour in late winter to early spring.

Hazel dormice are big fans of this tree’s nuts, as are woodpeckers, jays, woodpeckers, red squirrels, bank voles and wood mice. If you can provide a non-acidic, well-drained to moist soil for hazel then it will thrive in your garden, growing to 10-plus metres at a rate of 40-60cm per year.

Hazel tree fast growing

4.     Alder (Alnus glutinosa)

Alder is a great tree to have in your garden, as it enhances the fertility of the soil where it grows. It provides year-round interest courtesy of its beautiful yellow catkins in early spring, pinecone style woody fruits in the winter, and attractive, glossy green leaves in summer. The catkins are a magnet for bees, and the seeds attract birds such as goldfinches, redpolls and siskins.

If you have a damp area then this tree will excel to around 20 metres over time, growing at a rate of around 60cm per year.

Alder fast growing trees

5.     Common beech (Fagus sylvatica)

Beech is a great choice if you are looking for year-round interest in your garden, as its beautiful bronzed leaves stay on the tree throughout the winter until they are pushed off to make way for new growth in the spring.

This tree will grow well in sun or partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. If your garden is prone to flooding, it is best to avoid planting beech, as it is not a fan of waterlogged conditions. Beech will reach heights of around 40 metres, growing at a rate of 30-60cm per year.

Beech fast growing trees

6.     Silver birch (Betula pendula)

Perfect for creating a focal point in your garden, silver birch is marked by its silvery-white bark and triangular-shaped leaves that adorn wistful, swaying branches. Attractive catkins appear between spring and autumn, and as autumn sets in, the leaves start to turn a glorious shade of golden yellow, introducing eye-catching colour into your garden.

Long-tailed tits and siskins are particularly drawn to the silver birch for its rich source of seeds and insects. If you can provide a sandy or acidic soil, this tree will do very well, growing to 15-20 metres in height, at a rate of 40cm per year.

Silver birch fast growing trees

Tree care tips

Now you know some of the fastest growing trees for your garden, it’s time to learn more about planting and caring for your trees.

Our guides to the benefits of planting trees and how to plant them and how to care for newly planted and sapling trees should prove helpful.

If you believe you could benefit from professional help in caring for a tree in your garden, you are welcome to contact our experts for bespoke advice. After all, the healthier your trees, the more beauty they will adorn onto your garden.

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