Interested in adding some greenery and shade to your backyard? Many homeowners balk at the idea of planting a tree, because they worry they will sell the house before it grows large enough to make an impact on their yard. Fortunately, there are some excellent trees that shoot up quickly while maintaining a strong internal structure. Don’t worry; even though they grow quickly, these trees won’t topple over in a storm.
Before picking a tree, take some time to find out what Plant Hardiness Growing Zone you live in. This will help you understand what kinds of trees will thrive in your area.
1. Northern Red Oak (Quercus ruba)
The Northern Red Oak is a deciduous shade tree and will grow up to 50 feet high, developing a broad crown idea for creating large shade patches. This tree prefers moist, well-drained, acid soil. Unfortunately, it is not a good choice for California Oregon, where it might fall prey to sudden oak death disease. If you live in these areas, consider the valley oak (Quercus lobata) instead.
2. Freeman Maple (Acer x freemanii)
Another deciduous shade tree, this hybrid maple turns a brilliant red-orange color in the fall. It grows 75-80 feet high by 45-50 feet wide and prefers moist, well-drained soil with neutral pH. The variety “Autumn Blaze” is particularly fast growing.
3. Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glypostroboides0)
The dawn redwood is a type of screening tree, ideal for blocking second-story windows or blunting strong winds. It is a 70-100 feet tall pyramidal tree with feathery deciduous green needles that turn russet-orange in fall. It thrives in moist, well-drained, slightly acid soil and full sun. At 25 feet in width, the tree is spectacular alone or planted in rows.
4. Heritage River Birch (Betula nigra ‘Cully’)
This gorgeous, multi-stemmed tree develops a irregular crown, giving each an artful and unique appearance. It’s leaves turn yellow in fall, but its true elegance lies in its salmon-white brownish peeling bark. Growing 40-60 feet high and wide, this tree is ideal for adding a sense of peace to your property. It prefers moist, acid soil and partial shade.
5. Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia Virginiana)
This gorgeous flowering tree has dark green leaves with silvery undersides. Happiest in the southern United States, where it is evergreen, this tree also grows in northern states, where it is deciduous. In early spring and summer it blooms with lemon-scented creamy white flowers. It grows 10-20 feet high and wide in cooler climates and up to 60 feet high in warmer ones. It needs moist, acid soil.
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