Planning a new garden is a lot of fun. It’s also hot and sweaty work without shade. That’s why you need to plant fast growing shade trees for your garden.

Once you’ve got you’re garden layout the way you want it, planting fast growing shade trees is one of the first steps to building an awesome garden quick.

Within just a couple of years, your once barren garden-plot will be transformed into a lush and shady garden. Gardening is a lovely experience, don’t let your gardening fun be spoiled by too much sun. Plant the fastest growing shade trees for your garden right away.

But what are the fastest growing shade trees you might ask?

​Comparison Table

What Are Fast Growing Shade Trees?

weeping willow fast growing shade treeson the park

​Via Pixabay

Trees are one of the coolest living things on earth. They provide us with all sorts of benefits. From cleaning toxic agents out of the air to providing us with warmth in the winter time and cool shade in the summer, trees are there for us all year round.

In regards to gardening, no garden is complete without a few good trees for shade. Yes, your garden needs to get plenty of light, but it also needs shade.

Not only do many fruits and vegetables require partial shade to grow, but it’s more pleasant to work in the shade when possible as well. Especially during the hot summer months, you and the garden will both be grateful for the extra protection from the sun.

A shade tree, technically speaking, is any tree that is tall enough and has a wide enough canopy and crown to cast a significant amount of shade underneath itself.

Most shade trees are planted near homes, parks, recreational centers, schools, and walkways. However, depending on your specific needs for shade, the fastest growing shade tree for your garden may differ greatly from that of your friends, family, or neighbors.

The definition of “fast growing shade trees” is a pretty loose one, so many trees fall into this category depending on your idea of fast.

Best Types of Fast Growing Shade Trees

Sunset with a shade of tree

​Via Pixabay

All of the above taken into consideration, some trees simply grow much faster than others. So fast that it’s easily noticeable and these trees are sought out.

Those who wish to avoid a 20-year wait for proper shade in their garden should consider the following fast growing shade trees.

American Sycamores

These beauties grow up to a staggering 70 feet tall. It’s best to avoid planting near power lines. That said, American Sycamores are some of the tallest fast growing shade trees in the world.

Red Oak

Another great fast-growing shade tree is the Red Oak. Growing naturally from acorns spread around from birds and squirrels, these little lovelies are also excellent for a quick (and thick) patch of shade in the garden.


One popular fast growing shade tree that’s not so tall is the Tulip tree. These magnificent trees max out at around 25 feet tall. Also, not only do they provide dense coverage for shade but also beautiful flowers year after year as well.

Weeping Willow

Perhaps one of the most famous and beloved shade trees of all, the Weeping Willow. Many hybrid forms exist on the market, so you can procure and grow one no matter what region you live in. Furthermore, if you live near water, these puppies will grow even faster.

Hybrid Poplars

Speaking of popular hybrids, the Poplar tree is another fast growing shade tree which is available in numerous hybrid forms. A typical Poplar hybrid reaches anywhere from 40 to 50 feet. That said, Poplars drop seeds (they look like little cotton balls) all around and can be pretty messy.


Another one of the fastest growing trees for your garden is the Sorrel. They often climb as much as 75 feet tall. Even more, in the fall, they turn an amazing red instead of brown or yellow.

Honey Locust

The last of the fast growing shade trees we selected for our list of the best is the Honey Locust. Hardy and highly adaptable, these trees reach heights of 25 to 50 feet high. Hence, they are excellent providers of shade.

Other fast growing shade trees

  • ​Willow Oaks
  • ​Paper Birch
  • ​Red Maples
  • ​Northern Catalpa
  • ​Hybrid shade trees

F.A.Q.s About Fast Growing Shade Trees

Making the most informative purchase is important. To do so, first, you need to find out as much about the specific product you’re considering buying.

Here are a few of the most significant questions about fast growing shade trees to help you make the best choice.

​What qualifies a tree as a shade tree?

If a tree is tall enough and provides a thick enough canopy/coverage for sufficient shade, it’s technically considered a shade tree. The most popular shade trees are 40 to 75 feet tall and provide enormous amounts of shade.

That said, some trees are much smaller. Many smaller trees that reach heights of no more than 25 to 30 feet also provide shade in ample amounts.

Your specific needs are the most vital factors that determine the best fast growing shade trees for your garden.

​How fast do the best fast growing shade trees grow?

Trees grow at many various growth rates. For as many trees as there are, there are an equal amount of growth rates.

Depending on the species, and it’s environmental conditions, a typical tree may grow as much as 10 or 15 feet per year. At the same time, a perfectly healthy tree may grow less than two or three feet per year.

What do you consider fast? More importantly, how fast do you need (or desire) your new shade trees to grow? Many of the fastest growing shade trees grow by astounding rates of 10 feet or more per year.

​How tall are the best fast growing shade trees?

The tallest fast growing shade trees grow over 10 to 15 feet per year. In the end, some of these trees end up at heights of 60 to 75 feet. That’s pretty tall!

​Where is the best place to buy a fast growing shade tree for my garden?

Up until the present times (of online shopping), local nurseries were far and wide considered the best place to buy trees of any kind.

Today, trees of all varieties are available for purchasing online. Amazon and eBay are among the most prominent online retailers to search for and buy trees online.

Visiting a local nursery will save you on shipping and allow you to arrange the entire handling and transplanting process yourself.

How We Reviewed

To bring you the most up-to-date and informative list of the best eight fast growing shade trees for your garden, we really did our research.

First, we looked at informative posts, topical forums, nurseries, and more to learn about shade trees in general.

Next, we hunted down the most highly recommended fast growing shade trees for your garden through popular online retailers like Amazon and eBay.

Finally, we sorted through all of the customer reviews, ratings, and complaints to finalize our selections for you. What we ended up with are eight of the very best fast growing shade trees for your garden currently available online.

The Best Fast Growing Shade Trees for Your Garden

a line of fast growing shade trees in flat land area

​Via Pixabay

Now that we’ve covered what the best fast growing shade tree types are, as well as the most frequently asked questions about the best fast growing trees, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best fast growing shade trees for your garden currently available online.

Here they are:

Twilight Crape Myrtle

Large Twilight Crape Myrtle, 2-4ft Tall When Shipped, Matures 22ft...
  • Stunning Purple/Pink Large Flower clusters bloom All Summer Long
  • Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies with this beautiful plant
  • Single Tree SHIPS 2-4 FEET TALL, healthy and well rooted in pot with soil

At the top of our list is the Twilight Crape Myrtle. And yes, it is as amazing as the name sounds. These trees are quite possibly the most visually stunning of all fast growing shade trees.

They also have large and attractive pink and purple flower clusters that bloom for the length of the entire summer. The Twilight Crape Myrtle grows at a rate of around two feet per year after maturing.

  • ​Ships three to four feet tall
  • ​Healthy root systems with soil
  • ​Comes with pot
  • ​Ready to plant
  • ​Grows up to six feet each year
  • ​Max height of 20+ feet
  • ​Cultivated in the USA
  • ​4.2 out of 5 stars based on Amazon customers

​4.2 out of 5 Stars

Weeping Willow

The Weeping Willow is perhaps the most popular and well-loved shade trees of all. These mid-sized trees reach a full height of around 50 feet in 10 to 15 years. That’s a growth rate of around two to three feet per year.

What’s more, the Weeping Willow is an iconic tree that children and adults alike enjoy spending time near. They are great for swings (porch-type swings as well as children’s swings) and benches underneath their seemingly massive canopies.

  • ​One of the most famous of all trees (including shade trees)
  • ​Comes ready to plant
  • ​Grows roughly two feet per year after slowing down
  • ​Excellent for families with kids (they are great to play under or attach swings to)
  • ​4.0 out of 5 stars from Amazon reviews

​4.0 out of 5 Stars

Red Maple

A visual treat among the best fast growing shade trees for your garden is the Red Maple. This beauty is lush green in the height of summer and bright red in the fall.

The trees reach between 40 and 60 feet in height and 40 feet in width. Best of all, the Red Maple is widely adaptable as well as drought-resistant. These particular Red Maples include a guarantee to leaf and grow as well.

Even though this Red Maple was rated under 4.0 out of 5 stars from Amazon customers at the time of publishing this article, we believe it’s an excellent choice due to factors such as the 9-month fertilizer and 30-day guarantee that it comes with.

  • ​Shipps two feet tall
  • ​Comes with soil-less media and a gallon container
  • ​Includes nine-month slow release fertilizer
  • ​Beautiful colors compared to other shade trees
  • ​Reach 60 feet in height and a 40 feet wide canopy
  • ​30-day transplant guarantee
  • ​3.9 out of 5 stars rating based on Amazon customer reviews


3.9 of 5 Stars

​Tulip Poplar

Tulip Poplar | Live Tree Seedling (Medium) | The Jonsteen Company
  • Grow your own Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), the tallest decidous tree species in the United States!
  • 100% guaranteed: If your seedling perishes, we are happy to provide a replacement small-sized seedling for just the cost...
  • Seed-grown without poison or pesticides at our nursery on California's Redwood Coast

One of the most beautiful shade trees for your garden is the Tulip Poplar. Not only do they grow fast, at a couple of feet per year on average, but they are an excellent addition to the aesthetic value of your garden as well.

Moreover, the Tulip Poplar grows to heights of 75 to 90 feet with a canopy of around 40 feet wide.

This Tulip Poplar rated under 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon at the time of publishing this article. However, we think it’s still an excellent selection based on its specs (especially that it grows over 24 inches per year and is one of the most beautiful shade trees in existence).

  • ​Size of tree shipped varies
  • ​Includes a one-gallon pot
  • ​Ready to go into the grow right out of the mail
  • ​Grows at a rate of approximately two feet per year
  • ​3.8 out of 5 stars from Amazon customers


3.​8 of 5 Stars

Silver Maple

No products found.

The Silver Maple is another maple that falls into the best fast growing shade trees for your garden category. Growing anywhere from three to seven feet annually, they shoot up in height rather quickly. Even more, these lovely trees reach a maximum height of about 80 to 100 feet with a canopy of approximately 50 feet wide.

The Silver Maple is yet another item on our list that rates slightly under 4.0 out of 5 stars via Amazon. That said, we find it to be a superb investment considering how spectacular the colors are compared to other trees, as well as how cold hardy and well-established its roots are.

  • ​Ships out two to four feet in height
  • ​Ready for quick planting
  • ​Includes a one-gallon pot
  • ​A cold hardy plant with highly established roots
  • ​Turns a variety of colors in the fall
  • ​3.8 out of 5 stars rating based on Amazon reviews

​  3.​8 of 5 Stars

Live Oak

Sandys Nursery Online Live Oak Quercus Virginiana Shade Tree, 4 Inch...
  • Live Oak Quercus virginiana Growth Habit: Large shade tree. Foliage: Dark green with gray underneath. Mature Height:...
  • Growth Rate: Fast growing when young up to 10-15 feet, then slow down as it branches outward. Fruit: Acorns Sun...
  • Pruning/Trimming: Not necessary. Fertilizer: Suggest a well-balance fertilizer like a 10-10-10 or 13-13-13. Feed in...

Live Oaks are a long time favorite of many when it comes to shade trees. They can grow up to ten feet as saplings and two feet in a single growing season once mature. The legendary Live Oak reach heights of up to 80 feet tall.

However, the most significant downfall to adding an Oak tree to your garden for shade is the fact that it drops acorns annually. If you don’t feel like cleaning up the mess, you may not want to invest in this tree.

Live Oaks are one of the most beloved trees, period. That’s one of the main reasons that this hard-to-find tree is well worth the purchase despite its rating of just under 4 out of 5 stars by Amazon customers.

  • ​Size of the tree varies
  • ​Comes with a four-inch pot and soil
  • ​Trimming or pruning is not necessary
  • ​40 to 60 feet shade canopies when mature
  • ​Grows up to 80 feet high
  • ​Only needs water regularly during drought
  • ​Prefers well-drained soils and full sun
  • ​3.8 out of 5 stars from Amazon customers

​  3.​8 of 5 Stars

Hybrid Aussie Willow

No products found.

Another of the best fast growing shade trees in the Willow family is the Hybrid Aussie Willow. Its popularity is passed up only be the classic Weeping Willow.

That said, the Hybrid Aussie Willow has the astounding growth rate of up to 12 feet per year. After approximately five years these trees are guaranteed to reach a height of 30 feet or more.

  • ​Ships ready to go straight into the garden
  • ​Comes approximately five feet tall
  • ​Proven to be one of the fastest growing shade trees on the market
  • ​100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee
  • ​4.5 out of 5 stars based on Amazon customer reviews

​  ​4.5 of 5 Stars

River Birch

Last but not least, we reviewed the Multi-Trunk River Birch. This popular version of birch tree comes two to four feet tall and ready for immediate planting.

Furthermore, it’s an excellent choice for a fast growing shade tree as it grows over three feet per year. Also noteworthy, these bad boys can grow to be as much as 90 feet tall!

  • ​Two to four feet tall and ready to plant
  • ​Comes in a one-gallon pot
  • ​Triangular shaped leaves two to three inches long
  • ​Cinnamon-like curly bark
  • ​Can grow over three feet in one year
  • ​The most borer-resistant of all Birch trees
  • ​Works well for combating soil erosion, especially near water
  • ​4.2 out of 5 star Amazon rating

​  ​4.2 of 5 Stars

A Final Word About Purchasing the Best Fast Growing Shade Trees

Purple tree

​Via ​Unsplash

Designing a garden should be exciting work. Getting your hands dirty once it’s created should be even more enjoyable. Adding a few fast growing shade trees to your garden is one of the smartest things you can do.

While still in the planning stages of your garden, select and secure a handful of fast growing shade trees and get those babies into the ground. You’ll thank yourself next year and for many more years to come.

Do you know about other fast growing shade trees for gardens that we missed? If so, please feel free to share with us in the comments box below!

Good luck with your garden!

​Featured Image Source: Pixabay

Last update on 2023-03-30 at 03:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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