Fast Growing Trees of California

Have you ever planted a sapling and waited and waited for it to grow quickly just so that it provides shade and a wonderful ambience for your garden? You can add some cool and comforting beauty to your landscape by planting trees in strategic spots in your yard or garden. Trees provide for screening, shade and ornamental beauty all throughout the year. Experts say that slow growing trees stay stronger and live longer. So most of us who would like trees that gain height and fill out fast will most probably possess qualities that will render it a weakling or pest. If you would like to plant a tree that will grow the right way without damaging your landscape or house, choose ones which provide for your garden or yard in different seasons, six to seven years after planting. Soil that contains adequate nutrients and moisture is optimum for the growth of trees. So it’s important to choose saplings that you can enjoy for the short and long term. 

There are a few list of tress which have been distinguished for shade, screening and ornamental purposes that will make it easier for you to choose from what best suits your garden and environment. 

Shade Trees

These kinds of trees are deciduous which can grow to at least 50 feet in height. They develop broad crowns which is useful for proper shade under which you can rest, walk or entertain.
  • Northern Red Oak is a classic tree with broad crowns that likes good amount of sun, well-drained, moist, acid soil for growth. You can avoid planting these trees in the Oregon and California region as it can fall prey to sudden oak death disease. It grows to 60–75 feet high with a good broad base.
  • Freeman Maple is a hybrid tree with brilliant and beautiful red-orange fall color. It prefers good amount of sunshine with well-drained, moist soil with neutral amount of pH for growth. It grows 75–80 feet in height with a width of 45–50 feet.
  • Green Vase Zelkova is a vase-shaped tree with rich, dark green leaves and upright arching branches. The leaves turn a bronze maroon color in fall. It prefers full sun to partial shade and adapts well to a variety of soils. It grows to 60–70 feet in height with a width of 40–50 feet. It tolerates and withstands drought, pollution and wind making it a viable tree.
  • Tulip Tree has an oval crown and straight trunk with broad, striking, lobed leaves that conceals its chartreuse tulip-shaped flowers during the spring season. The leaves turn yellow in color during the fall season and the tree prefers full amount of sunshine with moist, deep and slightly acidic soil for growth. It grows 75–90 feet in height with a width of 40–50 feet.

Screening Trees

These kinds of trees provide privacy by blocking second or third story views into your garden and also block blunt northern winds. You can plant them alone or in groups and rows depending on their spread.
  • Dawn Redwood are humongous pyramidal tree with a striking, deep-fluted bark and feathery, fluffy deciduous green needles that will turn russet-orange in color during the fall season. It prefers full sun, well-drained, moist, slightly acidic soil for growth. It grows 70–100 feet in height with a width of 25 feet.
  • European Black Alder is an oval-shaped deciduous tree that is useful for edging a pool or is useful in providing an informal screen in a damp, wet area. It prefers full sun with partial shade and wet soil for growth. It grows 40–60 feet in height with a width of 20–40 feet.
  • Green Giant Arborvitae is an evergreen with a homogeneous pyramidal shape that is used as hedging or as a single specimen with no need for shearing. It is adaptable and prefers full sun, well-drained, moist soil for growth. It grows 50–60 feet in height with a width of 12–20 feet.

Ornamental Trees

These trees are the ultimate showboats of a landscape. They provide multi seasonal appeal with a striking bark, impressive structure and beautiful flowers.
  • Sargent Cherry Clouds has a shiny, reddish-brown bark with pink flowers that open in early spring before the leaves appear. They turn orange-red in color during fall color and the small, dark, summer fruit attract birds. It prefers full amount of sunshine and moist, acidic, well-drained neutral soil. It grows 20–30 feet in height and width.
  • Heritage River Birch is a multi-stemmed tree with deciduous leathery green leaves that turn yellow in color during fall. It develops an irregular crown with a salmon-white to brownish peeling bark and prefers partial shade, moist and acid soil for growth. It grows 40–60 feet in height and width.
  • Sweet Bay Magnolia is a tree that is deciduous in the North and evergreen in the South. With lustrous and glossy dark green leaves with silvery undersides, it produces lemon-scented creamy white flowers in during the spring/early summer season. It prefers partial shade, acid, moist soil for growth. It grows 10–20 feet in height and width.
  • 'Natchez' Crape Myrtle is a multi stemmed tree with recurring, abundant white flowers during the months of June to September. It has a characteristic exfoliating cinnamon-brown bark all through the year. It works well curbside where it won’t interfere and mess with utility lines and grows 20–30 feet in height with a width of 15–35 feet.