Silver birch Betula utilis

Fast-growing trees

Looking for a tree that will grow fast? Here are some speedy species to consider.

Many trees can take a while to establish, so if you’re impatient, need an area to look good in a hurry, or are creating a garden from scratch, you might want to choose a fast-growing tree or two.

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Bear in mind that most fast-growing trees will reach quite a size, so make sure you have plenty of room for them to grow, and don’t plant them too close to a boundary or a house.

Discover six trees for small gardens.

Trees will establish quicker if they are planted correctly, getting them off to the best possible start. Find out how to plant a tree.

Here are some fast-growing trees to consider.

Bear in mind that most fast-growing trees will reach quite a size.

Mountain ash

Fast-growing mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) is a British native that grows well on a range of soils. It has pretty, feathery leaves which turn yellow in autumn. Clusters of white flowers give way to berries, which are very popular with birds, making it a great choice for a wildlife garden.
Height x spread: 15m x 7m

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Silver birch

Another speedy grower, silver birch (Betula utilis) is a favourite with garden designers. It is often planted in groups or as multistemmed tree – the white stems look especially good in winter and are perfect for showing off woodland planting underneath. 
Height x spread: 18m x 10m

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Hornbeam

Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is another British native, with pretty, crinkled leaves and good autumn colour. Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’, shown here, is a fastigiate variety, which means it has an upright, pyramidal shape when young, wider as it matures. 
Height x spread: 15m x 7m

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Eucalyptus gunnii

Eucalyptus gunnii (cider gum) is a fast-growing evergreen tree that hails from Tasmania. It has grey-green, glaucous leaves, which have a strong menthol aroma when crushed, and attractive, peeling coppery bark. It can be coppiced or pollarded to keep it within bounds.
Height x spread: 20 x 10m

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Holm oak

Evergreen holm oak (Quercus ilex) – seen here on the far right of the picture – has small, holly-shaped leaves and a rounded, domed habit. It’s native to the Mediterranean but blends well with British natives and is often used as a screening tree. It also lends itself to topiary.
Height x spread: 12m x 8m

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More fast-growing trees to grow

  • Weeping willow
  • Poplar
  • Hazel
  • Alder
  • Paulownia