White-stemmed silver birch tree beside ferns and foxgloves

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.

Want more inspiration for trees to plant in your garden? Discover our pick of the best 20 trees for small gardens and 15 of our favourite ornamental trees.

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

Red berries and small leaves of mountain ash

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

Established silver birch in a wooden raised bed

Hornbeam

Hornbeam trees (Carpinus betulus) are British natives, 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

A row of pyramidal young hornbeam ‘Fastigiata’

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

Grey eucalyptus foliage set against a contrasting brown fence

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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A rounded evergreen holm oak in the corner of a modern sculpture garden

More fast-growing trees to grow