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10 of the Fastest Growing Shade Trees for Your Yard

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Northern Red Oak. This tree prefers soil that is moist, well-drained, and acidic. When possible, plant it somewhere it can get full sunlight. When in ideal locations, this tree can grow up to 75 feet tall, providing your home with plenty of shade.

Freeman Maple. This tree is very well known for its amazing fall colors. It grows best in zones 4-7, so just remember that. At its best, this tree will be around 80 feet high and nearly 50 feet wide. Not too shabby for a fast-growing tree.

Tulip Trees. Known for their flowers, this tree is anything but small and delicate. Tulip trees need a LOT of space to grow, so they’re not meant for a small yard. Avoid planting them near patios; it needs an open yard to be truly appreciated. You can definitely dine or hang out underneath it, though.

Leyland Cypress Tree. Something I like about this tree is that it can be used for shade or as a privacy fence. Many owners will use it for both. It grows best in zones 6-10, but it can also survive in zone 5 if you know what you’re doing.

Green Vase Zelkova. I love the shape of this tree. The way it arches up and out is mesmerizing. It can get up to 70 feet high and nearly 45 feet wide. Plant this tree in full sun, but it can survive in a variety of soils. The leaves are great colors, ranging from dark green to maroon. It’s also a pretty hardy tree, which is great.

Royal Empress. Once this tree gets full grown, you’ll know why it’s called a Royal Empress. The purple leaves are incredibly majestic, but they also provide some great shade. Make sure you want such a unique tree in your yard before you plant it.

River Birch. If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you that birch trees are my favorite. I just love their bark and the sound they make in the wind. River Birch is no exception, with great bark and fantastic foliage, especially in the fall. If you plant this, just keep it away from septic tanks.

Sawtooth Oak. This is one of many oak trees that are fast-growing and great for shade. In fact, most oak trees can be planted, but I like this one in particular. It grows fast, and it thrives best in zones 5-9.

Weeping Willow. You can’t talk about shade trees without mentioning the famous Weeping Willow. It can grow anywhere from 3 to 8 feet a year. Fantastic! While it grows best near water, some newer hybrids can thrive in other places as well.

American Sycamore. This gorgeous tree can grow up to 6 feet in one year. If you’re looking for a fast-growing tree to give you as much shade as possible, then this is the tree for you.

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