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Top 6 Fast-Growing Shade Trees

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In a hurry to provide shading for your home or an area of your yard? Then you need to plant one of the fast-growing shade trees. The resources listed below offer information on some of the best examples of fast-growing shade trees.

1. Sawtooth Oaks

You'll like the spreading canopy of sawtooth oaks, and you won't have to wait forever to enjoy it. These fast-growing shade trees also offer good fall foliage late in the season, as do many other types of oaks.

2. Autumn Blaze Maples

Like red maples, Autumn Blaze maples are known for their outstanding fall foliage. With a name like that, how could they not heat things up in the fall landscape? But they are also fast-growing shade trees, which is why they rank as one of the most prized landscaping specimens.

3. River Birches

These fast-growing trees bear yellow foliage in autumn and also have an attractive bark. River birches can be grown across a wider swath of zones in temperate regions than can paper birches, the latter being less heat-tolerant.

4. Leyland Cypress Trees

When leyland cypresses are used to cast shade, they are normally planted in rows to form a "living wall," since each individual tree is slender. Such a planting would double as a privacy screen. I grow one in my own yard but trim it so as to keep it in shrub-form.

5. Crepe Myrtle Trees

Some types of crape myrtles, such as the 'Natchez,' can fill the role of fast-growing shade trees for denizens of the South. Indeed, the plants are ubiquitous in parts of the Carolinas, for example, in the United States. However, in the northern reaches of their range, crepe myrtles are often treated as herbaceous perennials and take on the appearance of shrubs. That's how mine grows here in New England.

6. Tulip Trees

Named for the shape of their flowers, these behemoths need space in which to grow. Don't install one near a patio; this is the type of specimen that should grace a large lawn area, for example. Its fall foliage may be its best feature, since the flowers (on mature plants) tend to be so high up as to be hard to appreciate.

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