A fast growing peach tree for fast fruit and fast privacy.
Fastest Growing Trees
Sometimes in the garden you just need something that will grow fast and give you the result you want quickly, be it a screen for privacy, a wind-break or just something to soften that big blank expanse of grass. So it is great to know that there are plants available that will grow really fast and give you that ‘instant’ garden. Plant breeders have often worked hard to produce special plants that have the maximum possible growth and these plants are available when speed is your priority.
Why You Need Fast-Growing Trees
Perhaps you just moved into a new property. Your new house is perfect, but when you look out the windows you see your neighbours eating breakfast. You might have a busy road right beside you. Perhaps you see power lines and pylons, or a factory in the distance. Maybe you are the kind of person who just likes their privacy or you know that a garden that is enclosed looks better than one that just fades away into the distance. In all these situations you need a screen and plants make a much more effective and cheaper than even a wooden fence. Depending on where you live, simple privacy fencing can easily cost $25 a linear foot even if you install it yourself. Compare that to planting a hedge of 3 foot Thuja Green Giant spaced 4 feet apart for only $10 a linear foot. Those plants have the potential to reach 15 feet tall, making an extraordinary screen, in 4 years – just when that 6 foot fence is starting to look old and unsightly. From there they will just get healthier, denser, taller and more beautiful.
On larger properties there may be serious issues with exposure to winds and winter storms that make planting a garden with interesting plants extremely difficult. A tall wind-break to the side of your property where the worst weather comes from – often north but local conditions can vary – will create an oasis of calm and allow a much wider variety of plants to flourish. The sooner that wind-break is established, the sooner the rest of the garden can be developed, so choosing something fast-growing is vital.
A Tree Choice Checklist
When looking at the Tree Center site to make your choices, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Here is the key information you need to choose the best fast-growing tree for your needs.
– What hardiness zone do I live in?– What is my soil like – clay and often wet, average, or dry and sandy?– Do I need an evergreen tree or will a tree that loses its leaves in winter work too?– How long is the space I need to fill, and how much width do I have available?– How easily can I water my hedge?– How much clipping do I want to do?– Do I need the quickest screen available, or can I wait a couple of extra years and so have more choices?
Which Are The Fastest Growing Trees?
Plant breeders have made great bounds in developing fast growing trees. Most of them are the result of crossing two different, but related, species. The offspring are often much more vigorous than their parents, something breeders call Hybrid Vigor. The most dramatic example of this is the Willow Hybrid, probably the fastest tree on roots, growing an amazing 10 feet a year. That’s right, 10 feet of growth in a single year and that is not just one thin shoot but the whole plant. In 4 years you will have at least a 30 foot tall screen. Of course it can be trimmed to whatever height you actually need, but you will hardly have planted these trees and your screen will be done. It does lose its leaves in the winter, but the dense twig growth still makes a good wind-break.
Thuja Green Giant is another hybrid rapid grower, very suitable where you need all-year-round privacy, as it does not lose its leaves in the winter. This tough tree can grow 4 feet in a year and it makes an extremely durable hedge that can be trimmed to any height and will always be beautiful. It will also grow well in partial shade, which is another bonus feature to this fabulous plant, which was bred specially for America at the famous National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
It can be common in housing developments to be uncomfortably close to your neighbours and to only have a narrow space to plant into. The Italian Cypress is an excellent choice for a narrow hedge in warmer areas. This plant is rapid growing and thrives in hot, dry locations. It reaches 40 feet tall and yet is only 4 to 5 feet wide – without any clipping. So you can have a beautiful screen without even needing to buy a hedge trimmer!
If a broad-leaf evergreen is more what you are looking for, consider the Nellie Stevens Holly. It may be a little slow the first year, but after that 3 feet a year is normal and this is a pest-free plant that always looks fantastic. Like the Thuja, it too is happy in some shade.
For a smaller hedge in dramatic colors, consider the Tri Color Willow, which after the first year will easily grow 2 to 3 feet a year. With its dramatic green, red and white foliage, best in spring and early summer, this plant will turn into a 10 foot hedge in 4 or 5 years and can be easily trimmed to a lower height. For a completely different look, very effective screens can be made with some of the ornamental bamboos. Consider for example, Golden Bamboo, which is hardy all the way into zone 6. This beautiful plant will grow rapidly to 30 feet or more, taking just a few years to achieve at least 20 feet in height. It makes a dense evergreen screen that needs no trimming. It is best positioned by a lawn, where mowing will naturally control its tendency to grow wider.
How to Get the Quickest Growth From Fast Growing Trees
If you are planting fast growing trees you probably want them to grow as fast as possible. The simple work to achieve this result starts at planting time. For a hedge it is always best to dig a trench, rather than individual holes, so that the roots of the plants have softer soil to spread quickly into. Add plenty of organic material such as compost to the soil you remove from the trench. If you don’t have compost, rotted manure is excellent and rotted leaves work well too. Peat moss is also an excellent, weed-free source or organic material that encourages the development of new roots. Add some superphosphate or granular hedge-food to the soil as well.
The night before you plant your hedge, soak the plants in their pots well. Your trench does not need to be much deeper than the pots, but it should be twice as wide, or even three times as wide if your soil is very poor. Remove the plants from their pots and space the plants out evenly in the trench. Replace most of the soil and firm it down well around the root-balls. Now flood the trench with water and wait for it to completely drain away. All that is left to do is to replace the rest of the soil and firm it down gently.
Make sure you keep your young plants well watered. A trickle-hose threaded among the trunks of your plants is a great way to supply water. Just turn it on for a few hours once a week, or twice a week if you have planted during the middle of summer. Never let the soil beneath your hedge dry out completely. The best approach while the hedge is young is to soak the ground thoroughly once a week from spring to early fall.
For the quickest initial growth, use a liquid or water-soluble hedge fertilizer diluted according to the directions. Apply this every two to four weeks for the first complete growing season. If you planted after early spring, use it the following year too. From then on, use a slow-release hedge fertilizer annually, which is sprinkled over the root area in early spring shortly before the new growth begins.
Clipping is the only job you will need to do regularly with most Fast Growing Trees to keep them to the size you want. Most can be trimmed at any time, but early fall is best for most evergreens and early spring for deciduous trees. Because they grow so fast they may also need clipping during summer or early fall. Don’t trim evergreens during the coldest parts of the winter. Remember that the more you clip, the denser your screen will grow. Don’t clip the sides of bamboos, but the tops can be clipped. Start clipping when the screen is young – don’t wait till it reaches its final size or you will have to cut back into thick wood which in some cases may not send out new shoots. When making a hedge, always keep the top narrower than the bottom, so that the sun can reach right down and keep your Fast Growing Trees green and lush right to the ground. Never let the top get wider than the bottom.
The Tree Center has a wide range of Fast Growing Trees available to suit all needs, be it is hardiness, shade, drought or just simply that you need the fastest growing tree available.