7 Fast Growing Shade Trees For Small Yards

It’s a fact that in our dispensation, every neighborhood needs some trees and every garden needs a tree or more, and fast growing shade trees for small yards would be the real deal.

Trees take in carbon dioxide and provide humans with oxygen, cleaning and freshening the air around us. It’s equally a fact that they soften the sharp edges of buildings and lend curves to the straight lines that man has imposed on your view.

When it comes to the matter of growing trees with shades, having a small yard is not a limitation, as there are many fast-growing trees out there that can be grown in your gardens, and landscape, and also give your home an aesthetic appeal. These fast-growing trees include Saucer magnolia, sweet bay, paper birch, red maple, Sargent cherry, American redbud, etc.

Even though most trees take decades to reach maturity, fortunately, some others grow several feet per year, providing environmental benefits as well as economic value to our homes. These trees don’t need to stay for 10–20 years before forming a canopy.

7 Fast Growing Shade Trees For Small Yards

Without further discussions, below are the 7 fast growing shade trees for small yards:

  • Leyland Cypress Tree
  • Red maple Tree
  • Crepe myrtle Tree
  • Saucer Magnolia Tree
  • Flowering Dogwood Tree
  • American redbud tree Tree
  • Emerald Green Arborvitae Tree

1. Leyland Cypress Tree

Fast growing shade trees for small yards

Leyland cypress trees are usually tall and narrow and are often used to cast shade by being planted in rows to form a living wall. Their heights vary depending on where they were grown and how they are cared for.

These trees generally grow two feet or more a year and have an awesome columnar silhouette that makes them ideal as a dense, living wall when planted seven feet apart. Its foliage is soft to the touch and remains greenish throughout the year.

Leyland cypress trees are equally drought-tolerant, which means that they are established and adapt to wide varieties of soil, from clay to sandy.

2. Red Maple Tree

This tree has numerous types of names, ranging from scarlet maple to Carolina maple to water maple. Red maples are popularly found throughout eastern North America and other cold climates found in Canada.

When grown to maturity, red maples reach a height of 60–90 feet and can have a life span of more than 150 years.

Red maple is a shade-tolerant species with extensive climatic accommodation, as well as a variety of soil conditions. It grows well on wet, swamp-like soils and dry, mountainous soil. The red maple tree is pyramidal in shape with silvery bark and three-lobed leaves that turn bright yellow, orange, or red in fall.

3. Crepe Myrtle Tree

Crepe myrtle is a tall, attractive shrub that can stand in as a small tree. It blooms mid-to-late summer with long-lasting white, pink, red, or lavender blooms. It equally turns red, yellow, or orange in fall, especially its foliage.

Crepe myrtle grows an average of 20-40 feet tall with a decent small footprint. These trees require proper maintenance and pruning once they are grown since they are fairly drought and heat tolerant.

These trees could be found in the South and out West in the United States. Those who live in zone 6-10 in the United States can easily grow these trees.

4. Saucer Magnolia Tree

Saucer Magnolia grows up to 20-30 feet tall and 20 feet wide, while some others grow to 60-70 feet. They produce large pinkish-purple flowers in early spring and are most suitable in sheltered areas full of sun and moisture.

Aside from moist sheltered areas, Sauce magnolia can equally do well in acidic soil when planted.

5. Flowering Dogwood Tree

The flowering Dogwood tree popularly known for its Botanical name “Cornus Florida” is a beautiful, small shade tree with reddish flowers. They grow to 20-25 feet tall and 12-15 feet wide making them a perfect addition to your yard.

Dogwood flowers are unlike most flower shapes familiar to us. Its bracts are so beautiful and are surrounded with tiny little yellow flowers. This tree has a gorgeous canopy and shapes with delicate, lattice-like branches. Dogwood species can tolerate moist and well-draining soil but would prefer acidic soil.

6. American Redbud

The American Redbud or Eastern redbud is known for its heart-shaped leaves with dark pink and flowers that bud in early spring.

The tree grows medium to fast, with  1-2 feet of growth per year. At maturity, the American redbud is 20-30 feet tall and 25-35 feet wide. The redbud can adapt to any kind of soil, ranging from clay to Sandy soil. It mostly prefers partial shade to full sun anywhere it is grown in our homes.

The beautiful blooms on this tree draw songbirds and butterflies and provide nesting sites for different species of birds. In the description, the American redbud has heart-shaped foliage that changes in color from dark purple to yellow, awesome pink-purple flowers and a gorgeous and elegant shape.

7. Emerald Green ArbovitaeTree

This tree offers year-round color and interest and grows up to 10-15 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. The fast-growing tree grows 1-2 feet in the first few years and 6-9 inches per year simultaneously.

Arborvitae trees are considerable for growing in all kinds of landscapes or gardens. It guarantees privacy with its dense foliage and grows well in full sun. This tree adapts easily to different kinds of soil conditions, temperatures, and lighting.

This tree equally grows in a pyramid-like narrow shape and can be trimmed suitably for shaping. The size and tolerance of this tree make it much more considerable for succeeding in any garden.


Having read the article to the end, it becomes Paramount that you choose any of these fast-growing trees discussed above whenever you are considering planting shade trees. Although numerous species of trees may not be suitable for planting in your gardens or landscape, nevertheless, these trees that have been discussed so far are highly recommendable.


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