Evergreen Tree Growth Rate: How Quick Do They Grow?
If you aspire to soften hardscapes, add color to your landscape, and add privacy to the lawn, evergreen shrubs or trees, can make it happen. Trees present an excellent opportunity to tailor your home to your needs. However, the wait for them to mature can be frustrating.
When you visit a plant center or an online nursery intending to shop for evergreen plants, you will see the growth rate tag on them. It usually goes from slow to moderate and fast-growing.
The obvious choice that most of us opt for is the fast-growing ones. But, what’s stated by them is merely an average. So, how quickly do evergreens grow? The realistic evergreen tree growth rate depends on the watering, sun exposure, and soil condition.
Ideally, the best time to include evergreen plants in your garden is during the early fall or spring. Winters may be too cold for them, and summers very warm. If you have a lawn or garden that you wish to fill up as fast as possible, fast-growing evergreen plants are what you seek.
They can leave your landscape looking plush and green in only a year or two. But, selecting the right evergreen plants can be a daunting task. The choices are endless.
This guide will discuss three vital topics:
- How fast do evergreen trees grow?
- Top ten evergreen trees
- Tips to increase the evergreen tree’s growth
Now, let us get started and address them one by one.
Do Evergreen Trees Grow Quick?
We have arrived at the big question – how quickly do evergreens grow? Keep reading to find out.
As prevalent in the horticulture world, there is no definite answer to ‘how fast will an evergreen tree grow.’ But, you can understand the evergreen tree growth rate to distinguish a shrub or tree on its growing pace.
How fast do evergreen trees grow if they are slow-growing variants? Prevalently seen in foundation plantings, they have the brightest green color. Ideally, they grow lesser than a foot in a year and are defined by their globe shape, upright stature, and spreading nature.
Two of the iconic slow-growing evergreens are the Colorado blue spruce and dwarf Alberta spruce.
How quickly do evergreens grow if they have a medium-growth rate? The moderate growth rate is about 13 to 24 inches annually. Cedar or arborvitaes often referred to as shrubs, have a mid-growth rate.
These grow in uplands and swamps, and because of their tall appearance, people use them to maintain privacy on the lawn. In about five decades, these grow to a height of 50-feet.
How fast do evergreen trees grow if they are fast-growing? The evergreen tree growth rate in fast-growing plants is extremely high. Ideally, they thrive over 25-inches or more in a year. The eastern white pine, often labeled the Christmas tree, is a pine that has the fastest growth rate.
They reach 50-feet in two-and-a-half decades. These are the best inclusions if you can offer well-draining soil and vast open space.
List of Top 10 Evergreen Trees
Here is a list of the 10 best evergreen trees.
1. Italian Cypress
Italian Cypress is a visually appealing addition to your landscape. It is a columnar, tall tree that can grow to three feet annually. Once mature, they grow to about 40-60 feet. However, in contrast to the other evergreens, the Italian Cypress does not have an expansive base.
The plant’s spread is only four to five feet upon maturity. Hence, it is a good plant selection for people with smaller gardens. Most gardening enthusiasts adorn their entrances, while others use them to narrow the border between the houses.
It has a columnar shape that barely ever requires pruning. The plant has bluish-green foliage, which remains so across the year. It is a forgiving plant and can grow in all soil types. Italian Cypress grows best in warm temperate zones from USDA 7B through 11. It is also drought-resistant. So, it can survive for long periods without water.
2. Japanese Cedar
Japanese Cedar, the national tree of Japan, can grow well in USDA hardiness zone 5-9. How quickly do evergreens grow? Typically, most Japanese Cedar varieties grow to about a foot every year. Also, these plants can acquire a height of 50 feet, but there are also some like Black Dragon, which is its shorter variants.
These are suitable for adding privacy to the lawn. They tend to form a 10-12 feet screen. Japanese Cedar has a pyramidal, loose shape courtesy of its layered horizontal branching habit. In some variants, the needles develop an intense green color upon maturity.
3. Eastern White Pine
The Eastern White Pine grows well in USDA hardiness three through eight. Their visual appeal is high, and it is the state tree for Michigan and Maine.
These plants have had a significant role in American history. During colonial trees, the best trees were set apart by the king. These were utilized for making masts for the British ships. Its commercial value is still very high. They have a high growth rate of about three feet per year. Hence, they are suitable for spacious yards.
4. Leyland Cypress Evergreen Tree Growth Rate
It is one of the fastest-growing privacy trees that grow incredibly well in USDA hardiness zone six through 10. How fast do evergreen trees grow? They show a growth rate of about three to four feet in a year.
In only three years, the plant reaches 15 to 20 feet in height. Upon maturity, the plant is about 40 to 60 feet. Most people utilize this tree to form screens from the neighbor’s yards. Leyland Cypress is visually appealing, and its foliage is smooth and soft.
They are forgiving plants and can grow in all kinds of soil. Hence, you do not need much yard preparation to grow these plants.
5. Green Giant Arborvitae
It is a delight for many horticulture enthusiasts. These trees make for an excellent privacy screen, courtesy of their fast-growth rate of three to five feet per year. It is an evergreen plant, and so is green across the year. As they have a widespread, you must leave about eight to ten feet of space between two saplings.
What’s more? They are also one of the most affordable plants. A small Green Giant Arborvitae can cost you about $10. So, you do not have to dig a hole in your pocket to afford them. So, if you need a budget-friendly alternative to add privacy to your yard, Green Giant Arborvitae can be a good pick.
6. Norway Spruce
The Norway Spruce is a commonly seen plant across the United States. However, the plant is native to Europe. It is one of the most commonly found plants in the yards. They can conveniently elevate any landscape.
One of the best aspects of Norway Spruce is it is not picky when it comes to the soil. You can grow them in all soil types. Since the plant has thick branches, they work as excellent windbreakers.
How fast do evergreens grow (Norway Spruce)? These trees have a vast spread and grow about three feet per year.
7. Goldspire Ginkgo
Ginkgo biloba ‘Goldspire’ has a fan-shaped, beautiful green foliage. The leaves turn golden yellow with a dense columnar appearance during fall. So, if you need an affordable alternative to privacy screens, Ginkgo biloba ‘Goldspire’ can be your go-to option.
The plant grows well through four to nine USDA hardiness, and you can accommodate them conveniently in compact landscapes.
Upon maturity, the plant grows to 16-feet in height and has a spread of five to six feet. The plant seeks a well-drainage, moist soil for optimum performance. You can prune it every three to five years to maintain its visual appeal.
8. Red Maple
Red Maple is an American native plant that grows in USDA hardiness from four through nine. These plants have a growth rate of 12-24 inches in a year. After a decade, they grow to twenty to twenty-five feet with a fifteen to twenty feet spread.
Many even compare its foliage to a Canadian flag. Its foliage turns scarlet during the fall season. Hence, it is one of the best specimens for a tree with red leaves. These do not rot quickly and depict a beautiful contrast against the blue sky.
The plant is happiest in wet conditions and grows in acid or neutral soil types. It is a tolerant, drought-resistant, shallow-rooted plant. Choose to underplant the Red Maple for best growth.
9. Weeping Willow Evergreen Tree Growth Rate
You will find these plants on the banks of rivers and lakes. It has low branches that form spectacular canopies. So, if you like sitting in the shade, there is no better alternative than the Weeping Willow.
Typically, the plant grows at a rate of 1.2-2.4 meters in a year and grows to 15 meters upon maturity.
10. Silver Birch (Betula Pendula)
Last on the list is the Silver birch. It has silvery-white peeling bark, elegant sweeping branches, and triangular-shaped leaves. This distinctive, standout plant turns golden yellow in autumn, which can add a nice color to your yard.
Please watch out for catkins during autumn and spring. The plant grows well in acidic or sandy soils and can survive almost every growing condition. The plant acquires 40 cm height per year. Upon maturity, they grow to 15-20 meters.
Related: Evergreen Tree Lifespan
How To Make Evergreen Trees Grow Faster?
We know by now how quickly do evergreens grow? But, what if you wish to speed up the evergreen tree growth rate further. Is that possible? Before we get to that, you need to understand a few things:
- How fast do evergreen trees grow can significantly be affected by soil preparation. So, if your soil lacks nutrients or you happen to crowd multiple saplings together, your plants cannot thrive.
- If you repeatedly shift the plants, it gives them a root shock and kills them.
- Planting the evergreens too deep into the soil also puts it at a massive risk.
- Young evergreens are prone to drought damage and heat. So, avoid planting the plants during hot months.
Here are some tips to make evergreen trees grow faster.
- Offering the plant the nursery’s precise planting conditions can contribute to its growth.
- Pick only the trees adapted to your USDA growing zone.
- Pick evergreen trees of which you can accommodate even the mature size.
- Opt for trees that can tolerate the available sunlight options – partial shade spot, partial sun, or full sun.
- Plant your trees in well-draining soil. Add a potting mix to maintain the balance.
- Providing the evergreen plant with the necessary conditions can increase its growth rate.
- Planting the trees during the spring gives them a solid root system and helps them grow faster in the growing season. However, if you reside in an environment with dry weather and severe heat, you can wait until fall to plant the evergreens. During the fall season, the roots grow even faster than in spring. Choosing the right time to plant is vital for the evergreen tree growth rate.
- Once planted, sprinkle the fertilizer around the tree’s base. During April to early July months, use a 10-8-6, quick-release formulation. From July to October, throw in some fertilizer again. However, now, you will use a slow-release alternative as you do not want to push growth during the winter.
- Be careful with the fertilizer, and use as directed on the label.
- Water it as per the plant’s specific watering needs.
How Fast Do Evergreen Trees Grow – FAQs
Ques 1. What is the fastest-growing evergreen tree?
Ans. The Murray Cypress (Cupressocyparis x leylandii Murray) is one of the fastest-growing evergreen trees. It can grow up to about four feet in a year. Once mature, it reaches 30-40 feet and has a spread of 10-feet.
Ques 2. What is the easiest evergreen tree to grow?
Ans. Some of the easiest evergreen trees to grow are:
- Cupressus arizonica ‘aurea’
- Astelia chathamica
- Mahonia lomariifolia
- Fatsia japonica
- Elaeagnus x ebbingei ‘Gilt edge’
- Magnolia grandiflora
- Arbutus unedo
- Pittosporum tenuifolium
Ques 3. What is the fastest-growing evergreen tree for privacy?
Ans. Green Giant is one of the best evergreens for privacy. It has a fast growth rate. The tree can acquire three to four feet in height in a year. Green Giant grows the best in the humid southeast, unlike the Arborvitae.
Ques 4. What is the best evergreen for screening?
Ans. Hybrid poplar ranks on top of the list. The plant acquires a height of five feet in a year. The green giant arborvitae, Leyland cypress, and silver maples all come second as they grow about two feet every year.
Ques 5. What small tree grows the fastest? Name a few!
Ans. A few fast-growing evergreen trees include Lagerstroemia Speciose (native to Southern Asia), Bluepoint Juniper, Cassia Fistula / Indian Laburnum, Arizona Cypress, Pongamia, and Murray Cypress
Ques 6. Are Norway Spruce fast-growing?
Ans. Norway Spruce has a mid to fast pace. Its height goes from 13” to more than 24” every year.