Fast-growing trees

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A selection of fast-growing trees that develop quickly when young. With an annual growth ranging from 50cm (20in) to 1m (3ft), these deciduous or evergreen trees are very popular and make an impact in the garden within a few years. Often mentioned first, Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa and C. bignonioides) is one of the most appreciated trees for the beauty of its flowering and its large exotic leaves. The weeping willow (Salix babylonica) with its superb habit, grows 2m (7ft) in one year in moist to damp soil. The paper birch (Betula papyrifera) is also a deciduous tree in cold climates, which can reach up to 18 m (59ft) in 10-15 years. Its leaves turn golden in autumn, and its peeling white bark is decorative in winter. Among the poplars, there are also many fast-growing varieties, including the trembling poplar (Populus tremula), worthy of inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records for its vigorous growth, dimensions, and adaptability. Planted in the right place, it creates a festival of colour, movement, and sound. The large family of conifers also offers fast-growing species, especially the Monterey pine (Pinus insignis or radiata), which is very resistant to sea spray and grows more than 1.5 m (5ft) per year. It is a typical coastal species that shapes landscapes. Other deciduous trees, such as certain linden trees (Tilia cordata, T.platyphyllos) and certain maples (Acer rubrum, A.saccharinum) will already provide shade in the garden after 6-7 years of growth. For warmer southern regions, consider the Micocoulier (Celtis occidentalis), very understated and undemanding. And for climates that are not too cold, nothing beats the tall Eucalyptus, some of which can reach their adult size in just 10 years.

All these fast-growing trees fulfill one of the main wishes of gardeners, which is to quickly obtain a mature garden to fully enjoy. They also allow for quick privacy or shade.

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