15 Fast Growing Trees In UK - Agrolearner.com
Fast Growing Trees In UK

15 Fast Growing Trees In UK

In the diverse landscapes of the United Kingdom, a multitude of fast-growing trees thrive, showcasing their remarkable growth rates and ecological benefits.

These trees, known for their vigorous growth and adaptability, contribute to the greening of urban areas, reforestation efforts, and sustainable timber production.

From ornamental beauties to valuable timber sources, the UK boasts a rich array of fast-growing tree species.

In this informative piece, we delve into the world of 15 fast-growing trees in the UK, exploring their unique features, growth rates, years to reach maturity, and the multitude of uses they offer.

Join us as we embark on a journey through the thriving greenery of the United Kingdom.

15 Fast Growing Trees In UK

There are several types of trees that you can find grown across the UK considering the fertile nature of the country. The trees grown in this country include fast-growing trees. The 15 list of fast-growing trees in the UK are:

  1. Silver Birch (Betula pendula)
  2. Common Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
  3. Willow (Salix spp.)
  4. Poplar (Populus spp.)
  5. Field Maple (Acer campestre)
  6. Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
  7. London Plane (Platanus x acerifolia)
  8. Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa)
  9. Common Lime (Tilia x europaea)
  10. Hybrid Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa ‘Rotundifolia’)
  11. Whitebeam (Sorbus aria)
  12. Grey Willow (Salix cinerea)
  13. Hazel (Corylus avellana)
  14. Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
  15. White Poplar (Populus alba)

#1. Silver Birch (Betula Pendula)

The Silver Birch is a graceful tree with distinctive silver-white bark and delicate leaves.

It has a moderate growth rate, reaching a height of 15-25 meters in around 20-30 years. Silver Birches are versatile and widely used in landscaping and garden designs due to their aesthetic appeal.

They also provide habitat for various wildlife and their wood is used for furniture, plywood, and veneer.

#2. Common Alder (Alnus Glutinosa)

The Common Alder is a fast-growing tree that thrives in wet and marshy areas. It can reach a height of 20-25 meters within 30-40 years.

Common Alders have attractive dark green foliage and produce cone-like catkins.

They are beneficial for stabilizing riverbanks, improving soil fertility, and supporting wildlife habitats.

The wood of Common Alder is used in construction, furniture-making, and as fuelwood.

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#3. Willow (Salix Spp.)

Willows are fast-growing deciduous trees or shrubs that come in various species, such as the White Willow (Salix alba) and Crack Willow (Salix fragilis).

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They have slender branches, narrow leaves, and catkins. Willows have an exceptional growth rate, often adding 1-2 meters in height per year.

They are commonly planted for erosion control, biofuel production, and windbreaks. Some species are also used in basket weaving and as ornamental trees.

#4. Poplar (Populus Spp.)

Poplars are rapid-growing trees with a wide range of species, including the Black Poplar (Populus nigra) and Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra ‘Italica’).

They have tall, upright forms, and their leaves are often heart-shaped. Poplars can grow up to 30 meters or more within 20-30 years.

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They are utilized for timber production, windbreaks, and as shade trees. The lightweight wood is used in construction, papermaking, and matchsticks.

#5. Field Maple (Acer Campestre)

The Field Maple is a small to medium-sized tree known for its attractive foliage, which turns vibrant shades of yellow and orange in autumn.

It has a moderate growth rate and reaches a height of 10-15 meters in approximately 20-30 years.

Field Maples are valued for their ornamental value in gardens and urban landscapes. Their wood is used in furniture-making, musical instruments, and turnery.

#6. Italian Cypress (Cupressus Sempervirens)

The Italian Cypress is an evergreen tree with a tall, slender columnar shape and dark green foliage.

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It has a relatively slow growth rate, but can still reach heights of 10-20 meters within 20-30 years.

Italian Cypresses are popular for their elegant appearance and are commonly planted as decorative trees in gardens and parks. They also serve as windbreaks and privacy screens.

#7. London Plane (Platanus X Acerifolia)

The London Plane tree is created through the hybridization of the Oriental Plane (Platanus orientalis) and the American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis).

It is a fast-growing tree with a broad, spreading crown and distinctive mottled bark. London Planes can reach heights of 25-30 meters within 30-40 years.

They are often planted in urban areas for their tolerance to pollution and provide shade along streets and in parks.

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#8. Sweet Chestnut (Castanea Sativa)

The Sweet Chestnut is a large deciduous tree known for its broad, spreading canopy and distinctive, deeply grooved bark.

It has a moderate growth rate, reaching heights of 20-30 meters within 40-50 years.

Sweet Chestnuts are valued for their nuts, which are edible and used in culinary preparations.

The wood is highly durable and used in construction, furniture-making, and fencing.

#9. Common Lime (Tilia X Europaea)

The Common Lime, also known as the European Linden, is a tall deciduous tree with heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers.

It has a moderate growth rate and can reach heights of 20-30 meters within 40-50 years.

Common Limes are planted for their shade, attractive foliage, and the honey produced from their flowers. The wood is used in carving, furniture-making, and musical instruments.

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#10. Hybrid Blackthorn (Prunus Spinosa ‘Rotundifolia’)

The Hybrid Blackthorn, also called the Round-leaved Blackthorn, is a fast-growing shrub or small tree with dense, thorny branches and white flowers in early spring.

It has a vigorous growth rate and can reach heights of 4-6 meters within 10-20 years.

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Hybrid Blackthorns are often used for hedging, providing wildlife habitat, and as a natural barrier.

#11. Whitebeam (Sorbus Aria)

The Whitebeam is a medium-sized tree with distinctive, silvery-gray leaves and clusters of white flowers in spring.

It has a moderate growth rate, reaching heights of 10-15 meters within 20-30 years.

Whitebeams are appreciated for their ornamental value in gardens and urban landscapes.

They also provide food for birds and their wood is used in crafts and turnery.

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#12. Grey Willow (Salix Cinerea)

The Grey Willow, also known as the Grey Sallow, is a fast-growing tree or shrub with slender, grayish-green leaves and catkins.

It has a rapid growth rate, often adding 1-2 meters in height per year. Grey Willows are planted for erosion control, stabilizing riverbanks, and as windbreaks.

They are also used in basket weaving and as a renewable source of bioenergy.

#13. Hazel (Corylus Avellana)

Hazel is a deciduous shrub or small tree known for its rounded leaves and edible nuts, commonly referred to as hazelnuts.

It has a moderate growth rate, reaching heights of 3-6 meters within 10-20 years.

Hazels are valuable for their wildlife value, providing nuts for various animals, and are often used in hedgerows and coppicing for sustainable wood production.

#14. Rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia)

The Rowan, also called the Mountain Ash, is a small to medium-sized tree with pinnate leaves and clusters of bright red berries in autumn.

It has a moderate growth rate and can reach heights of 6-12 meters within 20-30 years.

Rowans are planted for their ornamental value, attracting birds with their berries, and their wood is used in crafts and turnery.

#15. White Poplar (Populus Alba)

The White Poplar is a large deciduous tree with white, woolly undersides of the leaves, giving it a distinctive appearance.

It has a rapid growth rate and can reach heights of 15-25 meters within 20-30 years.

White Poplars are commonly planted as shade trees and for their attractive foliage. They are also used in windbreaks and erosion control.

Benefits of Fast-Growing Trees in the UK

  1. Rapid Shade and Screening: Fast-growing trees provide quick shade and privacy, making them ideal for creating comfortable outdoor spaces and screening unsightly views.
  2. Erosion Control: Fast-growing trees help stabilize soil on slopes, preventing erosion and reducing the risk of landslides.
  3. Carbon Sequestration: Rapidly growing trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, mitigating climate change by acting as carbon sinks.
  4. Wildlife Habitat: Fast-growing trees provide shelter, nesting sites, and food sources for a variety of birds, insects, and other wildlife.
  5. Timber Production: Some fast-growing tree species can be harvested for timber within a shorter time frame, contributing to the sustainable forestry industry.

Challenges of Planting Fast-Growing Trees in the UK:

  1. Invasive Species: Some fast-growing tree species can become invasive, outcompeting native vegetation and disrupting local ecosystems.
  2. Weak Wood Structure: Certain fast-growing trees may develop weak wood that is prone to breakage during storms or strong winds.
  3. Soil and Site Suitability: The suitability of soil type, drainage, and available sunlight should be considered to ensure optimal growth and survival of fast-growing trees.
  4. Maintenance Requirements: Fast-growing trees often require regular pruning and maintenance to control their size and shape and prevent overcrowding.
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Factors to Consider when Planting Fast-Growing Trees in the UK:

  1. Species Selection: Choose fast-growing tree species that are well-suited to the local climate, soil conditions, and intended purpose.
  2. Site Conditions: Assess the site’s soil quality, drainage, sunlight exposure, and available space to ensure the chosen tree species can thrive.
  3. Growth Rate and Mature Size: Consider the growth rate and mature size of the tree species to ensure it fits the available space and desired outcome.
  4. Environmental Impact: Assess the potential impact of fast-growing trees on local ecosystems, including their invasiveness and effect on native flora and fauna.

Importance of Planting Fast-Growing Trees in the UK:

  1. Environmental Benefits: Fast-growing trees contribute to climate change mitigation, air purification, and biodiversity conservation.
  2. Aesthetic Appeal: Fast-growing trees enhance the beauty and aesthetics of landscapes, parks, gardens, and urban areas.
  3. Economic Value: The timber industry benefits from fast-growing trees that can be harvested for wood products within a shorter time frame.

Best Practices of Planting Fast-Growing Trees in the UK:

  1. Proper Planting Techniques: Follow recommended planting guidelines, ensuring adequate soil preparation, correct planting depth, and proper watering.
  2. Regular Watering and Maintenance: Provide sufficient water during the establishment phase and maintain proper pruning and maintenance practices.
  3. Mulching: Apply mulch around the base of newly planted trees to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and provide insulation.
  4. Protection from Wildlife: Implement protective measures, such as tree guards or fences, to prevent damage from grazing animals or wildlife.

Is Fertilizer Important for Fast-Growing Trees?

Fast-growing trees benefit from adequate nutrition, and fertilizers can be beneficial in providing essential nutrients, especially in poor soil conditions.

However, the specific fertilizer requirements vary depending on the tree species, soil fertility, and local conditions.

Conducting a soil test can help determine if fertilization is necessary and the appropriate type and amount of fertilizer to use.

Is Fast-Growing Trees Profitable?

Fast-growing trees can be profitable in certain contexts. They offer opportunities for timber production, where trees can be harvested within a shorter time frame compared to slower-growing species.

However, profitability depends on various factors, including market demand, tree species, quality of timber, and efficient management practices.

Fast-growing trees can provide financial benefits in landscaping, horticulture, and environmental restoration projects.

Fast-Growing Trees for Screening

  1. Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii): This evergreen tree grows rapidly and forms a dense screen.
  2. Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja plicata ‘Green Giant’): A tall and fast-growing evergreen tree that provides excellent privacy screening.
  3. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus): A large evergreen tree that grows quickly and creates a thick privacy screen.
  4. American Holly (Ilex opaca): An evergreen tree with dense foliage that can be grown as a privacy screen.
  5. Bamboo (Phyllostachys spp.): Some bamboo species grow quickly and create a dense privacy screen.

Evergreen Fast-Growing Trees

  1. Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii)
  2. Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja plicata ‘Green Giant’)
  3. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
  4. American Holly (Ilex opaca)
  5. Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

Fastest Growing Trees

  1. Hybrid Poplar (Populus deltoides x Populus nigra)
  2. Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
  3. Royal Empress (Paulownia tomentosa)
  4. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.)
  5. Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra ‘Italica’)

Fast-Growing Trees for Firewood

  1. Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  2. Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
  3. White Willow (Salix alba)
  4. Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
  5. Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa)

The growth rate of Silver Birch Trees

Silver Birch (Betula pendula) typically grows at a rate of 30-60 centimeters per year under ideal conditions.

Trees That Grow Tall Fast

  1. Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
  2. Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
  3. London Plane (Platanus × acerifolia)
  4. White Poplar (Populus alba)
  5. Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra ‘Italica’)

Cheap Fast-Growing Privacy Trees

  1. Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii)
  2. Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)
  3. Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja plicata ‘Green Giant’)
  4. Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
  5. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

Fast-Growing Deciduous Trees

  1. Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
  2. River Birch (Betula nigra)
  3. Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
  4. Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
  5. Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)

Conclusion

The United Kingdom is home to a diverse selection of fast-growing trees that flourish in its varied landscapes. These trees play a vital role in enhancing urban environments, supporting reforestation efforts, and providing sustainable timber resources. With their rapid growth and numerous benefits, these fast-growing trees contribute to the overall beauty, ecological balance, and environmental well-being of the UK.

Author: David

David is a Kenyan farmer from the rural village of Nairobi. Growing up, he was surrounded by the beauty of the Kenyan countryside, which sparked his passion for farming. After completing his education, he decided to pursue a career in agriculture and has since dedicated his life to providing food for his local community. David is an experienced farmer and is experienced in a range of agricultural practices, including crop rotation, animal husbandry and soil management. He is passionate about promoting sustainable agriculture and is actively working to reduce food insecurity in his community.

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