Top 15 Fast-Growing Flowering Trees for Instant Landscape Beauty

Fast-Growing Flowering Trees

Flowering trees are the crowning beauties of landscapes, everywhere turning out scenes of color and fragrance that make any yard a fair garden.

For those who are too impatient to enjoy these tree wonders without waiting several decades, look no further than fast-growing flowering trees.

These fast growers will give beauty, shade, and habitat for wildlife in a fraction of the time it takes for slower-growing species to reach maturity.

This blog post, will let you explore some of the fastest-growing flowering trees that are going to grow in varied climatic conditions or any type of landscape.

We will also discuss their growth rates, care requirements, and the best ways to incorporate them into your outdoor spaces.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a newcomer to landscaping, this post will help you select and nurture the perfect flowering trees to enhance your property quickly.

What Are Fast-Growing Trees?

Yoshino Cherry

Regarding landscaping and garden design, the allure of fast-growing trees is undeniable. But what exactly qualifies a tree as “fast-growing,” and why might you choose these species for your yard?

Definition of “fast-growing”

In the world of arboriculture, a tree is generally considered fast-growing if it adds 24 inches or more to its height in a single growing season.

Some exceptional species can grow even faster, adding 3 feet or more annually under ideal conditions. This rapid growth is in stark contrast to slow-growing trees, which might only add a few inches each year.

Fast-growing flowering trees can reach maturity in as little as 5-10 years, compared to decades for slower species. This means you can enjoy a full canopy of blossoms and the many benefits of mature trees much sooner after planting.

Benefits of fast-growing flowering trees

  1. Quick establishment of landscaping: Ideal for new construction or when you want to transform your yard rapidly.
  2. Faster shade provision: These trees can quickly create shaded areas, helping to cool your property and reduce energy costs.
  3. Rapid privacy screening: Fast-growing trees can quickly form natural barriers, offering privacy from neighbors or busy streets.
  4. Quicker soil stabilization: Their rapid root growth can help prevent erosion on slopes or in areas with loose soil.
  5. Earlier wildlife habitat: Birds and other wildlife can benefit sooner from the shelter and food sources these trees provide.
  6. Faster carbon sequestration: Rapid growth means these trees absorb and store carbon dioxide more quickly, contributing to climate change mitigation.

Potential drawbacks:

While fast-growing flowering trees offer numerous advantages, it’s important to be aware of potential drawbacks:

  1. Shorter lifespan: Many fast-growing trees have shorter lifespans compared to their slow-growing counterparts. They may live for 20-50 years rather than centuries.
  2. Weaker wood: The rapid growth can result in softer, more brittle wood, making these trees more susceptible to storm damage.
  3. Aggressive root systems: Some fast-growing trees have invasive root systems that can damage foundations, sidewalks, or underground utilities.
  4. Higher maintenance: Rapid growth often means more frequent pruning and maintenance to keep the tree healthy and shaped appropriately.
  5. Potential for invasiveness: Some fast-growing species can become invasive in certain ecosystems, outcompeting native plants.
  6. Messier habits: Certain fast-growing trees may drop more leaves, fruits, or branches, requiring more clean-up.

Despite these potential drawbacks, the benefits of fast-growing flowering trees often outweigh the challenges for many gardeners and homeowners.

The key is to choose the right species for your specific needs and environment and to be prepared for the care these trees require.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Fast-Growing Flowering Trees

Selecting the right fast-growing flowering tree for your landscape involves more than just picking the fastest grower or the prettiest blooms.

Several crucial factors should guide your decision to ensure the tree thrives in your specific environment and meets your landscaping goals.

Climate and Hardiness Zones

One of the most critical factors in tree selection is your local climate. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map divides North America into zones based on average annual minimum winter temperatures. This system helps gardeners determine which plants are most likely to thrive in their location.

When choosing a fast-growing flowering tree:

  • Identify your hardiness zone
  • Select trees rated for your zone or cooler (lower-numbered) zones
  • Consider microclimates within your property (e.g., sheltered areas, frost pockets)
  • Factor in climate change predictions for your region

Remember that some trees may be marginally hardy in your zone. These might require extra protection during harsh winters or exceptionally hot summers.

Soil Conditions

Soil type and quality significantly impact tree growth and health. Fast-growing trees often have specific soil preferences:

  • Soil pH: Some trees prefer acidic soil, while others thrive in alkaline conditions. Test your soil pH and choose trees accordingly.
  • Soil texture: Consider whether your soil is sandy, loamy, or clay-based. Each type affects drainage and nutrient availability differently.
  • Soil depth: Fast-growing trees often need deep soil for their extensive root systems.
  • Drainage: Many flowering trees are sensitive to waterlogged conditions. Ensure proper drainage or choose species tolerant of wet soils if necessary.

Space and Mature Size

Fast-growing trees can quickly outgrow their allotted space if not carefully planned. Consider:

  • Mature height and spread: Research the expected size of the tree at maturity and ensure you have adequate space.
  • Proximity to structures: Plant trees away from buildings, power lines, and underground utilities to prevent future conflicts.
  • Canopy shape: Some trees have a narrow, columnar form, while others spread wide. Choose a shape that complements your landscape design.
  • Root space: Fast-growing trees often have extensive root systems. Allow enough room for roots to spread without damaging pavements or foundations.

Maintenance Requirements

Fast-growing trees often require more attention than their slower-growing counterparts:

  • Pruning needs: Some species need regular pruning to maintain their shape and structure. Consider whether you’re willing to invest time in pruning or hire professionals.
  • Watering demands: Many fast-growing trees need consistent moisture, especially when young. Assess your ability to provide adequate water.
  • Fertilization: Some species benefit from regular fertilization to support their rapid growth. Factor in the cost and effort of fertilizing.
  • Clean-up: Trees with abundant flowers or fruit can create significant litter. Consider the time and effort required for seasonal clean-up.

Top Fast-Growing Flowering Trees for Different Regions

Different climates and regions support various species of fast-growing flowering trees. Here’s a selection of top choices for different parts of the world, categorized by their native or well-adapted regions.

North American Species

  1. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
    • Growth rate: 1-2 feet per year
    • Zones: 4-9
    • Features: Pink to purple flowers in early spring, heart-shaped leaves
  2. Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
    • Growth rate: 2-3 feet per year
    • Zones: 4-9
    • Features: Large, tulip-shaped yellow-green flowers, vibrant fall color
  3. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
    • Growth rate: 1-2 feet per year
    • Zones: 6-10
    • Features: Long-lasting summer blooms in various colors, attractive bark
  4. Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
    • Growth rate: 1-2 feet per year
    • Zones: 5-9
    • Features: Fragrant white flowers in summer, brilliant red fall foliage

European Varieties

  1. European Bird Cherry (Prunus padus)
    • Growth rate: 1-2 feet per year
    • Zones: 3-7
    • Features: Fragrant white flowers in spring, small black fruits
  2. Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
    • Growth rate: 1-2 feet per year
    • Zones: 4-8
    • Features: White flowers in spring, red berries, good for wildlife
  3. Rowan/Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia)
    • Growth rate: 1-2 feet per year
    • Zones: 3-6
    • Features: White flower clusters, bright red berries, attractive to birds

Asian Flowering Trees

  1. Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis)
    • Growth rate: 1-2 feet per year
    • Zones: 5-8
    • Features: Profuse pale pink to white blossoms in early spring
  2. Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
    • Growth rate: 1-2 feet per year
    • Zones: 5-8
    • Features: White or pink bracts in late spring, red fruit, attractive bark
  3. Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
    • Growth rate: 1-2 feet per year
    • Zones: 5-9
    • Features: Yellow flower panicles in summer, lantern-like seed pods

Tropical and Subtropical Options

  1. Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia)
  2. Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)
    • Growth rate: 3-4 feet per year
    • Zones: 9-11
    • Features: Lavender-blue flower clusters, fernlike foliage
  3. Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia x blakeana)
    • Growth rate: 2-3 feet per year
    • Zones: 9-11
    • Features: Large, orchid-like purplish-pink flowers, evergreen in warm climates
  4. Tibouchina (Tibouchina granulosa)
    • Growth rate: 2-3 feet per year
    • Zones: 10-11
    • Features: Vibrant purple flowers, velvety leaves

When selecting from these or other fast-growing flowering trees, always consider your specific microclimate and local growing conditions.

Some trees may perform differently depending on factors like soil type, sunlight exposure, and local weather patterns.

It’s also worth noting that growth rates can vary depending on care and environmental conditions. Proper planting, regular watering, appropriate fertilization, and good soil preparation can all contribute to achieving optimal growth rates.

Planting and Care Tips for Rapid Growth

To maximize the growth rate and ensure the health of your fast-growing flowering trees, proper planting and ongoing care are essential. Follow these guidelines to give your trees the best start and maintain their vigor over time.

Site Selection and Preparation

  1. Choose the right location:
    • Ensure adequate sunlight based on the tree’s requirements
    • Allow enough space for the tree’s mature size
    • Avoid areas with compacted soil or poor drainage
  2. Prepare the soil:
    • Test soil pH and amend if necessary
    • Incorporate organic matter to improve soil structure and fertility
    • Break up compacted soil to encourage root growth
  3. Clear the area:
    • Remove grass and weeds in a 3-4 foot diameter around the planting site
    • This reduces competition for nutrients and water

Planting Techniques

  1. Timing:
  2. Digging the hole:
    • Make the hole 2-3 times wider than the root ball
    • Keep the depth equal to or slightly less than the height of the root ball
  3. Placing the tree:
    • Remove any containers, burlap, or wire baskets
    • Position the tree so the root flare is slightly above ground level
    • Backfill with native soil, avoiding amendments in the planting hole
  4. Watering and mulching:

Watering and Fertilization

  1. Watering:
    • Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged for the first growing season
    • Water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth
    • Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses for efficient watering
  2. Fertilization:
    • Hold off on fertilizing for the first year after planting
    • Thereafter, apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring
    • Follow package instructions for application rates
    • Consider organic options like compost tea for a more natural approach

Pruning and Training

  1. Structural pruning:
    • Begin training young trees to develop a strong structure
    • Remove crossing or rubbing branches
    • Maintain a central leader for trees that naturally have this form
  2. Maintenance pruning:
    • Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins
    • Remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches
    • Thin out dense areas to improve air circulation
  3. Flowering considerations:
    • For spring-flowering trees, prune after blooming to avoid removing flower buds
    • Summer-flowering trees can typically be pruned in late winter or early spring

Additional Care Tips

  1. Protect young trees:
    • Use tree guards to prevent damage from lawn equipment or animals
    • Stake only if necessary, and remove stakes after one growing season
  2. Monitor for pests and diseases:
    • Regularly inspect trees for signs of problems
    • Address issues promptly to prevent them from spreading or worsening
  3. Soil management:
    • Maintain a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree
    • Avoid piling mulch against the trunk (no “mulch volcanoes”)
    • Replenish mulch annually
  4. Winter care:
    • Protect sensitive species from winter damage with burlap wraps or anti-desiccant sprays
    • Avoid heavy pruning in late summer or fall, which can stimulate growth vulnerable to winter damage
  5. Drought management:
    • During dry spells, water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth
    • Consider using drought-tolerant species in areas prone to water scarcity

Designing with Fast-Growing Flowering Trees

Incorporating fast-growing flowering trees into your landscape design can quickly transform your outdoor space, providing beauty, structure, and functionality. Here are some strategies for using these trees effectively in your garden or yard.

Creating Focal Points

  1. Specimen trees:
    • Use a single, striking fast-growing flowering tree as a centerpiece in your garden
    • Choose trees with multiple seasons of interest, like the Kousa Dogwood or Crape Myrtle
    • Place the tree where it can be appreciated from key viewing points, such as windows or seating areas
  2. Framing views:
    • Plant pairs of fast-growing flowering trees to frame an attractive view or entrance
    • Use symmetrical plantings for a formal look, or asymmetrical for a more natural feel
  3. Accent planting:
    • Use trees with colorful or unusual flowers to add pops of color to your landscape
    • Consider the tree’s bloom time and color when planning your overall garden palette

Privacy Screens and Windbreaks

  1. Living fences:
    • Plant a row of fast-growing flowering trees to create a natural boundary
    • Choose trees with dense foliage for better screening, like the Yoshino Cherry or Magnolia varieties
  2. Layered screening:
    • Combine trees of different heights and growth habits for a more natural look
    • Incorporate evergreen species for year-round privacy
  3. Windbreaks:
    • Use fast-growing flowering trees to shield your property from prevailing winds
    • Plant in a staggered double row for maximum effectiveness

Pairing with Other Plants

  1. Underplanting:
    • Use shade-tolerant perennials or groundcovers beneath flowering trees
    • Consider spring bulbs that will bloom with or just before the tree’s flowers
  2. Companion planting:
    • Pair trees with shrubs and perennials that complement their bloom time and color
    • Create a layered look with plants of varying heights and textures
  3. Seasonal interest:
    • Combine trees with different blooming periods to extend the flowering season in your garden
    • Include plants with attractive foliage or bark for interest when the trees are not in bloom

Design Considerations

  1. Scale and proportion:
    • Consider the mature size of the tree in relation to your house and garden
    • Use larger trees in expansive areas and smaller varieties in confined spaces
  2. Color harmony:
    • Choose tree flowers that complement your home’s exterior color
    • Create a cohesive look by repeating flower colors throughout the landscape
  3. Texture and form:
    • Mix trees with different leaf shapes and sizes for visual interest
    • Combine trees with varying growth habits (e.g., upright, weeping, spreading) for a dynamic landscape
  4. Functionality:
    • Plant deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home for summer shade and winter sun
    • Use flowering trees to divide your yard into distinct “rooms” or areas
  5. Native integration:
    • Incorporate native fast-growing flowering trees to support local ecosystems
    • Blend native and non-native species for a diverse, resilient landscape

Practical Tips for Implementation

  1. Plan for growth:
    • Space trees according to their mature size, even if it looks sparse initially
    • Consider temporary plantings or fast-growing annuals to fill spaces while trees mature
  2. Visualize the future:
    • Use landscaping software or sketches to plan how your design will look as trees grow
    • Consider how the trees will affect views and sunlight in different seasons
  3. Phased planting:
    • If budget or time is a constraint, plant your fast-growing flowering trees in phases
    • Start with key specimen trees or privacy plantings, then add accent trees over time
  4. Maintenance planning:
    • Design with maintenance in mind, allowing space for pruning and care
    • Group trees with similar water and care requirements for easier maintenance

Common Problems and Solutions

While fast-growing flowering trees can quickly enhance your landscape, they may also face certain challenges. Being aware of these potential issues and knowing how to address them can help ensure the health and longevity of your trees.

Pests and Diseases

  1. Common pests:
    • Aphids: Spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil
    • Borers: Maintain tree health to prevent infestation; use appropriate insecticides if necessary
    • Scale insects: Prune affected areas; apply horticultural oil
  2. Fungal diseases:
    • Powdery mildew: Improve air circulation; apply fungicides if severe
    • Leaf spot: Remove affected leaves; avoid overhead watering
    • Root rot: Improve drainage; avoid overwatering
  3. Bacterial diseases:
    • Fire blight: Prune out infected branches; use copper-based sprays preventatively
    • Bacterial leaf scorch: No cure available; manage symptoms and replace susceptible trees

Prevention and management:

  • Choose disease-resistant varieties when possible
  • Maintain proper tree health through appropriate watering, fertilization, and pruning
  • Monitor trees regularly for early signs of problems
  • Practice good garden hygiene, including cleaning up fallen leaves and pruning debris

Structural Issues

  1. Weak branch unions:
    • Prune to promote strong branch structure when the tree is young
    • Consider cabling or bracing for mature trees with weak unions
  2. Storm damage:
    • Remove damaged branches promptly to prevent further injury
    • Provide extra support for leaning trees if necessary
  3. Rapid growth-related problems:
    • Thin out dense canopies to reduce wind resistance
    • Prune to maintain a strong central leader in trees that naturally have this form
  4. Surface roots:
    • Avoid planting trees with aggressive root systems near pavements or foundations
    • Use root barriers when necessary
  5. Preventing structural issues:
    • Choose species suited to your climate and site conditions
    • Practice proper pruning techniques from an early age
    • Avoid topping trees, which can lead to weak regrowth

Invasive Potential

Some fast-growing flowering trees can become invasive in certain ecosystems. To mitigate this risk:

  1. Research before planting:
    • Check local invasive species lists
    • Consult with local extension offices or native plant societies
  2. Choose sterile cultivars:
    • Some cultivars have been developed to produce fewer or no viable seeds
  3. Manage seed dispersal:
    • Remove seed pods before they mature if possible
    • Monitor for and remove seedlings in unwanted areas
  4. Consider native alternatives:
    • Many native species offer similar benefits without the risk of becoming invasive
  5. Containment strategies:
    • Use root barriers to prevent spreading through root suckers
    • Regularly prune to control size and seed production

Other Common Issues

  1. Nutrient deficiencies:
    • Yellowing leaves (chlorosis) often indicate iron or nitrogen deficiency
    • Conduct soil tests and amend soil or fertilize as needed
  2. Transplant shock:
    • Minimize root disturbance during planting
    • Provide consistent moisture for the first growing season
  3. Winter damage:
    • Choose trees hardy for your zone
    • Protect sensitive species with burlap wraps or anti-desiccant sprays
  4. Drought stress:
    • Water deeply during dry spells
    • Apply mulch to retain soil moisture
  5. Sunscald:
    • Wrap young trees or those with thin bark to protect from winter sun damage
    • Gradually expose trees grown in shade to more sunlight

When facing any of these issues, it’s important to accurately identify the problem before taking action. If you’re unsure, consult with a local arborist or extension service for guidance. Many problems can be prevented or minimized through proper tree selection, planting, and care practices.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

As we become increasingly aware of our impact on the environment, it’s important to consider the ecological role of fast-growing flowering trees in our landscapes. These trees can offer significant environmental benefits, but their selection and management should be approached thoughtfully to maximize positive impacts and minimize potential drawbacks.

Native vs. Non-Native Species

1. Benefits of native species:
– Adapted to local climate and soil conditions
– Support native wildlife and insects
– Generally require less water and maintenance once established

2. Considerations for non-native species:
– May offer unique ornamental qualities
– Can sometimes fill ecological niches where native species are lacking
– Risk of becoming invasive in some ecosystems

3. Balancing approach:
– Prioritize native species when possible
– If using non-native species, choose those with low invasive potential
– Create diverse landscapes that include both native and well-adapted non-native species

Supporting Pollinators and Wildlife

Fast-growing flowering trees can play a crucial role in supporting local ecosystems:

1. Pollinator support:
– Choose trees with flowers attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators
– Plant a variety of species that bloom at different times to provide season-long resources

2. Bird habitat:
– Trees with dense foliage offer nesting sites
– Species that produce berries or seeds provide food sources

3. Insect biodiversity:
– Native trees support a wider variety of insect species
– Increased insect diversity supports birds and other wildlife

4. Creating wildlife corridors:
– Use fast-growing trees to quickly establish connections between habitat areas
– Combine trees with shrubs and perennials for multi-layered habitat

Carbon Sequestration Benefits

Fast-growing trees can be particularly effective at sequestering carbon:

1. Rapid carbon uptake:
– Fast-growing trees absorb carbon dioxide more quickly during their growth phase
– This can help mitigate climate change impacts in urban and suburban areas

2. Long-term storage:
– While fast-growing trees may have shorter lifespans, they can still store significant amounts of carbon over their lifetime
– Proper tree care can extend their lifespan and carbon storage capacity

3. Urban heat island mitigation:
– Fast-growing shade trees can quickly reduce urban temperatures
– This indirect effect can lower energy use and associated carbon emissions

Sustainability Considerations

To maximize the environmental benefits of fast-growing flowering trees:

1. Water conservation:
– Choose drought-tolerant species when possible
– Implement efficient irrigation systems
– Use mulch to retain soil moisture

2. Reduced chemical use:
– Select disease-resistant varieties to minimize the need for pesticides
– Use integrated pest management (IPM) techniques
– Opt for organic fertilizers and compost over synthetic options

3. Soil health:
– Improve soil quality through organic matter addition
– Avoid soil compaction during planting and maintenance
– Allow leaf litter to decompose naturally when possible

4. Energy conservation:
– Strategically plant deciduous trees to shade buildings in summer and allow sun in winter
– Use trees as windbreaks to reduce heating and cooling needs

5. Lifecycle considerations:
– Plan for the entire lifecycle of the tree, including eventual removal and replacement
– Consider using wood from removed trees for mulch or other purposes to extend carbon storage

6. Biodiversity promotion:
– Plant a diverse range of species to increase resilience against pests and diseases
– Include trees that flower at different times to provide year-round ecological benefits


The reason they are fast-growing, flowering trees is that it provides us the ability to change landscapes in a short amount of time and from an environmental standpoint too.

And when you know what they need to grow, where they might struggle, and the place they take in their local community, then you can make educated decisions that benefit your land and other habitats.

These versatile trees – in those rare cases where a crape myrtle works in your landscape – can be valuable additions, offering beauty, shade, privacy or environmental benefits as long as you choose and care for them thoughtfully.

This concludes our comprehensive guide to fast-growing flowering trees. Is there any part of the blog post you’d like me to expand on or clarify?

Reference Links

  1. USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  2. Arbor Day Foundation – Tree Wizard
  3. Native Plant Finder by National Wildlife Federation

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