As the temperatures cool, most trees will change colors and lose their foliage. But there is one exception – the evergreen. These celebrated trees are the centerpieces of the winter holidays and have been revered for millennia for their ability to maintain their vibrant green hues year-round.
Ancient Egyptian, Roman, Celtic, and Scandinavian cultures incorporated the evergreen tree into religious rituals centering around the winter solstice. Germany began the tradition of decoration the evergreen to celebrate the Christian holiday of Christmas around the time of the European Reformation.
In the 1800’s, the Christmas tree’s popularity had made its way to American society where it has been a seasonal centerpiece ever since.
In general, evergreens are not known for their speedy growth, but there are some variations that do grow more quickly than others. Some can even add 3 to 5 feet to their height each year. When searching for the best evergreen that will grow at a faster pace, consider some of these species.
Earlier, we went through the most popular fast growing trees that offer shades, this time let’s see our list of fast growing evergreens!
Green Giant Arborvitae make an elegant addition to hedge landscaping or as a stately tree. It can be trimmed down to function as shrubbery, a privacy hedge, or can grow up to 15 feet tall, maintaining a lovely pyramidal shape. Keep young arborvitae in containers until they are mature enough to transplant.
They are a hardy variety whose foliage can reach out to 4 feet wide. This evergreen thrives in zones 4 – 8.
Arizona Cypress is an especially hardy type of evergreen. Native to the dry and arid climate of the southwestern U.S., it can tolerate extreme heat and drought.
The Arizona Cypress can be trimmed as a hedge or shrub or grow into a tall pyramidal evergreen reaching up to 20 feet. It is characterized by the unique gray-green hue of its needles. Consider this variation in low-water landscapes. The Arizona Cypress thrives in zones 7-9
Italian Cypress is a stately evergreen with dense foliage that maintains an upright shape even without pruning. In addition to its elegant appearance, it is a sturdy evergreen capable of withstanding strong winds.
The Italian Cypress is a popular variety for ocean-side landscapes that are subject to strong ocean breezes and can reach a stately 25 feet in height. This variety thrives in zones 7-10.
Japanese Cedar evergreens are the national tree of Japan. This mammoth variety can reach 50 feet tall, but shorter varieties are available, as well. The loose, lush foliage grows outward in tiers giving it a wide, pyramidal shape.
The more mature the Japanese Cedar becomes, the darker the needles appear, displaying green-black hues. This evergreen grows well is zones 5 – 9.
The Black Dragon is a miniature version of the towering Japanese Cedar. It grows between 10-12 feet tall, as opposed to 50 feet like the Japanese Cedar, it features dense foliage and thrives in zones 5 – 9.
Leyland Cypress evergreens are popular landscape additions for mild climates. Featuring lush foliage and deep green hues, the Leyland can grow up to 60 feet tall and maintains a stately pyramidal shape. They can be pruned to shorter heights if desired, as well.
Leyland Cypress trees thrive in zones 4 – 9.
The Norway Spruce is an evergreen native to parts of Northern and European Europe where it is referred to as Mountain Spruce. It requires full sun, 25 inches of water per year, and a is a remarkably sturdy variation considering its quick growth rate. It can reach up to 50 feet in height and 25 feet in width.
The Norway Spruce is characterized by lush, loose foliage, dark green hues, and large cones hanging down from the edges of its branches. The Norway Spruce thrives in zones 2-7.
The Canadian Hemlock is not the fastest growing of all the evergreen varieties, but it does add an average of two feet of height per year and reaches maturation between 50-70 feet tall.
Its roots do not spread out very far and are unlikely to interfere with underground pipes or nearby sidewalks, making them a popular choice for homeowners with smaller lots. The Canadian Hemlock has a classic pyramidal evergreen shape and its branches grow straight out and display loose, lacy foliage. It thrives in zones 3 – 7.
While it is tempting to just find the fastest growing tree to get in the ground, remember that the longer maturation time a tree has, the more secure its roots are.
For areas subject to frequent strong winds or storms, consider a variation of the Italian Cypress, Norway Spruce or an evergreen with similar sturdiness. No matter how quickly a tree grows, or how attractive it is, if it is uprooted a couple of seasons later, its planting will have been in vain.
Consider where the evergreen will be planted and what its function will be, such as privacy, hedge shrubbery, or just ornamentation. These factors will determine which is the best fast-growing evergreen to plant in the spring.