11 Fast-Growing Shade Trees To Grow In New Jersey

Fast-growing shade trees are commonly grown in New Jersey for their essential role in protecting against future damage in the summer months caused by extreme temperatures. Generally, they quickly develop in medium to large sizes and branches covered in foliage, providing dense shade and shelter for wildlife.

In addition, some of these fast-growing trees also have worth-noting features, such as growing flowers and colorful shades of leaves. Furthermore, wood can be used as a valuable material for making various wooden products.

Considering these qualities, it is no doubt that people want to have these fast-growing shade trees in their New Jersey landscape. Interested? Let’s take a look at our list below.

1. Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)

Native to East Asia, Amur Maple is a deciduous fast-growing shade tree or large shrub with particular elongated leaves, making it unique among the species.

Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)
Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)

Like other maple trees, it is popular for its vibrant red foliage, offering a fall accent to the New Jersey landscape. Besides, you can enjoy the white flowers that beautifully bloom in spring.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Amur Maple Leafs

To grow Amur Maple, you must prepare specific growing requirements, including soil types, lighting levels, and watering frequency. This landscaping tree thrives in full sun and part shade on moderately moist soil with good drainage.

In addition, some tree experts suggest performing watering twice a week at the beginning of its establishment.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Amur Maple Key Fruit

2. Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Having a pyramidal shape makes this deciduous tree gives you shade and creates an exciting center point to the view in one go.

It grows up a single trunk, reaching up to 100 feet high with some arching branches full of small pinnate, hairy green leaves that will later turn golden yellow to orange when fall comes. Nonetheless, they will be gone entirely in winter.

 Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

If you wish to have a shade tree in a pretty short period, Dawn Redwood is your best pick. It has a fast growth rate, about 4 to 6 feet or 120-180 cm per year. You only need to ensure it receives proper growing conditions as favored.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Dawn Redwood

It is not fussy about the planting area since the tree can grow in well-drained or poorly drained soil as long as it is moist. This full sun’s lover also withstands wet and clay soils, making it easier to care for.

3. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

When talking about fast-growing shade trees in New Jersey, it is impossible not to include the Eastern White Pine tree or Pinus strobus. This native tree can grow a 50 to 80 feet tall straight trunk with 100 to 180 cm in diameter, a huge tree to cover the land from the sun.

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

The young tree has needle-like foliage that forms a pyramidal shape and turns into a conical crown that is a bit rounded to flatten with horizontal and ascending branches as it ages.

Furthermore, this medium-size conifer grows naturally in dry, rocky, and sandy soil types under full sun. Nonetheless, it performs best in moist, well-drained soil and cool, humid climates.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Eastern White Pine

Despite being a frost-hardy and moderately drought-tolerant, this fast-growing evergreen tree is intolerant to many pollutants, such as salts and sulfur dioxide.

4. Gray Birch (Betula populifolia)

There is a reason why Betula populifolia is popular as Gray Birch. This multi-stemmed tree features horizontal fissures on the gray to white bark. The branch bark is gray to black, while white lenticels are seen on the reddish-brown twigs, adding to the unique aspects of Gray Birch.

Gray Birch (Betula populifolia)
Gray Birch (Betula populifolia),(Image credit: cebe celine,keith bradley/Flickr)

Though it is among fast-growing trees, Betula populifolia is a short-lived native tree. It thrives in the wet to dry and poor soil. Furthermore, you can easily adjust its planting area since it loves full sun, partial shade, and shade.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Gray Birch

Additionally, Gray Birch offers many benefits for further processed into wooden objects, such as spools, toothpicks, and clothespins, thanks to its soft and weak texture.

5. Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

Green Ash is an ideal choice for fast-growing shade trees because of its upright, wide-spreading growth at maturity, and is able to reach 50-75 feet tall. The leaves unsightly grow thickly in a round shape.

Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

In addition, they will provide an amazing seasonal transition from green to yellow-reddish leaves in fall. Moreover, this fast-growing tree attracts birds and butterflies and becomes larval hosts.

Like some other trees, Green Ash stands well in dry, wet, and moist soil with a circumneutral pH. It favors full sun yet can also grow in partial shade and shade lighting conditions. If you want to propagate the seeds, pretreatment is necessary.

Paper Birch
Green Ash Flower

Perform moist warm stratification on the seeds for 60 days and then continue for 120 days at a temperature range of 34-40’C. They are usually commercially available at the nearest local nursery.

6. Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

Growing for approximately 2 feet per year, it is one of the fastest-growing oak trees often cultivated for its eye-catching crimson foliage atop branching stems. The attractive fall leaves form a broad crown around 3/4 of the tree above the ground.

For that reason, this oak cultivar is widely planted as street trees and to decorate yards.

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

Other than being an alluring shade tree, the woods are, in fact, incredibly beneficial as a material to produce some kinds of furniture, flooring, railroad cross-ties, and many more. Moreover, it is one of the most shade-tolerant oaks that copes well with the sun.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Northern Red Oak

It is not picky in terms of soil conditions since it thrives both in the dry to moist, well-drained soils – only that the type must be loamy sands with acidic pH. It is crucial because, in alkaline conditions, the hardy tree can develop chlorosis.

7. Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)

As fast as it grows, Paper Birch or Betula papyrifera has a short lifespan, only about 80 years. However, it does not make people less interested in growing Paper Birch.

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)
Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)

True to its name, it features white bark that peels off like paper. Initially, the branches covered with leaves form a pyramid but turn into a rounded crown as the tree matures. Additionally, its green leaves will turn yellow when autumn welcomes.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Paper Birch

Unlike Gray Birch, it favors cool, fertile, and moist soils to thrive because the conditions resemble its natural habitats. Nonetheless, the perennial tree tolerates sun, shade, and partial shade lighting levels, thus, allowing you to consider a wider optional area to plant.

Moreover, you must pay attention to the planting requirements since it is susceptible to some insects and diseases under unfavorable growing conditions.

8. Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)

Quercus palustris or Pin Oak can be an ultimate choice as shade trees. It is a strong pyramidal tree whose trunks grow straight with horizontal branches as it develops.

Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)

The leaves are green which will turn dark red when autumn comes and will last to the winter. Unlike other gnarled oak trees, Pin Oaks tend to gracefully grow slender.

Being one of the easiest and fastest-growing oaks, Quercus palustris does not need any specific requirements to grow. It can grow in partial shade and shade, yet is a sun-loving species.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Pin Oak Leafs

It also does great in moist, wet, poorly drained, acidic soil since Pin Oak is intolerant to alkaline pH. Because of this quality, you can grow in your waterlogged yard without worrying about root rot.

9. Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Populus tremuloides or Quaking Aspen is a fast-growing deciduous tree species where height can reach 98 feet tall. The medium-sized tree has a pyramidal growing habit with a rounded crown full of dazzling dark green leaves that will later turn golden yellow in the fall.

Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Considering its size and beauty, Quaking Aspen is widely planted as ornamental trees. This sun-loving tree best performs in fertile, humusy, moist but well-drained soils.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Quaking Aspen Leafs

Since it has a robust root system and can grow up to 20-50 feet tall, it is not recommended to plant this tree near the building because it can damage the building structure and polluter the roof tiles with fallen leaves.

10. Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Belonging to the Magnolia family, it is no doubt that Tulip Tree highlights stunning flowers which shapes resembling tulips and lilies. They have emerging pale yellow stamens and green-yellow petals with an orange outline in the middle of the blooms.

Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Not to mention its star-shaped deep green foliage that adorns the tree even more. With all these excellent features, it is safe to say that Tulip Tree is one of the most beautiful, fast-growing shade trees to grow in New Jersey.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Tulip Tree Yellow Flower
fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Tulip Tree Red Flower
fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Tulip Tree Flower

This showy tree loves to be soaked in the sun yet copes part shade and shade. It grows faster in deep, rich, moist, but well-drained soils. And for that reason, it does not tolerate drought conditions since it may affect its physiological system and somehow weaken the wood’s structure.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Tulio Tree Flowers

Furthermore, this perennial flowering tree is generally insect and disease-free; thus, it will not bother you with any complicated maintenance.

11. Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)

Salix babylonica or Weeping Willow is a deciduous tree that grows up to 40 feet high at its mature height. It has a graceful appearance because its weeping branches sweep off the ground, making it different from other fast-growing shade trees.

Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)

This large tree is also one of the earliest trees to grow leaves in the spring and the last leaves to fall in the autumn, creating a breathtaking view of your landscape.

Like most fast-growing shade trees in New Jersey, it prefers moist, clay soils, loam, or sand under full sun to thrive. It also needs occasional wet soils. In this case, watering is crucial.

fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Weeping Willow Tree
fast-growing shade trees new jersey
Weeping Willow Flower

Despite being a stunning tree, it is not recommended to grow Weeping Willow near your house because its roots can damage the structure of the building. Instead, you can plant them near ponds, streams, or riparian.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a fast-growing privacy tree in New Jersey?

Leyland Cypress is one of the most popular privacy trees for hedgerows and privacy borders since it grows 60-70 feet tall and 15-25 feet wide at its mature age. 

Why shade trees are important?

Shade trees can naturally protect the environment from hot temperatures. Also, local wildlife can take shelter in those trees. In addition, it also helps with erosion control and protects soil moisture from excessive evaporation during extreme heat. 

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