8 Fast Growing Trees to Plant in Texas Yards (Includes Shade)

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Home » Texas » 8 Fast Growing Trees to Plant in Texas Yards (Includes Shade)

There are many fast growing trees in Texas and below we highlight some of our favorites.

Lots of people are hesitant to plant trees for their landscaping or garden because fully grown trees are really expensive but also many trees take a long time to reach their mature height from a sapling.

While it’s always a great idea to work with the trees that are already growing on or around your yard, you may want to plant a new tree to fill a space or start growing fruits!

Thankfully, there are several trees that reach their mature height really fast and can grow in many parts of Texas. Among the different climates in Texas, which includes USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10, there’s a large variety of trees that can be grown.

Keep reading to find out about eight of the fastest growing trees in Texas! (Includes Shade & Fruit)

8 Fast Growing Trees For Your Yard in Tx

1. Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) – Shade Tree

Green Ash
Image by USDA NRCS Montana via Flickr

Green Ash trees are native to North America so they grow really well all over the country and are a classic landscaping tree. They start off with a pyramidal shape, but as they grow taller they grow straight up and form a rounded crown.

Green Ash grows best in moist soil and can often be found along floodplains or coastal plains- so they’ll grow well in eastern TX and along the coast.

These trees are very tough and have a high resistance to pests or diseases. They’re also super adaptable and can grow in a variety of conditions and soil types.

Green Ash are deciduous trees with green foliage in the spring and summer which turns bright yellow in the fall. In the spring they’re dotted with small purple flowers that lead to fruits, which often attract wildlife.

  • Other Common Names: Red Ash, American Ash, Canadian Ash, White Ash
  • Growing Zones: 3-9
  • Average Size at Maturity: 50-70 ft tall by 35-50 ft wide
  • Season: Spring, March to April
  • Growth Rate: 6-10 ft per year*

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

2. Desert Willow Tree (Chilopsis linearis ‘Bubba’) – Shade Tree

Desert Willow
Image by Tracie Hall via Flickr

Along with growing quickly, Desert Willows are Texas natives and they also have beautiful pink flowers. They begin flowering from an early age and will quickly reach their mature height with a full crown of flowers.

The flowers on Desert Willows are white and pale pink, sometimes light purple. They’re trumpet shaped and bloom in large clusters at the tips of the branches, releasing a sweet fragrance and attracting plenty of hummingbirds and bumblebees!

The flowers stay on the tree through the summer and up to the first frost. You can water the tree during the summer for stronger blooms but these trees are highly drought tolerant and don’t need to be watered frequently.

Desert Willows also work well for erosion control since they can establish strong roots in almost any soil conditions.

These trees don’t grow super tall but will reach 30 feet pretty quickly, providing lots of shade.

  • Other Common Names: Flowering Willow, Willowleaf Catalpa, Desert Catalpa, Flor de Mimbre, Mimbre, Bow Willow, Jano, False Willow
  • Growing Zones: 6-11
  • Average Size at Maturity: 15-30 ft tall by 10-20 ft wide
  • Season: Spring, April to May
  • Growth Rate: 2-3 ft per year*

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

3. Canary Island Pine Tree (Pinus canariensis)

Canary Island Pine
Image by Bri Weldon via Flickr

Canary Island Pines have a unique look from most other Texas pine trees, growing much taller and more slender. They’re also one of the few pines that grows really well in southern TX and can only grow in hot climates.

These pine trees are great for growers in central TX or anywhere further south, since they can only grow north up to the Austin area.

Native to the Canary Islands, off the coast of Morocco, these trees thrive in coastal climate. So, they do especially well in the coastal plains of southeastern TX with frequent winds and moisture.

Canary Island Pines are highly heat tolerant but also drought tolerant and will grow quickly without much attention or maintenance. They grow tall and with a rounded crown at the very top.

  • Other Common Names: Pino Canario
  • Growing Zones: 9-11
  • Average Size at Maturity: 50-80 ft tall by 20-30 ft wide
  • Growth Rate: 1-3 ft per year*

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

4. Red Haven Peach Tree (Prunus persica ‘Redhaven’)

If you want to start growing some fruit trees but can’t pay for a full-sized mature tree, Red Haven Peach trees are a great place to begin! Peach trees grow really well in Texas and Red Haven Peach trees are one of the best varieties to choose from.

These trees will begin fruiting in the first few seasons and quickly reach their mature height and at that point you’ll have pounds of peaches to harvest!

Red Haven Peach trees are also self-fertile, so you’ll only need one in your garden to get fruits. Plus, they’re semi-dwarf varieties and can fit into most garden and yard spaces.

Red Haven is one of the most popular varieties of peach trees because its fruits are considered one of the best peaches and the tree is super low-maintenance. It’s very disease resistant and adapts to many soil types.

  • Other Common Names: Red Haven, Dwarf Red Haven
  • Growing Zones: 5-9
  • Average Size at Maturity: 12-15 ft tall by 10-12 ft wide
  • Season: Flowers in late spring; Fruits in late summer
  • Growth Rate: 1-3 ft per year*

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

5. Frantoio Olives (Olea europaea ‘Frantoio’)

Olive trees often aren’t the top pick for landscaping in Texas, but southern TX actually has a very similar climate to the Mediterranean and we can grow olive trees quite well!

Frantoio Olive trees are a moderate to fast growing tree that can either be grown for their olives, in an edible garden, or simply as part of your landscaping design. Olive trees have a warbled bark that adds an interesting touch to your yard and their gray-green leaves blend very well with many other plants.

Frantoio Olive trees are highly drought tolerant, but don’t handle cold weather well and won’t be able to grow in western or northern TX.

This is one of the most commonly grown varieties of olive trees in Texas for producing olive oil, but some growers report that they don’t fruit very much in central TX. Which can be a benefit if you’re planting one only for landscaping purposes!

  • Other Common Names: Infrantoio, Comune, Oliva Lunga, Pignatello
  • Growing Zones: 8-11
  • Average Size at Maturity: 25-30 ft tall by 18-20 ft wide
  • Season: Flowers in summer; Fruits in September to October
  • Growth Rate: Up to 2 ft per year*

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

6. Mexican Ash (Fraxinus berlandieriana) – Shade Tree

Mexican Ash
Image by Jesús Cabrera via Flickr

Mexican Ash is native to Texas and is most often found in the southern parts of the state along the Mexican border. It’s native to that whole region and can be easily found in Mexico as well, hence the name.

Mexican Ash is known as one of the fastest growing trees found in Texas, which has made it a popular choice for landscaping, both for filling spaces and creating natural fences or hedges.

Mexican Ash is often sold as “Arizona Ash” in nurseries in Texas, so keep an eye out for that if you’re considering purchasing!

These trees are deciduous and have an inconspicuous look, great for simple landscaping or layering. They have a large, rounded crown or green leaves and simple flowers which bloom in the Spring.

The wood of Mexican Ash makes for great firewood too and, according to folklore, its leaves repel rattlesnakes!

  • Other Common Names: Berlandier Ash, Rio Grande Ash
  • Growing Zones: 7 – 11
  • Average Size at Maturity: 25-40 ft tall x 20-30 ft wide
  • Growth Rate: 1-2 ft per year*

6. Santa Rosa Plum Tree (Prunus salicina ‘Santa Rosa’)

Santa Rosa Plum Tree
Image by David Prasad via Flickr

The Santa Rosa Plum is another fast-growing fruit tree that’s a great pick for beginner gardeners looking to start caring for fruit trees. This tree is also self-fertile and medium-sized, so it can be grown in many spaces.

Santa Rosa Plum trees are one of the most popular varieties of plum and are great for Texas gardeners, since they only need 300 chill hours to flower.

Also, they can grow in most parts of the state. They don’t have a high enough heat tolerance to grow in the far south and don’t do well in the wet soil in the east, but they’ll grow perfectly in all of central and northern TX.

Along with a full summer harvest of fruits, plum trees bloom with beautiful, soft white flowers every spring. Since these trees grow so fast, you’ll have a mature fruit tree in just a few years with a full crown of fragrant flowers.

  • Other Common Names: Japanese Plum
  • Growing Zones: 5-9
  • Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall by 15-20 ft wide
  • Season: Summer
  • Growth Rate: 1-2 ft per year*

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

7. Anacacho Orchid Tree (Bauhinia lunarioides)

Anacacho Orchid Tree
Image via Fast-Growing-Trees (Image is of Bauhinia var. Blakeana a slightly different variety)

The Anacacho Orchid tree is a gorgeous flowering tree that’s native to southern TX and Mexico. It’s quite rare and usually isn’t found in the wild but it’s a favorite for south TX landscaping.

These large flowers are several inches across and are really an amazing floral display when they’re in bloom. Anacacho Orchid flowers are bright pink with a deep purple tint and add a refreshing tropical look to any space.

The flowers are even more prolific if the tree is pruned annually so all the branches are healthy and young. Plus, with pruning you can decide to shape this plant as either a small tree or a large, rounded shrub.

Other than pruning, Anacacho Orchids are very low-maintenance and generally pest free and disease resistant. They really thrive in limestone soils and are a great pick for anyone in central or southern TX.

  • Other Common Names: Purple Orchid Tree, Orchid Tree, Ebony Wood, Mountain, Ebony, Camel’s Foot Tree
  • Growing Zones: 9-11
  • Average Size at Maturity: 20-35 ft tall by 20-35 ft wide
  • Season: Spring, March to April
  • Growth Rate: Up to 12 inches per year*

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

Comparing Texas Fast Growing Tree Varieties

Common NameScientific NameGrowing ZonesAverage Size at MaturityGrowth Rate Per Year *Notable Features
Green AshFraxinus pennsylvanica3-950-70 ft tall by 35-50 ft wide6-10 ftAdaptable, resistant to pests/diseases, deciduous
Desert WillowChilopsis linearis ‘Bubba’6-1115-30 ft tall by 10-20 ft wide2-3 ftDrought tolerant, pink flowers attract wildlife
Canary Island Pine TreePinus canariensis9-1150-80 ft tall by 20-30 ft wide1-3 ftHeat and drought tolerant, slender appearance
Red Haven Peach TreePrunus persica ‘Redhaven’5-912-15 ft tall by 10-12 ft wide1-3 ftSelf-fertile, semi-dwarf, disease-resistant
Frantoio OlivesOlea europaea ‘Frantoio’8-1125-30 ft tall by 18-20 ft wideUp to 2 ftDrought tolerant, produces high-quality olive oil
Mexican AshFraxinus berlandieriana7 – 1125-40 ft tall x 20-30 ft wide1-2 ftDeciduous, rounded crown, repels rattlesnakes
Santa Rosa Plum TreePrunus salicina ‘Santa Rosa’5-915-20 ft tall by 15-20 ft wide1-2 ftSelf-fertile, requires low chill hours
Anacacho Orchid TreeBauhinia lunarioides9-1120-35 ft tall by 20-35 ft wideUp to 12 inchesBeautiful pink flowers, low maintenance
* Growth rates are approximations; actual performance varies with climate, soil, and care.

Full Landscaping or Fruit Trees in No Time

The trees listed here are just a couple options for fast growing trees in Texas that you can start growing! If you’re looking to plant something in your yard to fill a space or have a tall shade tree to spend time under, there are lots of trees perfect for this.

And if you’re trying to start growing fruit trees, thankfully there are several that grow quickly so you don’t have to wait years to start harvesting fruit! The fruit trees listed here and many more will start fruiting after two or three seasons!

Check out A&M University’s Texas TreeID for more info on trees growing in Texas to find species for your specific region. Many of these trees will reach their mature height in just a few years, so better get planting!

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Peyton Warmack-Chipman

Environmental Politics & Permaculture Enthusiast

Peyton considers trees not just as plants that provide shade or yummy fruits, but as necessary for a healthy life and community. Peyton has done most of her research on environmental politics, but recently has shifted her focus towards actual agricultural practices, learning about ideas like agroforestry, food forests, and permaculture gardening. She's most often in the kitchen whipping something up, but otherwise can be found on long bike rides or doing research.

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