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10 Fast Growing Trees For Zone 4 (USDA Hardiness)


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If you are looking for extra shade or privacy, or simply want to add beauty to your landscape quickly, a tree is a great solution.

But, growing trees requires patience, which is why I am excited to share some of my favorite fast-growing trees for zone four.

10 Fast-Growing Trees For USDA Zone 4

1. Northern Red Oak Tree (Quercus rubra)

Northern Red Oak Tree
Image by Andreas Rockstein via Flickr

The Northern Red Oak tree makes an excellent shade tree due to its size. If this variety will grow too large for your yard there are various other shade trees for zone 4 that will work just as well.

The mighty oak is a long-lasting, hardy, and fast-growing tree. It can grow in some of the worst conditions, including dense forests, open pastures, and even along polluted city sidewalks. A Northern Red Oak can thrive if you have compact space, poor soil, dry clay, wet sand, or polluted urban air.

The Northern Red Oak is New Jersey’s state tree and can be found across the US. It’s a prolific lumber tree, often used for hardwood flooring, cabinetry, and many other products in and around the home.

You’ll want to plant your oak tree in an area of your yard that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. It’s crucial to select a location that allows this beast room, as it can reach up to 75 feet high.

Other Common Names: Eastern Red Oak, Gray Oak, Mountain Oak, Red Oak

Growing Zones: 3 to 8

Average Size At Maturity: 60 to 75 feet tall with a 40 to 50-foot spread

2. Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

Silver Maple Tree
Image by Andreas Rockstein via Flickr

Silver Maple trees are easy to maintain and fast-growing. This may be your prime choice if you’re looking for a large ornamental tree that grows nearly anywhere. I love the stunning silver color of the foliage. Underneath the beautiful green leaves is a tinted silver color that is illuminating. Silver Maples can grow up to three feet a year, expanding their shade space as they grow.

If you have soggy spots in your yard, plant a Silver Maple there. While many other trees won’t survive the wet ground, this species of maple tree will thrive. They grow naturally near ponds and riverbanks; you’ve likely seen people in movies picnicking under them.

While Silver Maples naturally grow in soggy bottomlands, they can be grown in any soil condition. They can tolerate partial shade or full sun; however, they do best with 4 to 8 hours of sunlight.

Other Common Names: River Maple, Soft Maple, Swamp Maple, Silverleaf Maple, White Maple, and Water Maple

Growing Zones: 3 to 9

Average Size At Maturity: 50 to 80 feet tall with a 35 to 50-foot spread

3. Black Ice Plum (Prunus ‘Lydecker’) – Dwarf Variety

Black Ice plums are beautiful, delicious, and contain a wealth of health benefits. This plum variety is definitely cold-hardy. It can withstand weather as cold as -30℉, meaning you never have to worry about losing your tree and replanting after a frigid winter.

Lydecker plum trees have branches that extend outward before weeping over the trunk, creating an incredible display every season. In spring, white-colored, waxy flowers bloom against the backsplash of lush green foliage. In late July, the purple to black colored plums grows large and luscious. The flesh of this sweet fruit is red and yellow.

I mentioned large plums, and I mean large, because they can reach the size of a tennis ball. Black Ice Plum trees are the children of California Cherry Plum trees and Japanese plum trees. The Black Ice Plum inherited its size from the Japanese variety, which makes it one of the largest plum hybrids. Not only are these babies big, but they’re deliciously sweet and juicy.

If you need another reason to fall in love with this plum tree, I have one for you; it’s a dwarf tree. That said, they take less space to grow and can even be grown in a container. Black Ice Plums are easy to maintain and are fast-growing.

Black Ice Plums are a prime choice at farmer’s markets and stands. However, if it’s not something you fancy, there are other incredible plum trees that grow well in USDA zone 4.

Other Common Names: Black Ice, Black Ice Cherry Plum

Growing Zones: 3 to 8

Average Size At Maturity: 10 to 12 feet tall with an 8 to 15-foot spread

Flowering / Fruiting Season: Spring / Mid Summer

4. Reliance Peach (Prunus persica ‘Reliance’)

Peaches are one of my favorite fruits. The Reliance Peach tree is one of the cold hardiest varieties I have found. It is one of several excellent choices of peach trees that grow well in USDA zone 4.

This tree’s tolerance to cold, durability, and reliability are the reason behind its name. Did I mention that you can get a bounty of 15 to 30 pounds of delicious fruit each harvest? While some peaches tend to be overly tart, the Reliance Peach has a sweet and mild balance without being overpowering. The firm texture is incredible, and they’re freestone, so the stone is easy to remove.

It’s best to plant Reliance Peach trees in well-drained soil in an area that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun daily. While these trees are cold-hardy, they’ll need protection from heavy winds. You can do this by choosing a location on the sunniest side of your home or building. However, don’t forget that it needs full sun, so choose wisely.

One last thing about the Reliance variety is they can be found in the standard size and semi-dwarf.

Other Common Names: N/A

Growing Zones: 4 to 8

Average Size At Maturity: 8 to 10 feet tall with an 8 to 10-foot spread

Flowering / Fruiting Season: Spring / August

5. Everbearing Mulberry (Morus nigra)

Everbearing Mulberry Tree
Image by Mauro Halpern via Flickr

If you’re a fan of blackberries, there is a strong possibility that you’ll enjoy mulberries. I find that Everbearing Mulberry trees produce berries that are juicier than blackberries. They’re nutritious and delicious, and the fruit grows abundantly from June to August.

Something I really like about these mulberries is that the berries ripen over an extended period, unlike many other fruits that tend to ripen all at once. Aside from providing growers with a hearty bounty all summer, they’re easy to grow. Also, you don’t have to be so patient, as you can harvest berries within the first couple of years!

All you have to do is plant your Everbearing Mulberry tree in full sun and give it a little time. Before you know it, it’s fruit-picking time. Eat them fresh, turn them into pies, or preserve them for the future; either way, they’re delicious.

Not only will this tree produce delicious fruits in abundance, it quickly matures into an excellent shade tree.

Other Common Names: Red Mulberry

Growing Zones: 4 to 10

Average Size At Maturity: 15 feet tall with an 8 to 10-foot spread

Flowering / Fruiting Season: Spring / Summer

6. American Red Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Brandywine’)

American Red Maple trees have such a vibrant color of rich reds. Red Maple’s name comes from the red flowers that bloom in early spring, the red-colored twigs of new growth, and the stunning red leaves covering the trees in the fall. Speaking of fall, you can watch the reds become further diversified with shades of orange or gold in certain weather conditions.

The American Red Maple is exceptionally adaptable, making it one of the most populous trees in eastern North America because it adapts incredibly well in various environments. It’s relatively drought-tolerant but can grow in wet boggy areas as well. Red Maples will grow well in nearly any soil type, and the color of the leaves can be affected by less-than-ideal conditions.

While this beautiful tree is tolerant of soggy soil, it prefers well-drained soil. You’ll want to plant your tree in a location that receives full to partial sun between 4 to 8 hours a day. Your Red Maple tree will need plenty of room to grow since it can reach 60 feet high.

Other Common Names: Scarlet Maple, Carolina Red Maple, Swamp Maple, Water Maple, Soft Maple, and Drummond Red Maple

Growing Zones: 4 to 9

Average Size At Maturity: 40 to 60 feet tall with a 25 to 45-foot spread

7. Bloomerang Lilac (Syringa ‘SMSJBP7’ PP26549) – Dwarf Variety

Bloomerang Lilac Tree
Image by F.D. Richards via Flickr

The Bloomerang Lilac tree is one of many flowering and ornamental trees that grow in zone 4. This beautiful lilac tree is excellent for anyone who loves lilacs but wants a lengthier growing season. Bloomerang Lilac trees bloom two times a year.

Growers will get two blooms of beautiful flowers, and the fragrance is refreshing and sweet. The scent is often described as a jasmine-like aroma, which I find fitting. Because it is a dwarf-sized tree, it’s relatively easy to find the perfect spot. Because they’re small, they work well near high-traffic areas, but they will look fabulous anywhere within a landscape.

Bloomerang Lilac trees prefer well-drained soil and full sun, so consider those two things before you plant them. They’re relatively drought-tolerant once established. However, a regular watering schedule is essential until they have established themselves. Check the soil about 3 inches down, and if it’s dry, give it a bit of a drink.

Other Common Names: N/A

Growing Zones: 3 to 7

Average Size At Maturity: 6 to 7 feet tall with a 6 to 7-foot spread

Flowering Season: Mid-May and again from July until the first frost

8. Julia Child Rose Tree (Rosa floribunda ‘Julia Child’)

Rose bushes are well-known throughout the globe but have you heard of the Julia Child Rose Tree? That’s right, folks, you can grow this incredible rose tree and get a stunning display of buttery-yellow roses all summer long. The contrast in color is something to behold, with the beautiful yellow roses set against the luscious dark green foliage!

You can expect to find large yellow roses blooming the very first spring after planting. Not only are the roses beautiful, but they’re fragrant. Roses can be a handful to grow, but the Julia Child Rose Tree isn’t difficult at all. Not only is it cold-hardy, but it’s easy to maintain. It is pest and disease-resistant, all you have to do is make sure it gets enough sunshine and modestly moist soil, and all is well.

Julia Child Rose trees only reach about 6 feet tall. They grow well in containers and can even be brought indoors.

Other Common Names: N/A

Growing Zones: 4 to 9

Average Size At Maturity: 6 feet tall with a 3-foot spread

Flowering Season: June to September

9. Prairie Expedition Elm (Ulmus americana ‘Lewis & Clark’)

The Prairie Expedition Elm tree is a hybrid developed from an American Elm. It’s believed to have been the lone survivor of the Dutch Elm Tree. It is tolerant of moist soils, cold-hardy, and easy to care for.

I love the cathedral umbrella form of this Elm tree. It’s an amazing shape that works well in almost any space. If you look closely, you’ll notice small green flowers growing amidst the beautiful green foliage during the spring. When autumn arrives, the green leaves transform into a lovely yellow.

One drawback for some people is that the Prairie Expedition Elm tree grows rather large. They work well in wide open spaces, away from power lines or anything else that could restrict their growth or become damaged if limbs fall.

An upside is that it’s adaptable to most weather, including dry conditions. It’ll even tolerate some standing water, but not for too long. When cared for properly, these trees can reach 100 years or older.

Other Common Names: Lewis and Clark Elm

Growing Zones: 3 to 9

Average Size At Maturity: 55 to 60 feet tall with a 35 to 40-foot spread

10. Kieffer Pear (Pyrus communis ‘Kieffer’) – Dwarf Variety

Kieffer Pear trees grow exceptionally large fruit, even for a dwarf variety. They taste delicious, and the texture is crisp. Kieffer trees are easy to maintain and cold-hardy. The crisp, juicy pears are excellent for eating fresh and cooking.

Something I love is you can reap what you sow within the first year.

Not only is the pear tree cold-hardy, but it also tolerates drought and hot climates. It’s also adaptable regarding soil types. If you had your heart set on another pear variety, no worries; there are several excellent choices of cold-hardy pear trees for zone 4.

Other Common Names: N/A

Growing Zones: 4 to 9

Average Size At Maturity: 15 to 25 feet tall with a 5 to 10-foot spread

Fruiting / Flowering Season: Harvest between September and October

Cold-Hardy Fast-Growing Trees For USDA Zone 4

When we think of trees and how large they grow, it seems like they all take forever to get to full size.

Fortunately, there are several excellent fast-growing trees suitable for every USDA hardiness zone, including USDA zone 4.

You’ll find flowering, ornamental, shade, evergreen, and fruit trees in this category. The Julia Child Rose Tree was a surprise find; who knows what else is out there!

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