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20 Small Fast Growing Trees That Make a Big Impact

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Written By Lakeisha Ethans

Heritage Gardener with Grafting Expertise

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Home » Fast Growing Trees » 20 Small Fast Growing Trees That Make a Big Impact

I get it, you want to find a small tree that is fast growing for your front or backyard.

Here is a selection of evergreen and deciduous trees, some flowering, some for hedging or privacy, and at least one of them should be perfect for your needs!

Brighten Up Your Backyard Quickly with These 20 Fast-Growing Compact Trees

1. Purple Prince Crabapple

The Purple Prince Crabapple brings a regal flair to any small landscape with its striking reddish-purple foliage and vibrant rose-red blossoms that appear in spring.

This tree matures quickly, providing a dense canopy and an annual show of color that is both fast-growing and space-efficient.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 4-8
  • Average Mature Size: 20 feet tall, 20 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Malus ‘Purple Prince’

2. Weeping Cherry

Add a touch of elegance to your outdoor space with the Weeping Cherry.

Celebrated for its pink double blossoms that densely cover weeping branches in spring, this tree quickly reaches its mature height, making it an ideal choice for those desiring immediate impact in smaller landscapes.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 4-8
  • Average Mature Size: 15-25 feet tall, 10-15 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Prunus pendula ‘Plena-Rosea’

3. Thundercloud Plum

Enhance your landscape with the Thundercloud Plum, renowned for its vivid purple foliage that lasts through the summer and beautiful pale pink blooms in early spring.

This tree’s quick growth and small stature allow it to fit perfectly in smaller yards, adding a burst of color and charm.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 5-8
  • Average Mature Size: 15-20 feet tall, 15-20 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’

4. Skyrocket Juniper

Optimize vertical space in your landscape with the Skyrocket Juniper, a slender evergreen that shoots up like a green spire.

Its compact and columnar form makes it perfect for small areas where ground space is precious, offering year-round color and a maintenance-free presence.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 4-9
  • Average Mature Size: 15-20 feet tall, 2-3 feet wide
  • Type: Evergreen
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’

5. Corkscrew Willow

Invite character into your garden with the Corkscrew Willow, whose twisted and spiraling branches create a captivating visual interest year-round. Perfect for smaller landscapes, this tree grows quickly and offers a unique structure that becomes a focal point, especially during the winter months.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 4-8
  • Average Mature Size: 20-30 feet tall, 10-15 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’

6. Adirondack Crabapple

Improve your garden’s appeal with the Adirondack Crabapple, which dazzles with its upright, narrow form and profusion of white spring flowers.

This tree is a standout in small spaces, maturing rapidly to offer both aesthetic charm and a compact footprint, ideal for tight urban settings.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 4-8
  • Average Mature Size: 18 feet tall, 10 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Malus ‘Adirondack’

7. Dynamite Crape Myrtle Tree

Inject vibrant color into your garden with the Dynamite Crape Myrtle Tree, known for its striking red flowers that bloom throughout the summer.

Ideal for small spaces due to its compact growth, this tree matures quickly and adds a splash of long-lasting color to any landscape.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 6-9
  • Average Mature Size: 20-30 feet tall, 10-20 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Lagerstroemia indica ‘Whit II’ Dynamite

8. Newport Plum

Experience the visual delight of the Newport Plum, celebrated for its vibrant purple leaves that enrich any small garden space.

Flowering with delicate pink blossoms each spring, this fast-growing tree quickly establishes itself, providing both shade and ornamental value.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 4-9
  • Average Mature Size: 15-20 feet tall, 15-20 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Prunus cerasifera ‘Newport’

9. Spring Snow Crabapple

Bring year-round interest to your small garden with the Spring Snow Crabapple. This tree does not bear fruit, making it a tidy choice for compact spaces.

Its lush white blossoms in spring provide a spectacular floral display, and its rapid growth ensures a quick establishment.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 4-8
  • Average Mature Size: 15-20 feet tall, 15-20 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Malus ‘Spring Snow’

10. Pink Pinnacle™ Vitex Shrub

Pink Pinnacle™ Vitex Shrub (Vitex agnus-castus 'V07-SC-OP-4')
Image via Nature Hills

Discover the Pink Pinnacle™ Vitex Shrub, a vibrant choice for compact gardens. Its pink flower spikes bloom from summer to fall, attracting pollinators and providing visual interest.

This fast-growing shrub is easy to maintain and fits beautifully into smaller spaces or as a colorful border.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 6-9
  • Average Mature Size: 8-12 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Vitex agnus-castus ‘PIIVAC-I’ Pink Pinnacle™

11. Purple Plunge Weeping Flowering Plum

Transform your garden with the Purple Plunge Weeping Flowering Plum, a tree that offers dramatic flair with its weeping branches and deep purple leaves.

Its early spring bloom of light pink flowers adds a burst of color, making it an excellent choice for those with limited space but a desire for big landscape impact.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 5-8
  • Average Mature Size: 8-10 feet tall, 6-8 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Prunus cerasifera ‘Purple Plunge’

12. Tri-Color Willow Tree

Add a splash of color to your garden with the Tri-Color Willow Tree, known for its striking foliage that changes from pink to white to green.

This fast-growing, easy-care tree quickly reaches its mature size, making it a perfect choice for small gardens looking for high visual impact with minimal effort.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 4-9
  • Average Mature Size: 6-10 feet tall, 5-7 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Salix integra ‘Hakuro-nishiki’

13. Waxleaf Privet Hedge

Create a lush, private nook in your garden with the Waxleaf Privet Hedge. Its dense, glossy leaves grow quickly, forming a thick barrier that’s ideal for privacy and sound reduction.

Adaptable and easy to trim, this hedge fits beautifully into small or narrow spaces, offering functional elegance.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 7-11
  • Average Mature Size: 8-12 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
  • Type: Evergreen
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’

14. Azurri Blue Satin® Rose of Sharon Althea Tree

The Azurri Blue Satin® Rose of Sharon Althea Tree is a stunning addition to any small garden, featuring unique blue flowers that bloom from mid-summer to fall.

This variety is popular for its quick growth and ability to thrive in tight spaces, offering a continuous display of vibrant blooms that attract pollinators.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 5-9
  • Average Mature Size: 8-12 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Hibiscus syriacus ‘Marina’

15. Desert Cassia Tree

Brighten up your outdoor space with the Cassia Tree, known for its showy, golden-yellow flowers that burst into bloom in the fall.

This tree’s rapid growth and modest size make it an excellent option for small gardens, adding a tropical flair and vibrant color when most other plants are fading.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 9-11
  • Average Mature Size: 10-20 feet tall, 10-15 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous in cooler climates, evergreen in tropical settings
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Senna polyphylla

16. Dwarf Burford Holly Shrub

Lift your garden’s greenery with the Dwarf Burford Holly Shrub. Its glossy, dark green leaves and vibrant red berries provide beautiful year-round interest, making it a standout choice for small spaces.

This fast-growing, evergreen shrub is perfect for low-maintenance hedges or borders, enhancing any landscape.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 7-9
  • Average Mature Size: 5-8 feet tall, 5-8 feet wide
  • Type: Evergreen
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii Nana’

17. Sprinter® Boxwood Shrub

Enhance your landscape’s structure with the Sprinter® Boxwood Shrub, a versatile and fast-growing evergreen known for its lush, green foliage.

This shrub shapes easily, making it perfect for formal hedges or decorative topiaries in smaller garden spaces or along pathways.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 5-8
  • Average Mature Size: 2-4 feet tall, 2-4 feet wide
  • Type: Evergreen
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Buxus microphylla ‘Bulthouse’ Sprinter®

18. Mohave Pyracantha (Firethorn) Shrub

Invite vibrant color into your garden year-round with the Mohave Pyracantha, also known as Firethorn.

This lovely shrub produces dense clusters of bright red berries in fall and winter, set against a backdrop of glossy green leaves.

Great for small gardens, it offers quick growth and can serve as an attractive hedge or wall cover.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 6-9
  • Average Mature Size: 8-12 feet tall, 8-12 feet wide
  • Type: Evergreen
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Pyracantha ‘Mohave’

19. Summer Jazz Fire Trumpet Tree

Brighten up your garden with the Summer Jazz Fire Trumpet Tree, a compact gem that offers a fiery display of orange-red flowers from summer to fall.

Its modest size and rapid growth rate make it perfect for small spaces and gardeners looking to add a splash of color without waiting years for maturity.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 5-9
  • Average Mature Size: 8-12 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Campsis radicans ‘Takarazuka Fresa’

20. Purple Robe Locust Tree

With its stunning purple-pink blossoms in spring, the Purple Robe Locust Tree is a vibrant addition to any small yard or garden.

Not only does it offer a quick canopy of cool shade, but its showy flowers and relatively compact form also make it a standout feature throughout the seasons.

  • USDA Growing Zone: 4-8
  • Average Mature Size: 30-40 feet tall, 20-30 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Botanical Name: Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Purple Robe’

Want More?

If you’re looking to enhance your landscape further, explore our guide on the fastest-growing trees to find species that rapidly add beauty and shade to your space.

For creating a natural, secluded nook, our article on fast-growing privacy trees is a must-read.

If its shade you are after then fast growing shade trees will be the perfect option for you.

And for those with tighter spaces, our piece on tall and skinny privacy trees offers smart solutions for maintaining privacy without sacrificing square footage.

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Lakeisha Ethans

Heritage Gardener with Grafting Expertise

Lakeisha grew up in East Africa, literally surrounded by nature which sparked her interest in learning more about trees and plants from a very young age. She belongs to a family of gardeners, so for her, gardening is a way of life, a tradition she’s proud to uphold. As a self-taught gardener, Lakeisha has successfully grafted trees to produce hybrids for gardens and landscapes. When she’s not gardening, she’s writing about her experience with nature or watching baking fails!