Are you looking for trees to plant on your property, or do you just want to know more about fast-growing trees in Virginia?
Either way, this article is for you.
You don’t have to be an arborist to know what indigenous trees grow best in your climate. Check out our Master List of Fast Growing Trees in Virginia which includes facts about over sixty different types of trees!
List of Fast-Growing Trees in Virginia:
(in alphabetical order)
- American Elm
- American Hazelnut
- American Red Maple
- American Sweetgum
- Autumn Cherry
- Bartlett Pear
- Belle of Georgia Peach
- Black Gum
- Canadian Hemlock
- Carpathian English Walnut
- Chinese Pistache
- Cleveland Pear
- Corkscrew Willow
- Crimson King Maple
- Dawn Redwood
- Drake Elm Tree
- Early Golden Apricot
- Early Harvest Apple
- Eastern White Pine
- Elberta Peach
- European Black Alder
- Fan-Tex Ash
- Freeman Maple
- Fruitless Mulberry
- Golden Jubilee Peach
- Green Ash
- ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae
- ‘Green Vase’ Zelkova
- Hale-Haven Peach
- Heritage River Birch
- Hybrid Poplar
- Kieffer Pear
- Lacebark Elm
- Leyland Cypress
- Loblolly Pine
- Moorpark Apricot
- Mountain Ash
- ‘Natchez’ Crape Myrtle
- Northern Catalpa
- Northern Red Oak
- Norway Spruce
- October Glory Red Maple
- Orient Pear
- Paper Birch
- Pink Dogwood
- Pin Oak
- Purpleleaf Sand Cherry
- Quaking Aspen
- Red Delicious Apple
- Red Maple
- Royal Empress
- Sargent Cherry
- Sawtooth Oak
- Shumard Oak
- Silver Maple
- Star Magnolia
- Sugar Maple
- Sweet Bay Magnolia
- Thornless Honeysuckle
- Weeping Willow
- White Kousa Dogwood
- Yellow Delicious Apple
1. American Elm
This variety of elm tree is classic and was once the most popular street-side tree in the U.S. The American elm can grow to be 40 ft tall or more.
2. American Hazelnut
With the American Hazelnut, a non-shrub tree which grows an average of 18 ft, it’s important for pollination and future growth to plant two of these near each other. They grow small, sweet hazelnuts as well!
3. American Red Maple
Red Maples are colorful all-year round with leaves that turn a rich red and yellow hue in the fall and with stems that turn red in the winter. These trees are also fairly deer-resistant and are great choices for stylistic landscaping and shade.
4. American Sweetgum
These trees grow an average of 40 ft-70 ft with a 50 ft spread. American Sweetgums can endure heavy winds and urban conditions and are all-around hardy.
5. Autumn Cherry
The Autumn Cherry, which blooms both in the spring and in the fall, is great for yards and landscaping because of its smaller size. These trees do well with cold temperatures and are also great providers of shade.
6. Bartlett Pear
These classic pear trees, whose fruit ripens from mid-August until mid-September, grows to be around 12 ft tall and can have a 20 ft spread. Bartlett Pears can pollinate with other European pear trees, except the Kieffer pear, and also with Orient pear trees.
7. Belle of Georgia Peach
These classic southern peach trees are not only fast growing but can produce strong crops at only age three or four. They are self-fertilizing trees that sport beautiful red flowers in the spring.
8. Black Gum
Like the American Sweetgum trees, the Black Gum tree is another great provider of shade. Both of these varieties are known for dropping “gumballs,” particularly in the fall, and anyone who grew up with one of these trees knows how comfortable those are to step on.
9. Canadian Hemlock
These evergreen trees are common across a large portion of the United States and are great at providing privacy to your home or property. They also have the perk of doing well in environments of both full sun or full shade.
10. Carpathian English Walnut
The Carpathian English Walnut can endure cold really well, with temperatures as cold as -20° F. They are also awesome shade trees that are used primarily for their walnuts, which are popular for baking and just simply eating.
11. Chinese Pistache
The Chinese Pistache tree may not look like much in the early years of its life, but it eventually does fill out and bloom into a beautiful, colorful tree. It is commonly found in city environments and is good to areas with arid or rough climates.
12. Cleveland Pear
The Cleveland Pear is notable for its white flowers that bloom every spring. They are great for decoration in landscaping and for providing shade.
13. Corkscrew Willow
The Corkscrew Willow differs from the classic Weeping Willow in the lower part of its trunk, which is twisted rather than vertically straight., hence the title “corkscrew.” These trees are beautiful, wistful, and a favorite of many.
14. Crimson King Maple
This tree shares many similarities with the traditional maple tree, except that its autumnal colors are different. Their crimson leaves every fall are gorgeous and really make this tree visually pop.
15. Dawn Redwood
The tallest known Dawn Redwood tree currently in Virginia grew two be 120 ft tall in only 30 year’s time. These trees have a lot of history and were once thought to be extinct but were rediscovered in rural China in the late 1940s. The Dawn Redwood is making a come-back in several countries but is more common in conservation forests and botanical gardens.
16. Drake Elm Tree
The Drake Elm Tree is a great alternative to the traditional Elm since it is smaller in overall stature. This tree grows a dropping canopy that can be a great source of shade!
17. Early Golden Apricot
This self-fertilizing tree produces large, golden apricots that ripen in early July through August. These trees are particularly beautiful in the early spring when they bloom either white or pink flowers.
18. Early Harvest Apple
The Early Harvest Apple creates golden apples that are good for cooking because if their tart taste. These trees play nice with others and can pollinate with other apple tree varieties such as the Lodi, Red Delicious, or Red Jonathan.
19. Eastern White Pine
These evergreen trees have a triangular shape in their youth and eventually grown to be anywhere from 50 ft to 80 ft tall. The Eastern White Pine is best suited for areas with moist, rich soil and a full sun area. They have blue-green, soft needles.
20. Elberta Peach
The Elberta Peach tree ripens from late July to early August, or perhaps slightly later if you live in a colder climate. They bloom purple flowers in the springtime and are the most popular variety of peach tree in the United States.
21. European Black Alder
This variety of alder tree grows 40 ft to 60 ft high and thrives in partial shade or full sun in an area with wet soil, such as near a small body of water.
22. Fan-Tex Ash
The Fan-Tex Ash tree can survive in colder climates and is more common in the northern half of the U.S. and in Canada. These trees can grow to be an average of 35-40 ft tall.
23. Freeman Maple
The Freeman Maple is a hybrid tree that can grow to 75 ft high with leaves that turn a red-orange hue in the fall. Thrives best in full sun. The fastest growing variety of the Freeman Maple is a tree called ‘Autumn Blaze’ which can reach 50 ft to 60 ft in height with an oval width of 40 ft to 50 ft.
24. Fruitless Mulberry
This Fruitless Mulberry still provides the same great shade as the classic Mulberry tree, but will less of a mess. It’s a more petite variety of tree, growing 20-60 ft high with a wide canopy that grows an average of 40 ft.
25. Golden Jubilee Peach
The good thing about the Golden Jubilee Peach is that it survives better in colder climates than other common types of peach trees. This tree typically ripens in early July with yellow freestone peaches that are good for canning and making preserves.
26. Green Ash
Similar to the Elm tree but more resistant to diseases, the Green Ash grows fast, offers shade, and is nice to look it. These trees are popular in urban settings because of their ability to grow in an assortment of soil types and climate conditions.
27. ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae
The ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae is an evergreen tree with a pyramid shape that will quickly grown to 50 ft or more in height. These trees are popular as hedging or property borders and adapt to different soils, though they prefer full sun areas with well-drained, moist soil.
28. ‘Green Vase’ Zelkova
This tree is a good choice for urban areas because of its ability to endure strong winds, drought, and pollution. The ‘Green Vase’ Zelkova grows in a vase shape and usually grows between 60-70 ft tall.
Hackberry trees also do well in cities and are extremely hardy and tough. On average, they will reach 40-70 ft in height with a 50 ft-wide spread.
30. Hale-Haven Peach
This variety of peach tree should ripen between mid-June and mid-July and is a favorite among freestone peach trees. The Hale-Haven is self-pollinating and is a durable and productive type of peach tree.
31. Heritage River Birch
The Heritage River Birch tree is notable because of its unique, curling bark. This tree originally thrived only near river beds but has been cultivated into a stylish landscaping tree that provides a lot of shade.
32. Hybrid Poplar
The Hybrid Poplar is a colorful tree with vibrant green leaves in warmer seasons and beautiful, golden leaves in the fall. These trees are very fast growing and are popular in suburban and residential areas.
Yes, there are both hydrangea bushes and hydrangea trees. Both produce the same lovely flowers, but the tree naturally grows taller and is a nice source of shade.
34. Kieffer Pear
The Kieffer Pear tree has a later bloom than most, ripening between mid-September and mid-October. These trees are durable and can survive in considerably hot climates and annually produce crisp, delicious yellow fruit.
35. Lacebark Elm
The Lacebark Elm is named such because of its notable and striking, multi-colored mottled bark patterns. These trees will grow 40 ft or more in height and are quite tough.
36. Leyland Cypress
This tree is great for perimeters and providing privacy to any property or residence. The Leyland Cypress is a simple, narrow evergreen with soft needles that can reach upwards of 60 ft in height.
37. Loblolly Pine
The Loblolly Pine is another evergreen commonly used as a quick-screen and is one of the fastest growing trees out of all of the southern pines. These trees can grow in a diverse variety of soils and can also tolerate drought and drier climates.
Mimosa trees are particularly beautiful with leaves like small ferns and large, pink flowers that bloom in the late summer. These trees require some pruning and care to really thrive, but they really stand out and are stunning.
39. Moorpark Apricot
The Moorpark Apricot is self-fertile like many apricot trees, but does better when there are least two planted near each other if you intend to grow a substantial crop of sweet, yellow apricots. They ripen early, from late July to late August.
40. Mountain Ash
Mountain Ash trees are a favorite for birds because of the small groups of berries that form on the tree. Besides also contains variety of lovely colors and beautiful flowers, these trees offer great shade and are a wonderful choice for colder climates.
41. ‘Natchez’ Crape Myrtle
This variety of Crape Myrtle tree has stunning beautiful, white flowers that appear in late summer and into September. These trees are popular choices for street curbs and also possess a warm, cinnamon-like bark.
42. Northern Catalpa
The Northern Catalpa tree has a lot of striking features from its big, heart-shaped leaves and white flowers that bloom in late spring to its impressive, twisted trunk and branches. These trees can withstand urban life but are also favorable in residential landscaping.
43. Northern Red Oak
These oak trees have vibrant leaves all year round, from sharp greens to a vibrant reds every autumn. The Northern Red Oak is also great because of its versatility and ability to withstand different climates and conditions.
44. Norway Spruce
The Norway Spruce sports dark green needles and is great for breaking oncoming winds. This tree can grow between 40 ft and 60 ft high with a width of 25-30 ft.
45. October Glory Red Maple
This tree is very similar in appearance to the tradition red maple with its large size and colorful bright orange and red leaves that change in the fall. This particular variety of maple is pretty low maintenance and self-sustaining, so it takes little to no work to sustain.
46. Orient Pear
These pear trees produce a large juice fruit from mid-August to mid-September that are good for canning or eating fresh. The Orient Pear tree can also pollinate with Bartlett pears and grows an average of 12 ft to 20 ft tall.
47. Paper Birch
The Paper Birch gets its name from its sleek, white bark. Its colorful all year round and is considered one of the highest-rated, deer-resistant trees.
48. Pink Dogwood
These Dogwood trees are stylish and petite with pink flowers that bloom in the late spring. These trees are great for landscaping and shade! And to top it off, the tradition Dogwood tree is the state tree of Virginia.
49. Pin Oak
This type of oak tree comes in several varieties that differ in their fall leaf colors, some which turn purple, some red, and others bronze. Regardless, Pin Oak trees are good sources of shade and will usually grown 60 ft or more in height and can have a spread as wide a 45 ft.
50. Purpleleaf Sand Cherry
The Purpleleaf Sand Cherry is true to its name and has purple leaves and produces small, purplish-black fruit. These are rather short trees (7-10 ft tall) that bloom fragrant, white and pink flowers in late April or early May.
51. Quaking Aspen
These beautiful aspen trees turn a vibrant golden-yellow in the fall and posses notable-white bark. Quaking Aspens will grow from 40 ft – 50 ft tall and around 25 ft wide.
52. Red Delicious Apple
The classic Red Delicious Apple is excellent for eating raw and for making into desserts. These trees ripen from late September to mid-October and can pollinate with Yellow Delicious, Early Harvest, and Red Jonathan apple trees.
53. Royal Empress
The Royal Empress is an impressive tree visually because of its deep purple leaves. These trees tall and with thick foliage that makes them great shade providers.
54. Sargent Cherry
Besides growing cherries in the summer, Sargent Cherry have a shiny, red-brown bark with leaves that turn orange-red in the fall. These trees also have pink flowers that open in the early spring before the leaves reappear.
55. Sawtooth Oak
This visually iconic variety of oak tree, has long, ovular leaves with mildly-pointy edges that give this tree its name, Sawtooth. These trees are great for shade, have yellow or golden-brown leaves in the fall, and also produce acorns.
56. Shumard Oak
The Shumard Oak is great for growing in cities because of its ability to adapt to urban conditions and still manage to thrive with poor drainage and poor soil and air quality. They are a great source of shade.
57. Silver Maple
These maples trees are dubbed “silver” because of the shimmery, silver tint that appears to be on the bottom of the leaves. The Silver Maple can grow to be quite large, from 50-80 ft tall.
58. Star Magnolia
These trees and visually stunning with their big, fragrant, white flowers that bloom in the spring. These trees will only grow 15-20 ft tall with a spread of 10-15 ft.
59. Sugar Maple
The Sugar Maple is the most recognizable type of maple tree for most people. These trees have strong colors and are great for lumber. They also produce sweet sap that can be made into syrup.
60. Sweet Bay Magnolia
These magnolia trees actually differ in the north and south, annually losing their leaves in the north and existing as evergreens in the south. They possess rich, dark green leaves and bloom white flowers (that have a slight lemon fragrance) in the spring or early summer. These trees are a lot bigger in the south and thrive better in a warmer climate.
Sycamore trees in the U.S. are more than likely the Northern American Sycamore variety which are a favored haven for small animals because of the tree’s large size and dense leaves. These trees can have branches the grow over 175 ft in height and have leaves that turn yellow in the fall. Sycamore trees grow best around moist soil and are fairly resistant to rough weather conditions, pollution, and salty soil.
62. Thornless Honeysuckle
The Thornless Honeysuckle not only grows fast, it’s easy to plan, grows strong branches, and is fitting to survive in most city environments. These trees produce strongly fragrant green-yellow blossoms as well as twisted, long, brown seed pods.
Also known as the Tulip Polar or the Yellow Poplar, Tulip trees are marked by their four-point leaves and the tulip-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring. Their leaves turn yellow in autumn while the tree itself can reach between 75 ft and 90 ft.
64. Weeping Willow
Weeping willows are beautiful and iconic due to their long-hanging, wispy foliage and branches that stretch to the ground. The provide a rustic aesthetic and good shade, plus they are nice to sit under and are good hiding spots for kids.
65. White Kousa Dogwood
The Kousa, or Japanese, Dogwood is a great choice for both residential landscaping and city settings. In the fall, it has vibrant red leaves while in the spring it blooms star-like white flowers. This tree is also visually remarkable in the winter with its jigsaw-looking patterns on its bark.
66. Yellow Delicious Apple
These apple trees produce large, sweet, yellow fruit that ripens from mid-September through mid-August. Yellow Delicious trees can also pollinate with Early Harvest, Red Delicious, and Red Jonathan apple trees.
These fast growing varieties will require seasonal trimming and pruning to ensure strong and healthy growth. We also recommend using tree fertilizer annually allowing the tree to reach its full potential.
If you want to further research this topic or are curious about other plants that thrive in your area, learn more about Plant Hardiness Zones (Virginia is in Zone 7).
If you have trees on your property, it is crucial that you are aware of the common signs that indicate you have overgrown trees, disease, and/or decay. Early detection of these issues will help extend the lifespan of your trees and ensure you have a healthy property.