Fast Growing Trees

Question:

We recently had to cut down a 30-year-old willow tree with a 4 foot stump radius that I had planted for shade. It has left a big "hole" in my front yard; as the other side is smaller and has 3 tall maples and a large blue spruce. It was on the northwest side so it blocked the sun until it went down. I need to do something before fall and don't know what to do. We are not allowed to burn the stump which we were originally going to do and replant something. We get very bad winds here and would like to plant something that will survive the winters and grow quickly. I don't have too much space with that huge stump.

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Hardiness Zone: 6a

Thanks,
Betty from Slate Hill, NY

Answer:

Betty, My condolences on the loss of such a beautiful tree! Fortunately, you have several good options for fast growing replacements that grow well in your zone: hybrid poplar (up to 8 feet per year), Autumn Purple ash (great fall foliage), red maple (great fall foliage), flowering pear (white flowers), Ponderosa pine (evergreen), empress tree (for fast shade and lavender flowers), willow (to replace what you lost) and quaking aspen (often grown commercially for pulp because of its fast growth rate). There are more possibilities, of course, but these are some ideas to investigate. In general, fast growing and the ability to survive high winter winds are not necessarily traits that are compatible. You may find yourself compromising one trait in favor of another.

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You didn't mention whether or not you're looking for advice on how to get rid of your stump, but if you don't plan on grinding it down, there are some inexpensive tricks that will make the wood breakdown faster. Normally it takes at least 4-5 years for the wood to breakdown (even longer for large stumps like yours). To expedite the process, I would recommend drilling several holes around the perimeter of the stump and filling them with some type of sugar (syrup, jelly, white sugar, molasses, etc.) or buttermilk. The idea is to get the decomposition process started quickly. After filling up the holes, wet down the stump and cover it with a thick layer of mulch. Cover the mulch with a dark colored tarp. This will reduce the time it takes the wood to decompose by half. In the meantime, maybe you could disguise the tarp by placing planters filled with seasonal plants on top.

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

July 13, 20060 found this helpful

How about another willow? All softwoods, including willows, grow relatively quickly. You're not going to have a replacement for that 30 year tree in a matter of months, but it's going to grow faster than say, a pine.

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July 18, 20060 found this helpful

We have an Ash tree and it has been dropping leaves. they are spotted and some yellow also have found a few maple trees in door yard in same condition. never noticed until this year, busy at work. Is this normal? Thanks

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July 18, 20060 found this helpful

how about checking out austree.com?

we bought the 5 to 6 ' starter trees and in sept of 2001 and have nice shades trees already.

edie

these trees are hybrids , grow fast and are hardy.

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July 20, 20060 found this helpful

We had some poplars that were fast growing. I dont recommend fast growing trees becuase they grow too fast and then break off under the weight of snow. Or they just break off during a storm.

A tree that grows more slowly will be a stronger tree.

Plant your tree in the fall. Any tree for your USDA zone will make it through the winter.

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July 20, 20060 found this helpful

Poplar trees are very fast growing.

Dorie from Algoma, WI

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July 20, 20060 found this helpful

We bought 100 (YES!) Austrees and planted them 5 years ago. I would say 90 to 94 survived and are doing quite well.

Good luck.

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July 24, 20060 found this helpful

We had to cut a willow tree too and left about a 4 foot stump. Last year my husband attached a wire cage to it and planted a red honeysuckle to grow up into the cage and aroud the stump--looks great!!

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July 24, 20060 found this helpful

Drill some holes in the stump, first. Get some chemical that kills off stumps. That way, it will rot over the years and you won't have to pay to have it taken out.

I would plant another willow. That one did well there.

You don't say what seasons give you the bad winds. If it's winter, plant evergreens. They don't grow super fast, but they sure block winter winds nicely. Australian pines and spruce do well here in Idaho, but for New York, check with your Cooperative Extension service to find appropriate varieties.

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July 24, 20060 found this helpful

Carve your stump into a chair? Or drill it out and use a flower box. as far as a fast growing tree goes you could try a black alder.

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July 25, 20060 found this helpful

Fast growing trees have weak limbs and will cause problems down the road. How about something slow growing, but more reliable?

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The existing stump can become a table for potted decorative plants. Or one of those gazing balls or other yard art. Or you can hire a company for a lot of money to plane the stump down to ground level.

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July 25, 20060 found this helpful

I can't help with the fast growing trees, but do have a suggestion about the stump. We had 2 stumps that were very much in the way. We drilled a hole in each (as deeply as possible), and filled the hole with aspirin. I know that sounds silly, but the acid in the aspirin has, over time, rotted the stumps out (These are FLorida pine, and those stumps never rot away). This took about a year, but most of both of those stumps above ground are gone.

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October 2, 20060 found this helpful

I am looking for the austrailian fast growing tree that can also be a private boarder hedge.

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July 22, 20080 found this helpful

Do not buy from fast growing tree's on line. This has been a bad experience for me. I bought 4 as gifts when a young family member passed away. They sent me sticks that did not live the 1st year, so then charged me for replacements the 2nd year as I had to wait until spring to see if these would come back or not. Then they sent me 4 more that spring and they did not survive the winter. When I requested 1/2 of my money back or 2 replacements at there cost. They said NO we replace them once and thats it, and yes the once was at my cost for shipping. So in total I spent over $150, and I now have nothing. I did contact better business bureau also. Please read the responses. They will do nothing to make this right.

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