The Q&A Archives: Tree Growth Rates

Question: This may be a dumb question, but here goes. Please explain the difference between slow, moderate and fast when it comes to tree growth. I have purchased quite a few trees this year, and am confused as to what this actually means. If possible please give approximate growth rate per year.

Answer: Yours is a very good question, but one that has no real definitive answer. Tree growth rates depend upon species, weather, soil conditions, nutrient and water availability. But, under reasonable conditions, you can expect a slow-growing tree to put on 1'- 2' per year. A good example of a slow growing tree is Ginkgo. An example of a tree with moderate growth rate, about two feet per year or 30 feet in 15 years, is Celtis (Hackberry). A fast-growing tree, such as willow, can grow 3'-5' per year. To find out for sure how fast the trees you've purchased will grow, look each of them up in a good horticulture reference book such as Hortus III. Enjoy your new landscape!

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