The Q&A Archives: fast growing shade tree

Question: I cut down an unknown type of maple tree about 40' high due to too many helicopters. Looking for replacement that is a good shade maker and doesn't make alot of dirt with good growth. Thought about your Red Rhapsody(amur maple)but it may be insufficient height.

Answer: Based on your description it is difficult to recommend a specific tree. Please keep in mind that most shade trees will produce fruit or nuts of some kind, and they will also drop leaves in the fall to make a mess. Many of the fastest growing trees (such as poplars) will tend to be weak wooded and may break in heavy snow or ice storms, so that is something to consider as well.

Your selection will depend on the growing conditions where you are planting it, including whether or not it is in full sun, what kind of wind exposure there is, what kind of soil conditions are there, and how much space is available for the tree to grow and mature. You might also want something with good fall color or a certain shape or size. I would suggest you consult with your local county extension and/or professionally trained and certified nurseryman to identify trees that would thrive in the spot where you want to plant, and then select the one you like best from among those. Good luck with your new tree!

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