rate of growth - Knowledgebase Question

Reno, Ne
Question by mactimko
November 1, 2009
Hello. I've just planted 76 new trees. Some are defined as fast growing, some are defined as medium growth rate and some are slow. But, what does that mean? I planted a 5' Russian Olive tree 15 years ago, which is supposed to be fast growing. It is growing 1 foot/year. Is that what is considered fast growing?

Answer from NGA
November 1, 2009


There's really no set formula for tree growth rates because growth rate really depends upong the growing conditions and the plant itself. For instance if you grew a tree that was native to your area, you could expect it to perform at a specific growth rate, but if you planted what might be considered an exotic tree (adaptable to your climate, but not native) you'd have to expect it to grow at a slower rate than it would normally grow in its native climate. Your Russian Olive tree is not native to northern america but it is quite adaptable and under the best circumstances is considered a moderately fast grower. However, putting out one one foot of growth per year would put it in the slow to moderate growth range so it may be struggling a bit with the soil or the climate. As long as it is healthy, though, it's probably doing all in can under the circumstances. In general, a slow growing tree will put out less than 12" of new growth per year; a moderately fast growinhg tree will add 13-24" of new growth per year; a fast growing tree will grow more than 25" each year. Some trees are extremely fast growing, such as Leyland Cypress, and they put out 3-4 feet of new growth per year, under perfect growing conditions. Hope this answers your question!

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