What Is the Fastest Growing Oak Tree?

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Oak trees fill a landscape with beauty and shade.
Oak trees fill a landscape with beauty and shade. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Oak trees have a regal presence on a landscape, but many varieties can take decades to mature to their full potential. The fastest growing oak trees grow between 18 and 25 inches a year. While other types of trees grow much faster, at this rate you can enjoy the shade and beauty provided by oaks in a few years.

Northern Red Oak

The Northern red oak grows about 2 feet every year for its first 10 years of life. After, its growth slows to about a foot a year. Within 60 years, the Northern red oak grows to 60 to 90 feet tall. It has dark green leaves that change into a vibrant red in autumn. The tree grows well in Hardiness Zones 3 through 8 and tolerates drought.

Pin Oak

The Pin oak tree has a pyramidal shape in its early years, and changes into an oval as it matures and loses lower branches. In wet soil and full sun, it can grow more than 25 inches a year. It has glossy green leaves that change to bronze, russet and bright red before falling in autumn. Pin oaks reach up to 70 feet tall with a 45-foot spread that creates cool, shady spots.

Nuttall Oak

The Nuttall oak tree develops a full, thick crown and grows to a medium size. It grows to an average of 80 feet tall and can spread 35 feet wide. Nuttall oaks grow best in moist soil in Hardiness Zones 6 through 8. Native to America, its dark green leaves turn deep red in autumn.

Sawtooth Oak

In its early years the Sawtooth oak is one of the fastest growing trees. It grows over 25 inches a year in youth then slows to 13 to 24 inches per year. In full sun, it can grow up to 60 feet high with a 60 foot wide spread. The Sawtooth grows best in Zones 5 through 9. The dark green leaves turn yellow and gold in fall and its acorns attract wildlife.

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