The bald cypress, box elder, Chinese tallow tree, and cottonwoods are some varieties of trees known for their fast growth. Often selected as landscape screens or windbreaks, these trees provide homeowners with privacy in a short amount of time.
The bald cypress thrives in wet, swampy sites and is native to North America. It has few insect or disease problems and grows at a rate of 18 to 24 inches per year, and it is unlike other evergreen trees in that it loses its foliage in the late fall.
The ability of the box elder to thrive in tough conditions makes it a popular selection for areas with poor soil, but this same ability may turn in into an invasive specimen. Box elders often take over the landscape with their abundant growth in zones 2 through 9.
The Chinese tallow tree grows 12 to 18 inches per year and can reach heights of up to 40 feet. These towering trees grow well in zones 8 through 10, but can litter the landscape with their flowers and fruit.
Cottonwoods grow from 3 to 4 feet per year, reaching heights of up to 70 feet tall. This fast rate of growth creates brittle, weak wood that leaves these trees susceptible to wind damage.