There are so many species of trees in this world, about 60 thousand species to be precise. Each of these unique species differs in features, including the time needed to grow. So, how long do trees take to grow?
How Long Do Trees Take To Grow?
This is a question that has many answers since there is a large number of diverse species. The tree’s growth is largely dependent on 2 major factors –
- The type of tree
- The location of the tree
Some trees grow very fast, while others grow slowly.
So how much does a tree grow in a year?
Generally speaking, warm climates promote faster tree growth, the same way colder climates promote slower tree growth.
Species growing close to the equator could record growths of several meters annually. In this region, it takes between 10 to 20 years for new trees to be fully grown.
On the other hand, young trees found in the Northern latitude record slower growth rates. They increase by barely 2 meters annually.
In the Boreal parts of Canada and certain parts of Europe, it takes between 80 – 120 years for trees to be fully mature.
Speaking in a more site-specific context, certain factors around a tree’s location can influence its growth.
For instance, a tree that’s planted in the shade will grow slower than a tree planted in open sunlight, even if they are just a few yards apart.
In another instance, a tree planted on top of a mountain could grow quicker, or slower, than a tree planted at the bottom.
The equator offers a longer growing season to the trees planted there (12 months), as opposed to what the latitudinal areas offer its trees (3 months growing period).
In the Equatorial regions, sunlight is abundant, which the trees need to grow (photosynthesis). Sunlight brings heat, and heat helps to facilitate tree growth.
This is to say that trees in Nigeria will grow faster than trees in Iceland.
Elevation also influences how fast or slow a tree grows. A tree found in low elevations usually grows faster than those high up the Alpine slopes.
The amount of precipitation that trees receive is also a major factor in their growth. Both warm and cold showers of rain work equally well.
When you take a look at the Temperate Rain Forests around some parts of British Columbia, and the western parts of the U.S.A, you will notice that these regions get more rain than the other parts of North America, and they boast of some of the tallest trees in the world.
These trees include the Douglas Fir tree, the Redwood, the giant Sequoia, and the Sitka Spruce.
Keep in mind that the amount of precipitation a tree receives affects not only it’s height, but its growth rate as well.
As I mentioned earlier, there is no single answer to how fast trees can grow. From the above factors I have listed, you can understand why it is so.
The amount of sunlight, the tree’s location, soil type, elevation, and amount of precipitation received are all major determinants of a tree’s growth rate.
Let me round this part off with a general rule of thumb.
- It will take a fast-growing tree 10 years to get to a height of 25 feet
- It will take a moderate growing tree 10 years to reach a height of 18 feet
- A slowly growing tree will not reach up to 18 feet tall in a 10-year time frame
How To Increase Growth Speed Of A Tree
Trees left to take their natural growth course will grow just fine, however, there may be one or two reasons why you would want to speed up the tree’s growth.
Maybe you just bought a new house, and you’re looking to add some beauty to the yard. What can beautify your yard better than trees?
Trees will not only bring beauty, but they will also provide shade, coolness, and create a small animal habitat right there in your compound.
Well, you may be patient enough to wait for a tree to grow at its speed, or maybe you’d like to speed things up.
If the latter is the case, then you must’ve asked yourself how to increase the growth speed of a tree?
Keep reading, as I drop some useful tips for speedy tree growth.
Choose a fast-growing tree – The truth is, if you want your yard to be blessed with a grown tree in the shortest possible time, then the first thing you need to do is get a tree that’s known for growing fast.
When you’ve selected your tree, find out what its sun and soil requirements are. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fast-growing tree if the sunlight and soil are not adequate for it, then you won’t get the desired results.
I’ve mentioned the general growth rate of fast, moderate, and slow-growing trees. Use this information to select a fast-growing tree and tend to it accordingly.
Test your soil – After selecting your tree and finding out the soil type it needs, be sure to check the soil in your yard for any deficiencies in nutrients.
If there are, then make sure you correct those deficiencies before you plant the tree.
Different trees require different soil pH levels and nutrients. What you have to do here is to modify your soil type by adding those nutrients to the soil.
The contents of the soil must meet the needs of the tree.
An extra tip here is to keep fertilizing your soil even after you’ve planted the tree.
Inspect the root balls – This is specific to vase-grown trees. Check the bottom of the vase for roots that have formed circles around the root balls and carefully cut them off 1 – 1 ½ inch of the root ball. You can use a small knife for this.
Use organic mulch – This is a trusted means by which you can speed up your tree’s growth.
All you have to do is gather up some organic mulch and spread them about 4 inches deep around the tree area. You have to be sure that the area doesn’t have any grass or weeds because they will compete with your tree for the mulch’s nutrients.
When applying the mulch, be sure to create a little space between the mulch itself and the trunk of the tree. When the old mulch begins to biodegrade, you can add as much fresh mulch as needed.
Don’t remove too many leaves from the tree’s canopy – For you to speed up your tree’s growth, you shouldn’t prune it every year, doing so will mean removing too many leaves from its canopy and that would mean stunted growth.
Try pruning once in 2 years.
There is an exception to this method though. Certain fruit trees thrive under significant pruning.
If you have such trees, then prune them as much as required, as this will speed up their growth.
Regardless of the tree type, it is a must that you remove any dead or decayed branches, as this is detrimental to the overall health of your tree.
Consistent watering and fertilization – This is the most common means by which people speed up the growth of their trees.
Speak to a tree expert so you could figure out the watering and fertilization schedule best suited for your type of tree.
Things You Will Need
For you to prepare the soil and begin the journey to speed up your tree’s growth, there are a few things you will need.
These include –
- A soil testing kit (to determine the nutrients and pH level of the soil)
- Soil amendments (if necessary)
- 100% organic mulch
- A sharp knife or a saw
- A pair of pruning shears
How To Slow Down Tree Growth
Your tree may have reached a desirable height, but continues to grow. At this point, you would like to stop or slow down its growth.
Luckily, there are plant growth hormone regulators you can apply to your fast-growing tree, which will slow down the tree’s ability to produce the hormones needed to stimulate growth.
The particular hormone which the growth hormone regulator is very interested in is called Gibberellic acid, as it plays a vital role in the growth of a tree.
When the activities of the Gibberellic acid is limited, you will begin to notice that your tree is producing shorter or smaller growth shoots.
Advantages Of Using Growth Hormone Regulators
Using growth hormone regulators has one unique advantage to your tree. It increases the tree’s production of Abscisic acid.
Abscisic acid is a hormone that helps the tree prevent water loss. This could be helpful in times of drought.
Better water retention also means that you will have fresher, greener leaves on your trees.
Keeping your tree’s growth in check also means you can maintain its size to suit your landscaping specifics.
I trust this article has properly answered your question – how long do trees take to grow? I also hope the extra information provided here will be helpful.