Trees for zone 4

Cold Hardy Trees: Tips On Growing Trees In Zone 4

Properly placed trees can add value to your property. They can provide shade to keep cooling costs down in the summer and provide a windbreak to keep heating costs down in the winter. Trees can provide privacy and year round interest in the landscape. Continue reading to learn more about cold hardy trees and growing trees in zone 4.

Growing Trees in Zone 4

Young zone 4 tree selections may need a little extra protection to make it through the winter. It’s not uncommon for deer or rabbits to rub or chew on new saplings in fall and winter. Tree guards placed around the trunks of new trees can protect them from animal damage.

Experts argue about using tree guards for frost protection. On one hand, it is said that tree

guards can protect a tree from frost damage and cracking by keeping the sun from thawing and warming the trunk. On the other hand, it’s believed that snow and ice can get beneath the tree guards causing cracks and damage. Unfortunately, with many cold hardy trees, especially maples, frost cracks are just part of growing trees in zone 4.

Adding a layer of mulch around the root zone of young trees is perhaps the best winter protection. Do not pile the mulch up around the trunk, though. The mulch should be placed around the tree’s root zone and drip line in a donut shape.

Cold Hardy Trees

Below are listed some of the best zone 4 landscape trees, including evergreen trees, ornamental trees and shade trees. Evergreen trees are often used as windbreaks, privacy screens and to add winter interest to the landscape. Ornamental trees are often small-flowering and fruiting trees that are used as specimen plants in the landscape. Shade trees are larger trees that can help keep cooling costs down in the summer or create a shady oasis in the landscape.


  • Colorado blue spruce
  • Norway spruce
  • Scots pine
  • Eastern white pine
  • Austrian pine
  • Douglas fir
  • Canadian hemlock
  • Bald cypress
  • Arborvitae

Ornamental Trees

  • Weeping cherry
  • Serviceberry
  • Thornless cockspur hawthorn
  • Flowering crabapple
  • Newport plum
  • Korean sun pear
  • Japanese tree lilac
  • Little leaf linden
  • Eastern redbud
  • Saucer magnolia

Shade Trees

  • Skyline honey locust
  • Autumn blaze maple
  • Sugar maple
  • Red maple
  • Quaking aspen
  • River birch
  • Tulip tree
  • Northern red oak
  • White oak
  • Ginkgo

Evergreen is a type of tree that grows year-round. The most common fast growing evergreen trees are the pine and Christmas trees. These trees tend to last through the cold winter months, providing green foliage for the yard every day. There are many other types of evergreen trees have different exciting characteristics that we’ll talk about in this article.

Evergreen trees work well for practical use as an outdoor privacy screen or windbreaker. Pick from a variety of fast growing evergreen trees to add character to your yard, offer foliage year-round, or drastically enhance your landscape.

Intersperse evergreens with other year-round trees and shrubs, as well as those that offer only seasonal beauty for additional interest. Spice up your yard’s collection of evergreen trees to bring some extra flair to the neighborhood and hide that ugly house behind you!

How to Choose the Best Fast Growing Evergreen Trees

First and foremost, you must decide why you want to plant fast growing privacy trees in your yard. Will you be planting these trees as a privacy hedge, a windbreaker, or as a decoration? If you want to use evergreens as a beautiful backdrop, make sure the smaller plants you choose are not incompatible combative plants.

Focus on the shape, size, color, and leaf type of your fast growing trees and where you’ll be planting them. Do your research to see what trees are the best for where you live. Be aware of your growing zone before purchasing these types of trees. You don’t want to buy some of the fastest growing evergreen trees to find out they won’t last with the soil type and climate around your home.

Some of these trees do better in warmer, wetter climates, while other types of desert trees with pictures thrive in hot, dry areas.

How to Care for Fast Growing Evergreen Trees

Most of these shade-tolerant evergreens prefer to be in full or partial sunlight; that means they are not the best plants for bedroom and other indoor areas.

Some of these trees have a high tolerance for environmental factors such as extreme weather conditions, insects, and poor soil drainage. Others do not; fortunately, this allows for low maintenance upkeep of these fast growing privacy trees.

On occasion, you’ll find that an evergreen tree needs yearly fertilization. Some may even shed foliage, like the Cypress and Spruce trees. If you don’t want a messy yard, stay away from these evergreen privacy trees.

While this list covers fast growing evergreens, there are many other trees and shrubs that also grow quickly that you should consider, as well. You could try growing some of the fastest growing fruit plants or flowering shrubs, too, to add some variety and interest to your hedges and your yard.

What’s the General Size of Fast Growing Privacy Trees?

When selecting the perfect fast growing privacy trees for your yard, consider the growth rate and height of the foliage you choose. Understand that once the trees have reached a mature height, they stop growing. If the growth rate matters to you, and you want fast growing shade trees, check in with a plant professional if necessary.

Typically, mature evergreen trees reach anywhere from twenty to sixty feet tall when taken care of properly; that means you must keep up with the soil environment. Do not put toxic chemicals in the soil and use natural means as often as you can, like peroxide for trees.

Some evergreen shrubs can be as small as four to six feet. Select and plant trees according to where it will grow best; the size of your yard and the allotted space each tree has is critical. Trees that outgrow their spaces may have to be removed a few years after being planted.

Unbelievable Fast Growing Evergreen Trees & Shrubs

The early spring months are here, and some hardiness zones are ready to accept evergreen trees and shrubs that grow fast or slow. Spring is a perfect time to start making your landscape look beautiful, and what better way than to plant the fastest growing trees?

Evergreen plants add year-round interest and some interesting textures to your yard, but choose carefully. Rather than evergreen shrubs or trees, you may just need some ground cover to take care of some bare space where other plants won’t grow.

Doing your research in advance will ensure that you have a lovely yard in every season. Consider the favorite suggestions before planning out your yard’s new look. You can look online or ask a professional at your local garden center for recommendations.

Norway Spruce (Picea Abies)

The Norway Spruce tree is prevalent throughout the United States, even though they’re native to Europe. Homeowners throughout the world enjoy planting these popular trees in their yards to spice up the landscape.

These fast growing trees are not picky when it comes to soil types. They are great windbreakers, primarily because of their ability to grow in different soils and spread their thick branches.

Norway Spruce trees do take up a lot of room. These trees that grow fast grow approximately three feet per year and need room on either side to spread out.

Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja Standishii X Plicata ‘Green’)

The Thuja Green Giant Arborvitae is an exceptionally fast growing tree. Its pyramidal shape holds up rich and dense foliage that darkens in the winter months.

Many homeowners choose this type of evergreen tree as a privacy screen to hide the neighbors, as a shaded hedge, or a beautiful specimen for the yard. It is commonly used in American yards to stop wind, rain, and snow from getting close to the house.

These trees grow approximately three feet per year, too. Plant it in an area where space is abundant.

Leyland Cypress (X Cupressocyparis Leylandii) – Fast Growing Evergreen Trees

The Leyland Cypress has a slender body frame and a rapid growth rate. Most often, these trees are found scattered throughout the United States. Luckily, the Leyland Cypress grows in a variety of soils and can withstand many different weather conditions. It is easy for these trees to excel in both warm and cold climates.

No matter the climate and temperature, the Leyland Cypress keeps its color. Commonly found in the yards of homes, campuses, and parks, these beloved trees serve as great windbreakers. Like most fast growing privacy trees, these grow approximately three feet per year.

Eastern White Pine (Pinus Strobus)

The Eastern white pine is a significant plant in America, and it’s one of the fastest growing pine trees ever planted. They are so crucial that the beautiful variations were explicitly set apart by the kings on British ships.

These trees still uphold their reputation as a commercial tree, but they are now more commonly found in parks and home landscapes. These precious and beautiful trees grow about three feet per year.

Fun fact: The Eastern white pine tree is the state tree for both Maine and Michigan.

The Fast Growing Evergreen Tree: Lombardy Poplar (Populus Nigra ‘Italica’)

The Lombardy Poplar tree grows six feet per year, making it one of the fastest growing evergreen trees. This makes them the best evergreen trees for privacy walls and windbreakers. Lombardy Poplar trees grow in columns and branch out in mysterious ways.

The branches on the tree typically start close to the ground and develop parallel with the trunk. In the sunny months of the year, this tree displays green foliage; however, in the autumn, the foliage turns yellow. As the tree ages, the bark turns black.

Initially, these trees were used to line the landscape of golf courses as a visual aesthetic.

Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

The Dawn Redwood is an ancient tree dating back to the age of the dinosaurs; however, it has found its place in modern times, too. Dawn Redwoods produce ½” to 1” cones on its pyramidal shaped body. As the tree ages, though, its shape becomes more circular.

During the spring and summer, the tree sports bright green, feathery leaves. During autumn, the Dawn Redwood leaves change to an orange-brown or reddish-brown shade. These trees flourish with full sun, and well-drained soil drains.

These massive trees can grow anywhere from seventy feet to one hundred feet.

Italian Cypress (Cupressus Sempervirens ‘Glauca’)

Italian Cypress offers a formal look to any landscape. Though these trees are native to southern Europe and Western Asia, they’re still found everywhere around the globe. Italian Cypress is almost always narrow, slender, and tall, making it easy for them to fit into tight spaces and provide a natural, yet effortless look.

They can indeed stand alone, but they look better when placed in a row along a driveway. What’s the best part about these elegant-looking trees? The blue-green foliage is stunning.

The Emerald Green Fast Growing Evergreen Tree (Thuja Occidentalis)

Emerald Green evergreen trees thrive in moderately moist, well-drained soil. They enjoy full sun, with partial shade when the weather is hot. Do not plant these trees fully in the shade, as the foliage will not prosper. These trees should not be exposed to the wind for long periods, either, as this could alter the growth rate.

Plant an Emerald Green in autumn, as these trees don’t do well in the heat when they are very young. They do grow rather fast, though, so be sure to space each tree three to four feet apart to allow maximum growth.

Nellie Stevens Holly (Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens)

Nellie Stevens Holly trees should be in areas where sunlight is abundant. These trees like their soil not too dry, yet not too moist; too much water does not allow them to thrive. Water these trees once a week for the first six months, then when there are long dry spells after that.

The Nellie Stevens Holly trees are most commonly known to homeowners as privacy screens that line the property. Typically, these fast growing evergreen trees stick to their initial planting spot and develop a natural privacy fence as they grow.

Taylor Juniper (Juniperus Virginiana)

Some trees benefit more when grown in warmer climates; the Taylor Juniper, on the other hand, does better in colder areas. These columnar trees can reach up to thirty feet tall with a base of only three to five feet wide. They do fit in tight places, but since they grow about three feet a year, you may want to spread them apart a little bit more than suggested.

These trees showcase beautiful blue-green foliage and stand straight up, making them perfect for scenery and privacy. Luckily, these trees are best when planted in areas exposed to open sun and moist soils, though they are very drought tolerant.

Japanese Cedar Fast Growing Evergreen Trees (Cryptomeria Japonica)

The Japanese Cedar evergreen tree is native to Japan and can grow up to fifty feet tall. There are other variations of this tree, but all grow about ten to twelve feet tall. These beautiful Japanese Cedars form a tiered horizontal branch formation over their growing years.

This formation leads to a mature, pyramidal shape. The older the tree gets, the darker the needles, forming a black-green shade. These fascinating trees can grow all over the world and are an excellent choice for landscaping.

Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis)

Canadian hemlocks can be any shape and height their homeowners prefer. These graceful plants are perfect for privacy screens, beautifully constructed groupings, and scenic landscape portrayals.

The Canadian Hemlock prefer sun to shade, but light shading is a must when they’re in hot weather. They do not like heavy soil, and they thrive in moist, but drained ground.

These trees are not the tallest, but they do grow to a medium height of about forty to seventy feet. Plant them at least two feet away from surrounding plants, hedges, and walls.

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii)

Douglas fir evergreens do not like hot and dry weather, but they thrive in moist environments. They prefer both the soil and the atmosphere to be semi-wet.

These trees present a variety of colors in their foliage, depending on species. The blue-green variations seem to be the most attractive.

Typically, the Douglas firs grow forty to eighty feet tall, branching out in shape. They perform well when planted in masses, but can act as a single plant, too.

Yew (Taxus)

The Yew tree is better known as the Tree of Immortality, with some of its ancestors living thousands of years. Homeowners typically use yews for landscaping, primarily in an evergreen bush or hedge form. During the winter months, yews provide an interesting variation to a drab atmosphere, bringing shades of dark green foliage and bright red berries.

These trees provide homes for birds year-round, too. A Yew tree does well with dry soil and excessive sunlight, but they do not flourish with moist and soggy soil. Typically, these trees grow anywhere from two to sixty feet tall depending on species.

Fast growing evergreen trees provide privacy for a home, shelter it from the harshness of winter, and landscape it with beautiful greenery. Select the trees that fit and show off your yard. Choose from tall evergreens to small privacy shrubs.

We hope you liked our fast growing privacy tree tips and tricks. If you thought our list of fast growing evergreen trees was helpful, please share them on Facebook and Pinterest with your friends and family.

Trees & Shrubs for Wisconsin

Wisconsin Trees

The location of your home is important wherever you live in the Badger State. Wisconsin has a continental climate, which means that it enjoys warms summers but very cold winters, especially in the upper northeast and north-central lowlands, which also have a short growing season. When you’re choosing trees for your WI garden, you will need to take the climate into account.
The Best Trees for Planting in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to native trees such as American Elm, White Oak, Silver Maple, and Quaking Aspen. Here at the Fast Growing Nursery, we recommend that our RI gardeners opt for native shrubs and trees or similar ones that will thrive in the varied temperatures. We can provide you with the American Elm, the Live and Sawtooth Oak and the Quaking Aspen as well as a range of hardy and colorful Maples.

Our Tulip and Hybrid Poplars are two of the fastest-growing trees you can find and both thrive in Wisconsin. They will be able to enjoy the temperate seasons and can withstand the colder winter months. They will soon become well established and you’ll feel as though they’ve always been part of your landscape.

Our range of Badger State-friendly shrubs will add a blaze of color to your garden, check out our variety of azaleas. These repeat-blooming shrubs will create a colorful border or centerpiece in your garden. These plants offer the maximum beauty with the minimum upkeep.

Gardeners who enjoy the color and joy of growing fruit will appreciate our selection of apple trees; choose from Gala, Granny Smith, and Red Fuji. If it’s citrus fruit you’re after, we have Nules Clementine, Meyer Lemon, and Key Lime. We can also help you add Bing Cherries and Red Haven Peaches to your home orchard.

When you need privacy and security around your home, but at the same time you want to combine it with beauty, opt for our fast-growing evergreens. American Holly, Cryptomeria Radicans or Drought-Free Evergreens grow quickly to form a living wall that will enhance your property’s boundary. All the tree choices you need for your D.C landscape can be found at Fast Growing Trees Nursery.

A Large Variety of Trees for Wisconsin

Wherever you live in Wisconsin, Milwaukie to Ashland, or Green Bay to Spooner, we have the trees for your unique region. Our wide selection of trees for WI is bound to provide long-lasting solutions for your landscaping needs.

The Wisconsin state tree is the Sugar Maple. This spectacular forest tree is found throughout the state and is easily recognized by its distinctive gray bark and 3-5 lobed leaves. In full maturity, most trees reach 70-90 feet in height.
The Wisconsin state soil is Antigo. This brown, silt loam is found in around 300,000 acres throughout the state’s northern regions. This is a very productive soil and mostly used for cultivating grain and hay. Your fast-growing trees will thrive in Antigo soil.

10 Trees in Wisconsin that Lure Wildlife

Wisconsin is known for its’ brave wildlife. If the property is landscaped properly, animals such as squirrels, birds, turkeys and deer can be spotted feeding, playing or resting from your window. As we approach the optimal time for planting, the spring season, here are a few recommendations that are sure to not only enhance the appearance of your landscapes but also attract wildlife.

1. Ash Trees – Green, White and Black

Growing up to 90 feet tall, ash trees grow fast and are great trees for creating shade. When it comes to attracting wildlife, ashes provide nutrition for red foxes, snowshoe hares, and opossums. Additionally, they attract beavers and deer due to their tender twigs and stems.

2. Big-Toothed and Quaking Aspen

Though they’re more common up north, both quaking and big-toothed aspens grow rapidly statewide. Growing up to 60 feet tall and maturing around 50 years, Aspens attract many animals, such as deer, beavers, grouse and porcupines (mainly in the north). Because of their life expectancy, Aspens become homes to woodpeckers and chickadees.

3. Basswood

Standing as tall as 80 feet in height, Basswood trees are the perfect den for wildlife. Squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits enjoy their nutlets. In addition, deer are often found around a Basswood due to feeding on their tender twigs.

4. Elm Trees – American, Slippery (Red) and Rock

Found throughout the state of Wisconsin, Elm trees can tower to 100 feet tall. Though many have fallen due to Dutch Elm disease, there are still plenty that attract a variety of wildlife. Next to songbirds, gamebirds and squirrels, they attract wild turkeys, ring-necked pheasants, bobwhite quail, grouse, prairie chickens and wood ducks. Baltimore orioles are also known to wave their nests within elms.

5. Maple – Sugar, Red and Silver

Known for their stunning fall appearance and cooling shade, Maple trees can grow anywhere from 65 to 100 feet tall. Because of their seeds, buds and flowers, they attract grosbeaks, purple finches and nuthatches. Additionally, you can find red, gray and fox squirrels as well as white-tailed deer. Maples also make for a great cavity tree.

6. Willow

With many varieties of willow trees and shrubs throughout the state, you’ll find these fast growers near water. Because most of them have weaker wood, their buds and twigs are food for grouse, deer and grosbeaks. Willows will also attract beavers and snowshoe hares due to their bark.

7. Northern White Cedar

While Northern Whites are only native to the north (unless planted), they are known to attract a few common animals. Birds like the pine siskin and common redpolls are known to feed on their winged seeds. In addition to these birds, red squirrels also feed on the seeds. Lastly, white cedar swamps are often times an overwinter habitat for deer.

8. Eastern Red Cedar

Contrary to White Cedars, Red Cedars are found in gravelly and rocky soils of Southern Wisconsin. This tree is known to provide shelter for the robin, chipping sparrow, junco and several types of warblers. On top of several bird types, they also attract eastern chipmunks, white-footed mice and deer.

9. Beech Trees

Surviving in a cool, moist environment near Lake Michigan, Beech trees offer a beautiful appearance in fall. They attract a variety of wildlife as their nuts are the perfect food. Animals included are squirrels, chipmunks, bears, porcupines, grouse and many songbirds like blue jays, chickadees and blackbirds.

10. Black Walnut Tree

Towering around 100 feet, the Black Walnut tree makes for a great cavity and den tree despite the thick and course bark. Animals such as foxes, gray squirrels and red-bellied woodpeckers crack open the nuts to get at the nutmeat. Squirrels specifically bury the nuts in the fall and make use of them in early spring after the ground has thawed.

Depending on the type of wildlife you’d like, there are many other Wisconsin trees that can fill your property with animals. For additional information about planting trees this spring, contact us today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *