Fast-Growing Marvels

We are used to thinking of the rate of tree growth as being similar to that of continental drift. Surprisingly, the fastest-growing lifeforms on the planet include trees. Consider some of these fast-growing examples:

Eastern Cottonwood

The fastest-growing tree in North America, the Eastern Cottonwood can grow 10-15 feet per year. Given that it can be dormant for four or more months during cold weather, that equates to an impressive 15-20 inches per month.

Transgenic Eucalyptus

The artificially-developed Transgenetic Eucalyptus grows at the rate of 16 feet per year — more than 30% faster than natural eucalyptus — topping out at nearly 100 feet in just five years.


While not a tree, special mention should be made of Kudzu, a Japanese form of arrowroot. It can grow as much as 12 inches in a single day, and put on 60 feet in a single growing season. It is difficult to kill and is considered a dangerous infestation, since it will climb over and choke out anything in its path.

Hybrid Poplar

Hybrid Poplars are genetically-engineered trees that can grow as much as ten feet per year.


If you are so inclined, you can sit and watch Bamboo grow. It shoots up at the rate of about four inches per day.

Giant Sequoia

Giant Sequoias give the impression of antiquity becaus of their great size. It doesn’t take as long as you might think for them to get that way, however. This monster can put on 4-6 feet per year for the first 10 years and then continue to add 2 feet per year for the next 30 years.


Acacia shoots up at an impressive one inch per day. One tree planted in Malaysia grew to 35 feet in 13 months.

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