Discover the 5 Fastest Growing Trees in Florida

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: July 1, 2023
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Tree enthusiasts in Florida are spoiled for choice when it comes to fast-growing trees that would look great in their gardens. No matter what kind of tree you’re looking for—flowering, fruiting, evergreen, palm, or shade—there’s one that will flourish in your part of the state. Choose a tree that will thrive in your area’s climate by consulting the USDA hardiness zone map of Florida (available online).  In this article, we will discover the five fastest-growing trees in Florida by each type mentioned above. Let’s go!

Infographic of 5 Fastest Growing Trees in Florida
The jacaranda tree and papaya tree are two of Florida’s fastest growing trees.

What Is the Fastest Growing Flowering Tree in Florida?

The Jacaranda tree is one of the fastest-growing trees in Florida.

©mauro halpern / Flickr – License

Shrubs, trees, and plants that produce visible flowers are called flowering. Numerous gorgeous and lovely flowering trees can be found across Florida. The aesthetic value of a landscape is enhanced by flowering trees.

Jacaranda Tree

The jacaranda tree is a stunning flowering tree native to Florida, with feathery leaves and large, purple, non-evergreen flowers. This tree, which flowers in April and May, is widely regarded as one of the most stunning displays of floral splendor in the spring. A medium-sized yard is ideal for planting a jacaranda tree.

The fragrant purple panicle-shaped flowers of the jacaranda tree (Jacaranda mimosifolia) make this tropical tree a sight to see. The canopies of jacaranda trees are fashioned like upturned umbrellas because of the way their branches curve. The fern-like leaves of this tree, which may reach a length of 20 inches, make it a fantastic choice for use as a street or shade tree.

In its first few years of life, it can grow as much as 10 feet per year, making it one of the fastest-growing trees in a tropical setting. It grows at a moderate rate outside of its optimal tropical environment but at a much faster rate in the appropriate climate. Depending on the conditions, it can reach a height of 25 to 50 feet.

What Is the Fastest Growing Fruiting Tree in Florida?

Papaya tree

Papaya trees produce a popular tropical fruit.

©mauro halpern / Flickr – License

To put it simply, a fruit tree is any tree that produces fruit that may be eaten or used by people and other animals. In the context of gardening, the phrase “fruit tree” refers exclusively to trees that bear edible fruit for human use. The flowers on fruit trees can’t make fruit unless they’re pollinated. They may bloom profusely, but if they aren’t properly pollinated, their efforts will be in vain. The unique climate of Florida is responsible for the state’s abundance of exotic fruit trees.

The Papaya Tree

A popular fruit in tropical regions, papaya trees can be grown quickly from seed. The seeds of a papaya tree take about a year to germinate and produce fruit. In terms of tree cultivation, that is really unusual. The downside of this rapid expansion is that trees’ yields begin to fall after a few years, therefore it’s best to replace them every few years. Papaya is a woody herb that grows quickly but has a limited lifespan. The average height of a single trunk is 10 to 15 feet, however, it is possible for some species to reach even greater heights.

Papayas thrive in warm, sunny locations with good drainage and minimal exposure to wind and frost. They don’t like it when the soil is soggy, but they also don’t like it when the roots dry up. The best method to ensure that these plants thrive and produce fruit throughout the year is to provide them with well-drained, healthy soil. Compost liberally and treat frequently with a full fertilizer. They do not like being transplanted, so just throw them in the ground.

What Is the Fastest Growing Evergreen Tree in Florida?

coast redwoods from below

Thriving in damp environs, coast redwoods enjoy the Pacific Northwest most of all.

©Greens and Blues/

The word “evergreen” refers to trees that continue to produce new leaves even after their older ones have fallen. When most people hear the word “evergreen,” images of pine trees and Christmas trees likely come to mind. It may come as a surprise to Floridians to learn that the state is home to several species of evergreen trees, given the widespread use of deciduous trees elsewhere in the United States. The question is, of the several kinds of evergreen trees found in Florida, which one grows the quickest?

The Florida Coastal Redwood

There are specimens of the Florida Coastal Redwood that have reached heights of 100 feet! The Florida Coastal Redwood, the state’s official evergreen tree, is also the state flower. The bark of these trees is a rough grayish-brown tan, and its ends are a bright red or pink. The average annual growth rate for coast redwoods is between 3 and 10 feet. The redwood tree is one of the world’s fastest-growing species. A redwood tree will gain the majority of its height in its first century of existence.

Due to their attractiveness and potential for great height, these trees enjoy widespread acclaim in Florida. Wild animals in Florida benefit greatly from them as a source of food. They thrive in coastal settings with sandy soil but can also be planted elsewhere with success.

What Is the Fastest Growing Palm Tree in Florida?

Carpentaria palm tree

Carpentaria palm trees can grow a staggering 6 feet per year!

©Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Did you know that palms, in the plant kingdom, are simply tall grass? Nevertheless, many palms are quite tall, therefore in distinguishing them from ground covers and shrubs, they are classified as trees. Palm trees are often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Florida. Certainly, the palm tree thrives in Florida’s climate. The palm tree, which thrives in this region’s warm environment and plentiful rainfall, is an aesthetically pleasing addition to the scenery.

The Carpentaria Palm Tree

In Florida, the Carpentaria palm can gain up to six feet per year, making it one of the fastest-growing trees in the state. Its stunning blue-green foliage complements its long and slender stem, making it easy to identify. Similarly, the Carpentaria has an ornamental-looking smooth trunk and produces tiny seeds beneath its arching leaves. The seeds may look pretty but peeling them can cause skin irritation. The Carpentaria can quickly reach heights of 50 feet.

What Is the Fastest Growing Shade Tree in Florida?

Lombardy poplar tree

Lombardy poplars are huge trees that are perfect for providing shade.

©WeeJeeVee / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Large trees with a wide, sweeping canopy and crown are commonly referred to as “shade trees.” This function gives shade trees their name. Shade trees give the landscape a sense of stability and durability, and they can act as a canopy over lower-lying plants. These sun-blocking trees come in many shapes and sizes in Florida.

The Lombardy Poplar Tree

Lombardy poplars are the fastest-growing shade trees in Florida, with an annual growth rate of up to six feet! The Lombardy poplar has several practical uses, including a sidewalk tree, a privacy screen, and a windbreak. A green screen provided by trees is usually slow. In spite of the fact that the Lombardy poplar isn’t evergreen, its compact and dense branches nonetheless offer shelter from the elements during the winter. You can save money on heating costs by using the fallen leaves to let more sunlight into your home in winter.

This tree is striking in its tall, straight, columnar form. Wide trees might be difficult to find for small yards. The Lombardy poplar is the one and only tree you need. This tree may be planted in yards of any size because of its compact width of just 10 to 12 feet.

Summary of the Five Fastest-Growing Trees in Florida

This list of the fastest-growing trees in Florida will help to provide shade fast.

1Jacaranda Tree
2Papaya Tree
3Florida Coastal Redwood
4Carpentaria Palm Tree
5Lombardy Poplar Tree

The photo featured at the top of this post is © WeeJeeVee / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License / Original

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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