The explosion of growth that happens during the summer months can be intense. It’s crazy how quickly trees begin to fill out and produce new growth, but why exactly does this happen? Why do trees grow so much faster during the summer?
Trees grow faster in the summer due to increased available sunlight daily. Sunlight is converted into food for the tree, resulting in rapid plant growth during the long summer days. Summer months also have monsoons, which aid tree growth, though trees also grow well during the spring.
In the rest of this article, I will discuss how much growth your trees experience during the summer, what time of year they need to be planted, and tree varieties that grow exceptionally well during the hot summer months. So if you want to learn more about tree growth in the summer, read on.
How Much Trees Can Grow in the Summer
How tall a tree gets is entirely reliant on the resources the tree receives. Each type of tree requires different nutrients to grow and thrive. Additionally, the type of tree can significantly impact how much it grows during the summer months. Some trees’ growth will be hardly noticeable, while others can grow up to 2 cm (0.79 in) daily.
Here are the factors that affect a tree’s growth in the summer:
- The tree’s location. A location in your yard that receives unhindered sunlight is more likely to result in rapid growth. For example, if your tree is in the shade of your home, you may not experience explosive growth during the warmer months.
- The gardening zone you live in. Each gardening zone provides different challenges in terms of plant care. It’s important to plant trees that will adjust and thrive in your climate. Trees suited for your gardening zone will grow better, bigger, and fuller.
- Water the tree receives. When the weather is hot, water is essential. Trees need regular watering during the summer months. However, it’s still important not to overwater, or root rot will occur. A tree requires 10 gallons (37.85 liters) of water for every inch (2.54 cm) in diameter the tree’s trunk measures.
- Nutrients in the soil. Most trees don’t require constant fertilization. However, fertilization is a good idea if you notice your tree struggling to grow during the spring and summer. Trees do best when lightly fertilized during early spring.
- Regular pruning. Maintaining a tree’s branches and leaves is an important step. Trees need to be pruned to prevent leggy bottom growth from taking much-needed nutrients away from the more significant part of the tree. Typically pruning is done in the spring and needs to be done correctly. So do your research on your tree before attempting a trim.
- Illness and pests. Just like humans, trees and plants can become ill. It’s essential to watch out for signs of sickness or possible infestations in your trees. If your tree is experiencing stunted growth, it might be due to illness or pests.
As you can see, several factors must be considered when it comes to tree growth during the summer months. However, trees are generally resilient plants and grow incredibly well during the summer. Also, well-established trees will experience fewer growth problems. However, older trees’ growth will slow down over time.
When To Plant Trees for Optimal Growth
If you plan to plant new trees in your yard, it’s important to understand good planting timing. Trees certainly grow well during the warm summer months. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should plant new trees in the summer.
The best time of year to plant a new tree is spring. Spring is ideal for planting new trees because spring provides an extended growing season combined with summer. Additionally, spring weather is relatively mild and generally experiences scattered rain showers.
Planting new trees during spring helps the trees to get a growing head start before the winter months make them dormant. Plus, the trees get a chance to establish themselves before the summer heat hits.
How To Speed Up Tree Growth
Although trees generally grow pretty fast during the summer, it’s always a good idea to know how to speed up their growth. In addition, trees are a great way to create shade and even privacy in your yard. So what are the best methods for speeding up tree growth?
Tips for speeding up tree growth:
- Fertilize your tree. Light fertilization is the most common way to increase your tree’s growth. Most trees will benefit from occasionally being fertilized. However, it’s important to note that since most fertilizers are nitrogen-heavy, your tree will have lots of top growth but minimal root growth. So it’s essential not to overdo it with the fertilizer.
- Mulch around the tree. Utilizing mulch is a fantastic way to trap moisture in the soil and ensure your tree stays healthy. The mulch you use doesn’t have to be fancy. You can use anything from wood chips, pine needles, hardwood, or leaves.
- Protect your tree from pests. Unfortunately, many bugs and animals can harm your trees. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly inspect the tree for damage and deploy protection methods to keep the tree safe. Using a light pesticide and placing a fake owl in the tree can discourage unwanted guests.
- Prune the tree. Typically you’ll want to prune your tree every 1-2 years to ensure optimal growth. Pruning should be done during early spring for the best results. Hiring a professional to prune your trees is also a good idea, as incorrect pruning can harm a tree.
- Set up a watering schedule. As I previously stated, trees require about 10 gallons (37.85 liters) for every inch (2.54 cm) in diameter they are. So it’s essential to set up a schedule to water the trees in your yard. You can do this manually with a hose or set up a drip system. However, if your sprinklers are able to reach the tree, they will work too.
- Remove weeds from around the tree’s base. Weeds and other plants too close to your tree will compete for nutrition. Competition for nutrients is more problematic if your tree is young and less established. However, weeding is essential for rapid plant growth in your trees.
Trees don’t require a lot of care to grow. However, with proper care, your tree will grow far more quickly, which is ideal if you need more shade or privacy in your yard. Just remember not to overdo it when it comes to fertilization and watering.
If you don’t already have a suitable tree fertilizer you like, I recommend Miracle-Gro’s Plant Food Spikes (available on Amazon.com). These spikes are fantastic because they provide a slow release of nutrients for your trees. In addition, they are easy to use and ensure your trees aren’t easily over-fertilized.
Learn more about how many fertilizer spikes you need per tree in my article here: How Many Fertilizer Spikes Do You Need per Tree?
Tree Types That Grow Especially Well in the Summer
There are hundreds of varieties of trees you can grow in your yard. However, though most trees grow exceptionally well during summer, several types grow even better. These trees are great if you need a shade tree growing rapidly during the warm months.
Some of the best types of trees for rapid summer growth are:
- Hybrid poplars
- Red maples
- Lime trees
- Silver maples
- Pin oak trees
- Weeping Willow
- Eucalyptus trees
- Oleander trees
- Quaking aspen
- Cedar trees
- Juniper trees
- Pine trees
- Ash trees
Each of these trees experiences rapid growth during the summer and does a decent job growing without outside intervention. Additionally, these trees tend to be more resilient to the warm weather that occurs during the summer months.
However, it’s important to note, that no matter the tree type you plant, it will generally grow well during the summer so long as its growth needs are met. Also, planting trees that are native to your gardening zone is helpful for rapid plant growth. Some trees don’t even require full sun in order to grow well.
Do Trees Grow Faster in Spring or Summer?
Technically, trees do grow faster during the spring in most cases. Spring is when plants do most of their growth due to the mild weather and increasing sunlight. However, trees experience rapid growth during the summer, especially those tolerant of hot weather.
Ultimately, the spring and summer months pair well together in growing seasons. Trees start growing in the spring as their leaves return and continue their rapid growth through the summer months. Summer days are longer and provide more light for trees to use as plant food.
These two back-to-back seasons are great for promoting tree growth; this is why, as I previously stated, planting new trees in spring is so important. In addition, summer and spring bring warm weather and longer days, which are essential for happy, healthy trees.
Trees are a great addition to any yard since they provide shade and privacy. Additionally, many types of shade trees can be grown rapidly. Plus, most trees experience faster growth during the summer.
Trees grow so well in the summer due to the increased daylight hours. The extra sunlight is turned into a surplus of food, which results in rapid tree growth. Additionally, most gardening zones experience a monsoon season during the summer, increasing the water your trees receive, thus also increasing their growth.