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Rev Up Your Roots: 6 Surefire Ways to Make Trees Grow Faster

by Jack Grover
garden trees
Reading time: 16 min Prefer to listen?

Time and trees, two concepts that appear to be inextricably linked. One might even say they’re as old as, well, time itself. But what if we told you there’s a secret to breaking free from the slow crawl of tree growth? A way to fast-forward through those seemingly endless years of waiting for your saplings to reach their full potential?

That’s right, folks! Today, we’re about to embark on a thrilling adventure into the world of tree growth acceleration and share with you six fantastic ways to make your trees grow faster than ever before. So, hold onto your hats, tree lovers, and prepare to witness the transformation in record time!

Soil Savvy: Know What Lies Beneath

First things first, we need to take a closer look at the very foundation of your trees — the soil

Just like humans need a nutritious diet to grow strong and healthy, so do our tree friends. To unleash their full potential, it’s crucial to understand the composition of your soil and how it affects their growth.

soil test

Start by performing a soil test. You can either purchase a DIY soil testing kit from your local garden center or send a sample to a professional lab for analysis. These tests will determine the pH level, nutrient content, and texture of your soil, providing valuable insights into its overall health.

Here’s how you can perform a simple soil test at home:

  1. Choose several spots around your tree (about 4-6 inches deep) and collect small samples using a trowel or shovel.
  2. Thoroughly mix the samples together in a clean container.
  3. Follow the instructions provided with your soil testing kit — these typically involve adding water and a testing solution to the sample.
  4. Compare the color of the mixture to the provided chart to determine your soil’s pH and nutrient levels.

Once you’ve identified any deficiencies in your soil, you can take action to amend it with the appropriate nutrients and minerals. For example, if your soil is too acidic, you can add lime to raise its pH; if it’s lacking in nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium, consider incorporating organic matter like compost or specific fertilizers.

In addition to addressing nutrient imbalances, pay attention to your soil’s texture. Ideally, you want a loamy texture that provides good drainage while retaining moisture — this allows for optimal root development and nutrient absorption. If your soil is heavy clay or sandy, consider adding organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to improve its structure.

By taking these practical steps to understand and enhance your soil, you’ll create an optimal environment for your trees to grow strong and fast, ensuring they reach their full potential in no time at all.

Space Invaders: Give Your Tree Room to Breathe

Trees are living beings that require space to thrive.

The foundation of a healthy tree starts with its root system.  When planting new trees, ensure that you’re providing them with enough room to spread their roots and branches — a robust root system allows the tree to absorb water and nutrients efficiently.

However, when trees are planted too closely together, their roots begin to intertwine and compete for essential resources, such as water, nutrients, and sunlight. This competition can result in weak trees that are more susceptible to disease, pests, and environmental stress.

Similarly, adequate sunlight is vital for the process of photosynthesis — the mechanism by which trees produce food. Trees planted too close together create a canopy that significantly reduces sunlight penetration, thereby affecting the overall health and growth of the trees.


Proper tree spacing will depend on various factors, such as:

  • Mature size. Consider the expected height and width of the tree at its full maturity. Make sure there is enough space between trees so that they don’t overshadow or damage each other once fully grown.
  • Growth rate. Fast-growing tree species require more space than slow-growing ones due to their rapid expansion in both height and width.
  • Soil type. Trees planted in rich soil may grow larger than those in less fertile soil. Take this into consideration when determining tree spacing.
  • Climate conditions. Trees may grow differently depending on the climate in which they are planted. For example, trees may require more space in arid climates due to their extensive root systems searching for water.
  • Maintenance requirements. Some plant species demand regular pruning, trimming, and overall maintenance to keep them healthy and structurally sound. Adequate spacing allows for easier access and care.

Once you have determined the proper spacing for your selected tree species, follow these practical tips to ensure a successful planting:

  1. Measure and mark the planting locations before digging holes. This will help you visualize how much space each tree requires and prevent overcrowding.
  2. When planting multiple trees, stagger their positions rather than lining them up in straight rows. This arrangement allows each tree better access to sunlight and creates an aesthetically pleasing landscape.
  3. Consider planting trees that complement one another in terms of growth patterns and resource requirements. This practice can minimize competition between trees and promote a harmonious environment.
  4. Regularly monitor your trees’ growth and health, making sure they’re not encroaching on each other’s space. As needed, perform pruning or transplanting to maintain the proper distance between trees.

Rooting for You: Keep an Eye on Those Underground Networks

tree root

As you already know, rapid tree growth relies heavily on well-established roots that can efficiently absorb water and nutrients from the surrounding soil. However, it’s vital to avoid planting trees too deep, as this can cause the roots to suffocate and inhibit growth. 

Regularly inspecting your tree’s root system is essential for maintaining its health and preventing potential problems. Here are a few things you need to keep an eye on:

  1. Observe any changes in your tree’s overall health and vigor, as these may be indicators of root issues. Signs include yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or dieback in branches.
  2. Periodically check the soil moisture around your tree, ensuring it’s neither too wet nor too dry. Consistent and appropriate watering is crucial for root health.
  3. Regularly examine the base of your tree for girdling roots that wrap around the trunk and cut into the bark, restricting water and nutrient flow. If you spot any, carefully remove them to promote proper tree development.

By following practical planting techniques and regularly monitoring your tree’s roots, you can ensure its foundation remains strong, allowing it to flourish for years to come.

Tree Therapy: Offer Support and Protection

Young trees may need some extra support to grow strong and tall.

Installing a stake or tree guard can provide stability and protection from wind damage while your tree is still establishing its root system. Be sure to remove these supports once your tree has become sufficiently sturdy — usually after one or two years — to prevent any hindrance to growth.

In addition, protecting your trees from pests and diseases will help ensure an uninterrupted growth spurt.

Water Works: Quench Your Tree’s Thirst

Proper watering is vital for promoting rapid tree growth and maintaining overall health. Both young and established trees have different watering needs, so it’s essential to provide them with the right amount of moisture to allow for optimal root development. 

Young trees typically require more frequent watering than established ones due to their developing root systems. However, overwatering can be just as detrimental as underwatering, leading to root rot and other issues.

To strike the right balance, follow these guidelines:

  • For newly planted trees: Water immediately after planting and then every day for the first two weeks. Gradually decrease the frequency to every other day for the next two weeks, then once or twice per week for the rest of the first growing season.
  • For established trees: Generally require watering every 7-10 days during dry periods but may vary depending on factors such as species, soil type, and climate conditions.
deep watering

Deep Watering

As a general rule of thumb, water deeply and less frequently rather than shallowly and often.

Deep watering encourages roots to grow deeper into the soil in search of water, creating a more stable foundation for your tree. Here is how you go about it step by step:

  1. Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to deliver water directly to the tree’s root zone. This method conserves water by reducing evaporation and runoff. Occasionally, you can use soft water for your garden.
  2. If using a garden hose or sprinkler, position it close to the base of the tree and let it run slowly for an extended period (30 minutes to 2 hours), ensuring water penetrates at least 12-18 inches into the soil.
  3. Create a water basin around young trees by building a small berm or using a tree watering ring. Fill the basin with water, allowing it to slowly seep into the soil.
  4. For established trees, water in a circular pattern around the tree’s drip line — the area directly beneath the outermost branches where rainwater naturally falls. This encourages roots to expand outward.
  5. Monitor soil moisture by digging 6-8 inches below the surface near the tree’s base. Soil should be moist but not soggy. Adjust your watering frequency accordingly.
  6. Apply a layer of organic mulch 2-4 inches thick around the base of your tree (but without touching the trunk) to help retain soil moisture and regulate temperature.

Food for Thought: Compost & Fertilizer Boosts

Treat your trees to a sumptuous feast of nutrients by integrating compost and organic fertilizers into your soil care routine.

Both have their unique advantages, but let’s first explore the sustainable, eco-friendly option: compost.

Compost is decomposed organic matter that enriches the soil with vital nutrients, improves its structure, and promotes moisture retention. As a natural, organic option, it offers long-term benefits and supports the overall health of your garden’s ecosystem.

And making your own compost is easier than you might think!

Simply create a designated compost area or bin in your yard and fill it with green materials (such as grass clippings and fruit and vegetable scraps) and brown materials (like leaves, twigs, and cardboard). Turn the pile regularly to help speed up the decomposition process, and within a few months, you’ll have rich, nutrient-dense compost ready to nourish your trees!

For young trees, it’s recommended to apply compost at least once or twice a year — usually during spring and fall. Spread a layer of compost around the tree’s drip line (the area where rainwater drips from the outermost branches), taking care not to pile it against the trunk.

This application will steadily release essential nutrients into the soil while also aiding in water retention and promoting healthy root growth.

On the other hand, commercial fertilizers provide a more concentrated dose of specific nutrients needed for optimal tree growth. These can come in handy when your soil’s pH levels don’t match the requirements of certain tree species or when specific nutrient deficiencies are detected through soil testing. In these cases, fertilizer can act as a quick fix to address the issue and support tree growth temporarily.

However, be sure to follow the recommended application rates and methods for each product to avoid over-fertilization or nutrient burn.


There you have it — six fantastic ways to rev up your roots and make your trees grow faster!

As you can see, ensuring the health and vitality of your trees requires a multifaceted approach, encompassing proper spacing, root maintenance, and watering techniques. By understanding each tree’s unique needs and providing an optimal environment for growth, you can create a thriving arboreal landscape that not only beautifies your surroundings but also contributes to a more sustainable ecosystem.

Remember that the key to success lies in striking the right balance between giving your trees room to breathe, fostering strong root systems, and quenching their thirst with proper watering methods.

So, why wait around for nature to take its course? Implement these strategies today and watch your trees shoot up at lightning speed!

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